Ron Meyer, former NFL and SMU coach, dies at 76 -

Ron Meyer, former NFL and SMU coach, dies at 76

Credit: japantimes.co.jp

  • Dec 07 2017 13:40About: 8 days ago
  • 9 views

Ron Meyer, the football coach behind SMU’s powerhouse “Pony Express” teams and whose call for a snowplow to clear a spot so the New England Patriots could kick the game-winning field goal against Miami in one of the NFL’s most memorable moments, has died at the age of 76.

Meyer died Tuesday in Austin, said Rev. Bobbi Kaye Jones of Tarrytown United Methodist Church. Details on Meyer’s death, which was first announced by Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and former SMU and NFL star Eric Dickerson on social media, were not immediately available.

“Devastated to hear the passing of my coach and great friend Ron Meyer. My mom and I loved Coach Meyer. He was a great man,” tweeted Dickerson, who played for Meyer at SMU from 1979-1981.

That was SMU’s heyday, when the Mustangs, led by running backs Dickerson and Craig James, turned a middling program into a Southwest Conference champion before it skidded toward the NCAA’s “death penalty” ruling for jaw-dropping rules violations.

Meyer won 27 games in three seasons at UNLV before taking the job at SMU in 1976. After early struggles, the program — which had already been sanctioned by the NCAA for infractions before Meyer arrived — took off as wealthy boosters, fueled by the region’s economic boom of the late 1970s and early 1980s, got caught up in a payment scheme designed to bring in top players. The cheating survived long after Meyer left for the NFL and eventually led the NCAA to first put the program on probation in 1985 then shut it down in 1987.

Meyer left SMU before the harshest sanctions hit, taking over the Patriot in 1982. He would spend parts of nine seasons in the NFL and his first one produced perhaps his most memorable moment.

Meyer led the Patriots to a 5-4 record and the playoffs in the strike-shortened 1982 season with a key victory over the Dolphins in a December snowstorm in New England. Before the game, the Patriots offered $10 and a free ticket to anyone who would help shovel snow out of the seats. The conditions didn’t let up, making it difficult for field crews just to clear the yard markers.

The game was 0-0 and both teams had already missed field goals when Meyer called time out late in the fourth quarter and sent a stadium worker named Mark Henderson out to clear the Miami 23-yard line for John Smith’s 33-yard attempt.

“(Meyer) said, ‘Get out there and do something.’ I knew exactly what he meant, so I jumped on the tractor,” Henderson told The Boston Globe in 2010.

With clear turf, Smith easily made the kick as Dolphins coach Don Shula furiously looked on from the opposite sideline. The final score was 3-0.

“I wanted to go out there and punch him out,” Shula said years later. “In retrospect, I should have laid down in front of the snowplow.”

The snowplow wasn’t really a snowplow. The green John Deere tractor with a brush rigged onto the front is still on display in the Patriots’ hall of fame.

Meyer spent two-and-a-half seasons with the Patriots, then coached the Colts from 1986 to 1991 and led the team to a division title in 1987. Meyer’s career coaching record in college was 61-40-1. He was 54-50 in the NFL.

“I am sad to hear of Ron Meyer’s passing,” said Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “He was a colorful head coach who was very entertaining for fans during his tenure.”

Meyer was born in Westerville, Ohio, on Feb. 17, 1941, and he was a walk-on football player at Purdue. Jones said memorial service is planned for Saturday at Tarrytown United. Details on survivors were incomplete.



Follow Us on Twitter

Meyer football coach behind SMU’s powerhouse “Pony Express” teams whose call snowplow clear spot England

Related stories with Ron Meyer, former NFL and SMU coach, dies at 76

Fergie Recalls Crystal Meth Addiction:
Fergie Recalls Crystal Meth Addiction: "I Was Hallucinating on a Daily Basis" 8 days ago
I'd just be sitting there, seeing a random bee or bunny, the singer says
Louvre Abu Dhabi to display Leonardo's 'Salvator Mundi' -World News
Louvre Abu Dhabi to display Leonardo's 'Salvator Mundi' 8 days ago
The new branch of the Louvre in Abu Dhabi will exhibit Leonardo da Vinci's portrait of Christ, 'Salvator Mundi', which at US$450.3 million became the most expensive painting ever sold at a New York auction last month.
Huge fire at Ont. meat plant blankets area in smoke -World News
Huge fire at Ont. meat plant blankets area in smoke 8 days ago
A massive blaze gutted a meat processing plant in Burlington, Ont., sending up an enormous cloud of smoke that blanketed the area and triggered several road closures.
Harvey Weinstein lied about sleeping with Gwyneth Paltrow to attract other women, report says -World News
Harvey Weinstein lied about sleeping with Gwyneth Paltrow to attract other women, report says 8 days ago
Harvey Weinstein told women he slept with Gwyneth Paltrow to coerce them into having sex with him, according to a report in the New York Times.
Matt Lauer still living with wife in Hamptons as source reveals disgraced host just wants to 'play golf' -World News
Matt Lauer still living with wife in Hamptons as source reveals disgraced host just wants to 'play golf' 8 days ago
The former "Today" co-anchor has no intention of trying to stage a professional comeback, a source says.
The latest rumour on Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli’s possible wedding -World News
The latest rumour on Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli’s possible wedding 8 days ago
Whether they’re posing in coordinated power suits or busting dance moves at weddings, Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma are one of those celebrity couples that fans just can’t seem to get enough of. So it was only a matter of time before whispers of the
A look back at 2017: The year in fashion -World News
A look back at 2017: The year in fashion 8 days ago
Time, they say, flies fast. Was 2017 the year of unprecedented changes, of inclusivity, collaborations and celebrating milestones? Here’s a look at the most standout fashion moments from 2017. Image: Getty Zara opened its largest flagship store in
Gucci’s collaboration with this artist is as interesting as it covetable -World News
Gucci’s collaboration with this artist is as interesting as it covetable 8 days ago
If you follow the Gucci-verse and are a fan of Gucci-fication, you’re aware that Alessandro Michele loves joining forces with artists. Be it Jayde Fish, Coco Capitán, Gucci Ghost or honouring Dapper Dan in a campaign, Michele’s narrative at G
5 things you can’t miss at This Crazy Food Festival, this weekend in Mumbai -World News
5 things you can’t miss at This Crazy Food Festival, this weekend in Mumbai 8 days ago
Whether you’re a biryani lover or an idli fan, or you prefer a cutting chai over a creamy doughnut, all your cravings can be satisfied here. Mumbai is all geared up to welcome This Crazy Food Festival, a two-day celebration of food, drink and entertainm
What should Beijing do to cope with Donald Trump’s tax cut? Chinese experts give their views -World News
What should Beijing do to cope with Donald Trump’s tax cut? Chinese experts give their views 8 days ago
Beijing has been urged to respond to Donald Trump’s plans to cut taxes by improving the domestic business environment, open its markets wider and initiate fiscal reforms. The US tax cut bill that was passed by the Senate this week would be the bigge
Re: OIC to meet over Jerusalem updates -World News
Re: OIC to meet over Jerusalem updates 8 days ago
The members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will convene tomorrow to discuss the situation in the occupied Jerusalem, the Voice of Palestine reported, quoting the OIC's envoy for th...
Re: Fatah calls for new intifada in support of Jerusalem -World News
Re: Fatah calls for new intifada in support of Jerusalem 8 days ago
Fatah yesterday called on Palestinians to support Jerusalem as news has circulated that the US is to announce it the capital of Israel and would move its embassy there, Quds Net reported. The movem...