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Former Patriots coach Ron Meyer passes away at 76

07 December, 2017, 07:17 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • THOSE WERE THE DAYS Ron Meyer watches from the sideline with assistant coach Dante Scarnecchia and quarterback Steve Grogan during a game in 1982

Ron Meyer, the football coach behind SMU's famed "Pony Express" and the NFL's infamous "Snowplow Game" between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins, has died at the age of 76.

"I knew exactly what he meant, so I jumped on the tractor and proceeded to go out on the 20-yard line, where I was supposed to be", Henderson said.

Prior to coaching the Patriots, Meyer was the head coach at SMU for six seasons.

"I wanted to go out there and punch him out", Shula said years later.

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. One of the greatest things Ron did when he was hired in 1982 was to bring us a young coach from his staff at Southern Methodist University named Dante Scarnecchia.

Meyer led the Patriots for two and a half seasons, starting in January of 1982 and posting an overall record of 18-15 during his time in Foxborough. His order to have a stadium snowplow driver clear a spot for the game-winning field goal against the Dolphins in 1982 is legendary.

With clear turf, Smith easily made the kick as Dolphins Coach Don Shula furiously looked on from the opposite sideline. The green John Deere tractor with a brush rigged onto the front is still on display in the Patriots' hall of fame.

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He led the Mustangs to the 1981 Southwest Conference championship behind the duo of Dickerson and James, before landing in the National Football League as a head coach with the Patriots (1982-84) and later the Colts (1986-91). "God bless Coach Meyer!"

He took over the 0-13 Indianapolis Colts late in 1986, and the Colts went on to win their final three games.

He was sacked after a 5-3 start in 1984 and accepted the coaching position in Indianapolis late in 1986 after the Colts started 0-13. Meyer posted a 34-32-1 record in Dallas before putting up a 54-50 mark in the NFL.

Rest in peace, Ron Meyer, our colorful head coach from '86-'91.

Meyer was born in Westerville, Ohio, on February 17, 1941, and he was a walk-on football player at Purdue.

Meyer died Tuesday in Austin, Texas, and the pastor at a local church, the Rev. Bobbi Kay Jones, says a memorial service is planned for Saturday. Details on survivors were incomplete.

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