Ron Meyer: Former New England Patriots coach dies at 76

By Alex Butler  |  Dec. 6, 2017 at 3:23 PM
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Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Former New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts coach Ron Meyer died Tuesday. He was 76 years old.

The Patriots named Meyer head coach on Jan. 15, 1982. He coached the Patriots for two and a half seasons after serving as head coach for six years at Southern Methodist University.

"I am sad to hear of Ron Meyer's passing," Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement.

"He was a colorful head coach who was very entertaining for fans during his tenure. 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. Thirty-five years later, that hire has proven to be a lasting legacy. On behalf of the entire Patriots organization, we send our thoughts and prayers to the Meyer family and the many friends who are mourning his loss."

Meyer arrived in New England on the heels of a 2-14 record. He led the team to a 5-4 finish and took the team to their first playoff appearance since 1978. He was the AFC Coach of the Year for the 1982 campaign. He had an 18-15 record during the regular season.

He went on to coach the Colts from 1986 to 1991, earning AFC Coach of the Year again in 1987. Meyer turned a 3-13 Colts team int a 9-6 team, earning an AFC East title.

One of his most infamous games was the Dec. 12, 1982 Snow Plow Game. Meyer called a time out during the contest, having a stadium worker clear snow off of the field so that John Smith could make a go-ahead field goal. The Patriots beat the Miami Dolphins 3-0 after the fourth-quarter sequence.

Meyer walked on to the Purdue football team as a defensive back, later earning a scholarship. He went on to be selected to the All-Big 10 Academic Team and win the Nobel Kaiser Award.

Meyer also spent six season as an assistant with Purdue before joining the Dallas Cowboys as a personnel scout. He went on to be named the head coach at the University of Nevada - Las Vegas in 1973.

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