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This week in Pittsburgh Sports History

click to enlarge JOCK SUTHERLAND
Jock Sutherland

Jan. 18, 1923

Former Pitt standout Jock Sutherland is hired as the team’s head coach, replacing Pop Warner. In 14 seasons with the Panthers, Sutherland would lose just 20 games and win nine consensus national championships, of which Pitt recognizes five today. Following World War II, Sutherland took over as head coach and vice president of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Jan. 18, 1971

Pittsburgh native and national fan favorite Bruno Sammartino sees his eight-year WWWF championship run come to an end in a loss to “The Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff, at Madison Square Gardens. (Interestingly, Koloff wasn’t Russian, but Canadian. And earlier in his career, before finding fame as Koloff, he wrestled as Irishman Red McNulty, of Dublin.) The match result nearly caused a riot as fans — who believed wrestling results were not predetermined — were crying and screaming because they thought Koloff had damaged Sammartino’s hearing. 

Jan. 19, 2013

Baseball legend and Donora native Stan “The Man” Musial dies at the age of 82. Except for a one-year stint in the navy during World War II, Musial played continuously for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1941 to 1963.

Jan. 20, 1980

The Steelers become the first team to win four Super Bowls when they defeat the L.A. Rams 31-19 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

Jan. 21, 1957

Pittsburgh Mayor David L. Lawrence presents ground-breaking baseball player Jackie Robinson with a key to the city following his retirement from baseball.

Jan. 22, 2007

Mike Tomlin is introduced as new head coach of the Steelers.

Jan. 22, 2012

Long-tenured Penn State football coach Joe Paterno dies. Paterno was coach of the Nittany Lions until he was fired in 2011, at the height of the Jerry Sandusky sexual-abuse scandal.

Jan. 23, 2005

Steelers broadcasting legend Myron Cope calls his last game, a 41-27 loss to New England for the AFC championship.

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