Former Patriots coach Ron Meyer passes away at 76

Ron Meyer head football coach at Southern Methodist University shouts instructions to his team as they practice for their confrontation with Brigham Young University in the Holiday Bowl Friday

Former Patriots and Colts coach Ron Meyer, who also led SMU's famed "Pony Express" teams that starred Eric Dickerson and Craig James, has died, according to multiple reports.

Meyer began his head-coaching career at UNLV in 1973 and led the Runnin' Rebels to an 11-0 record and the Division II playoffs. "God bless Coach Meyer!" "My mom and I loved Coach Meyer. He was a great man", tweeted Dickerson, who played for Meyer at SMU from 1979 to 1981. Boosters and assistant coaches were paying players, and coaches knew about it, as did high-placed administrators. The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal reported it to be a five-year deal worth $13 million. He spent six seasons at his alma mater before working two seasons as a scout for the Dallas Cowboys.

The Patriots reached the playoffs in Meyer's first year after compiling a 5-4 record in the strike-shortened 1982 season. He might be best known for the infamous Snowplow Game that season.

The kick was good, and the Patriots won, 3-0. Erhardt's first two teams finished 9-7 and 10-6, but the bottom fell out in 1981 when the team finished 2-14, losing its last nine games.

Dolphins coach Don Shula was livid.

"He showed me the spot he wanted cleared". "In retrospect, I should have laid down in front of the snowplow".

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The "snow plow" now hangs in The Hall at Patriot Place, the team's museum/hall of fame.

In 1984, Meyer was abruptly fired midseason, with the Patriots 5-3. Meyer went on to coach the Indianapolis Colts from 1986 to 1991.

"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", Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a prepared statement.

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.

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.

Rev. Bobbi Kaye Jones of Tarrytown United Methodist Church in Austin, Texas, said a memorial service is planned for Saturday.

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