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Former UNLV football coach Ron Meyer dies at 76

08 December 2017

Former SMU head football coach Ron Meyer died on Wednesday at the age of 76.

Meyer, who spent nine seasons as an National Football League head coach, three with the Patriots and six with the Indianapolis Colts, was known as a controversial figure of sorts - specifically known for a time he used a snowplow to give the Patriots an advantage over Don Shula and the Miami Dolphins.

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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. His order to have a stadium snowplow driver clear a spot for the game-winning field goal against the Dolphins in 1982 is legendary.

He is known for his time as SMU's head coach (1976-81) and the New England Patriots (1982-84). 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. That bubbled over into an open battle over authority after the Patriots lost a 44-24 decision to the Miami Dolphins on October 21, 1984, when Meyer chose to fire Rust. "My mom and I loved Coach Meyer".

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He went 18-15 in two seasons with the Patriots. Scarnecchia has since been with the Patriots for 32 years - all but three since he joined the staff, having spent one season with the Indianapolis Colts with Meyer and two years in a brief retirement that ended in 2016.

Rest in peace, Ron Meyer, our colorful head coach from '86-'91. Prior to arriving in the National Football League, he was the SMU Mustangs' head coach for six seasons. He was a great man. Coach and his family are in my thoughts and prayers. He had a 36-35 overall record with the Colts.

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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. "God bless Coach Meyer!" He was then hired as the second coach in UNLV history, beginning a college career in which his teams were 61-40-1. In his first season, 1973, the Rebels were 8-3, and in 1974 they were 11-0 and finished No. 2 in the Division II end of season poll.

Former UNLV football coach Ron Meyer dies at 76