Former UNLV football coach Ron Meyer dies at 76

Former UNLV football coach Ron Meyer dies at 76

Former New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts coach Ron Meyer died Tuesday. The Rebels finished 11-0 that second season and were ranked No. 2 among small colleges by both AP and UPI, before losing to DE in the NCAA Division II semifinals.

Meyer's success in Las Vegas led to his hiring and a controversial six-season run at SMU, where he turned the Mustangs into a power by landing a backfield of Eric Dickerson and Craig James that came to be known as "The Pony Express".

In 1973, he got back into the college ranks with the head coaching job at UNLV.

"I am sad to hear of Ron Meyer's passing", Patriots owner Robert Kraft said, per the team's website.

Meyer then moved on to coach the New England Patriots from 1982-84 and Indianapolis Colts (1986-1991). He was a great man. Coach and his family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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Meyer also found himself in constant conflict with some members of his coaching staff, notably defensive coordinator Rod Rust. 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. In a snowy, scoreless game against the Dolphins, Meyer motioned from the sidelines with 4:45 left to go for the operator of a John Deere tractor-sweeper - a work-release prison inmate from North Attleboro named Mark Henderson - to sweep the artificial turf clean in the path of a 33-yard field-goal attempt by John Smith.

Meyer later compiled a 36-35 record with the Colts and led the team to its first division title and playoff appearance in Indy in 1987.

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 was hired when the Colts were 0-13 and after three seasons, they were 9-6 during another strike-shortened year.

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. He spent six seasons at his alma mater before spending two seasons as a scout for the Dallas Cowboys. 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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