Dick Haley Cause of Death: On Friday, Todd Haley confirmed on Twitter that his father, Dick Haley, had passed away at the age of 85 after a long battle with illnesses.
The former Pittsburgh Steelers director of player personnel was widely regarded as one of the best in the business and was a key figure in the team’s success during the 1970s.
Dick Haley Cause of Death: Obituary, Funeral
Todd Haley expressed his sorrow on Twitter, stating that “the world, the NFL, and my entire family lost one of the best people I’ve ever known and my idol. A man that gave me the best chance to succeed in this world, my father Dick Haley after a long fight with dementia and Parkinson’s.”
Haley worked with the Steelers from 1971 to 1990 and was instrumental in the team’s success during the 1970s, where the Steelers won four Super Bowls. Haley’s most significant contribution was his direction of the 1974 NFL Draft class that included four future Hall of Famers.
Haley was born in Midway, Pennsylvania, in northwestern Washington County, and attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he was a running back from 1955-58. Haley rushed for 741 yards and had eight total touchdowns in three seasons with the Panthers. He was part of the Pitt 1955 Sugar Bowl team, though he was ineligible as a freshman. Haley also participated in the 1956 Gator Bowl.
Haley was drafted in the ninth round of the 1959 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, where he began his six-year professional career as a running back before transitioning to a defensive back.
After two seasons starting for Washington, he moved to Minnesota and then back to Pittsburgh, where he joined the Steelers midseason in 1961. Haley ended up playing 49 games and making 39 starts for the Steelers from 1961-64, recording 13 interceptions, for which he remains tied for 32nd in team history.
After retiring from playing, Haley joined the Pittsburgh front office in 1971, working with Dan Rooney, Bill Nunn, and Chuck Noll to revamp the team’s talent acquisition process. This resulted in the Steelers drafting numerous future Hall of Famers, setting the table for the team to win an unprecedented four Super Bowls over the next six years.
Haley continued to serve as a valuable member of the Steelers organization until 1990, at which point he spent another 16 years with the New York Jets as their GM. He concluded his career with the Miami Dolphins before retiring to Florida.
Todd Haley followed in his father’s footsteps and worked as the offensive coordinator for the Steelers from 2012-17. He is currently the head coach of the Memphis Showboats of the USFL.
The NFL and the Steelers community mourn the loss of Dick Haley, a beloved figure in football history who played an integral role in the success of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s.