Sports

Former Patriots, Colts Coach Ron Meyer Dies at Age 76

Former Patriots, Colts Coach Ron Meyer Dies at Age 76

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. He earned the Southwest Conference Coach of the Years honors that season before he left SMU to coach the New England Patriots, the start of a 10-year National Football League career that included a six-year stint with the Indianapolis Colts.

He was the New England Patriots coach from 1982 to 1984. Shula railed against Meyer's lack of sportsmanship and later, when after finishing his career with 347 victories, would always claim he "really" won 348, discounting the game which came to be known as the Snowplow Game. He was sacked midseason in 1991 after an 0-5 start to the year. That led to then-Patriots general manager firing Meyer, hiring another coach and reinstating Rust, a story that ultimately ended with the controversial coach coaching in Indianapolis.

Plow driver Mark Henderson went down in sports infamy after clearing the snow for Patriots kicker John Smith before a field-goal attempt against the Dolphins.

Meyer led the Colts to their first division title and playoff appearance in Indy in 1987.

Irving Fryar left poses with New England Patriots coach Ron Meyer right during a press conference at Sullivan Stadium in Foxboro Massachusetts on Wednesday
Former Patriots, Colts Coach Ron Meyer Dies at Age 76

Ron Meyer, whose UNLV football teams compiled a 27-8 record in his three seasons as coach during the 1970s, died Tuesday. Meyer's 1981 SMU team went 10-1 that season, and finished No. 5 in the nation before Meyer jumped to the pros.

Henderson recounted how backup quarterback Matt Cavanaugh, who was the holder on the field goal, showed him exactly where to plow.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Ron and his family. He had a 36-35 overall record with the Colts.

Enter Meyer, an OH native and Purdue grad that appropriated Texas-sounding terms such as "slobberknockers" and "blowing snot bubbles" as expressions of the kind of intensity he wanted to see from his players. "God bless Coach Meyer!" He spent three seasons there, earning the Division II Coach of the Year award in 1974, before accepting the SMU job. Later in his life, Meyer coached short-lived franchises of the CFL in Las Vegas and the XFL in Chicago, and became a TV analyst.

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