George Perles

George Perles

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George Perles

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George J. Perles (born July 16, 1934) is a former American football player and coach. He was a defensive line coach, defensive coordinator, and assistant head coach for the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers from 1972–1981 and the head coach at Michigan State University from 1983–1994. Perles was elected to the MSU Board of Trustees in 2006.

Early years

Perles was born in Detroit, Michigan on July 16, 1934. The only child of Julius and Nellie Perles, George grew up in Detroit and attended Western High School. Upon graduating, Perles and 17 of his high school friends jointly enlisted in the U.S. Army.

Michigan State

After returning from active duty, Perles returned to Michigan where he enrolled at Michigan State University and played football under legendary coach Duffy Daugherty. Perles played the 1958 season before his playing career was cut short by a knee injury. Perles then started his football coaching career as a graduate assistant at Michigan State before moving on to the high school ranks in Chicago and Detroit, where his St. Ambrose High School team won their first Detroit City League Championship in 1961. Perles returned to Michigan State as defensive line coach under his mentor, Daugherty.

Pittsburgh Steelers

In 1972, Chuck Noll, head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, reviewed dozens of resumes and interviewed numerous candidates before deciding to offer Perles the position of defensive line coach. In Perles’ first season, the Steelers made...
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