Former Patriots head coach Meyer dead at 76

Aubrey Yates
December 8, 2017

Meyer, who died Tuesday at the age of 76, brought the Patriots' current offensive line coach, Dante Scarnecchia, with him from Southern Methodist University when he accepted the Patriots' coaching offer in 1982.

Meyer became coach of the Patriots in 1982 and was named AFC Coach of the Year for taking New England to the playoffs in the strike-shortened season.

Meyer also coached in the National Football League with the Indianapolis Colts and in the college ranks at Southern Methodist and UNLV. "Then Matt Cavanaugh, the backup quarterback who was the holder, saw me coming and started clapping his hands".

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 was a bit better with the Colts - either that or he was just around longer - leading the franchise to a 36-35 mark in six seasons before being fired after a 0-5 start in 1991.

Rest in peace, Ron Meyer, our colorful head coach from '86-'91. Smith made the field goal, and the Patriots beat the Dolphins 3-0. To this day, former Dolphins coach Don Shula remains outraged over the snowplow's intervention.

He had an overall record of 54-50 in the National Football League and was 0-2 in the postseason. In 1987, he led the Colts to their first-ever division title and a playoff appearance.

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His SMU Mustangs, led by running backs Eric Dickerson and Craig James, turned a middling program into a Southwest Conference champion that wound up getting the NCAA's "death penalty" ruling for cheating.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Ron and his family.

"Devastated to hear [of] the passing of my coach and great friend", Dickerson said on Twitter.

Meyer also found himself in constant conflict with some members of his coaching staff, notably defensive coordinator Rod Rust. "God bless Coach Meyer!" SMU won 10 games in his final year (1981) and then notched 31 wins for Meyer's replacement, Bobby Collins, over the next three seasons.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, on February 17, 1941, Meyer played quarterback and defensive back for two years at Purdue before turning to a coaching career.

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