Dan Rooney
FameRank: 6

"Daniel Milton "Dan" Rooney", is the former United States Ambassador to Ireland from July 3, 2009 until his resignation in 2012. He is chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers American football/football team in the National Football League (NFL), which was founded by his father, Art Rooney. Rooney was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000 in sports/2000 for his contributions to the game. He is credited with spearheading a requirement that NFL teams with head coach and general manager vacancies interview at least one minority candidate, which has become known as the "Rooney Rule".

Rooney is also co-founder of the Ireland-related fundraising organization The Ireland Funds.

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We're the last people who were here during that time. It's really great to see this new generation come on, this generation of players, generation of coaches, it's really an exciting time. They've done well and they've earned it. I look at this as a separate thing; this is not one for the thumb, it's one for these guys.

It starts before the draft. We interview them, and we talk to them about it. We want players who are a good fit for our locker room. And having smart players, that's an important phase of it.

We've always felt that when you change coaches, you become like an expansion team, because you're starting over, in a sense. Football is our family business, and we tend to believe that you're better served [with stability]. We kind of think that patience isn't such a bad virtue to have.

He's like these young players, really.

I really feel that when you're changing coaches, it's almost like you're an expansion team, starting over again.

I'm just a regular guy from Pittsburgh.

I would say this probably compares to our first time, Super Bowl IX. It's very similar, these young guys we have, just like the players then. It's really their turn, their time up. The kind of people they are, it's a close team, they've done things the hard way although it probably worked out, home and away.

He's meant so much as a player, but he's also done so much as far as motivating and showing these young people just what they should do. He's been a real leader.

I could see in him a guy who would have success over the long haul. And that's what he's been. His roots have helped him. He's not one of those people who come to Pittsburgh and look around and think he's in some provincial town. He knows Pittsburgh, he understands the people, and he thinks of it as home. It's great to have him.