Van Note found plenty of success on both sides off the ball starting at the University of Kentucky, where he competed as a running back and defensive end. He was drafted as a linebacker in the 11th round of the 1969 draft by the Atlanta Falcons and quickly moved to center under the direction of head coach Norm Van Brocklin. Van Note earned the starting job in 1970, where he snapped the ball to 14 different quarterbacks during his 18-year stretch with the team.
During Van Note's stellar career, he missed a meager four games. He holds Falcons team marks for most seasons played (18) and most consecutive games played (155). He is second in the team record books with 246 games played and 225 games started. He earned the first Pro Bowl berths in 1974 and is tied with Claude Humphrey for most Pro Bowl appearances by a Falcons player with six. He received All NFC honors (1980) and All-Pro honors in 1982. Van Note retired at the age of 40 in 1986. Prior to his final game, the club honored his number and presented him with a 1957 Chevy in front of fans at the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Van Note was later inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.