Former SMU and National Football League head coach Ron Meyer passes away

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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. 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. He was initially seen as a rising star in the college ranks despite the fact that the NCAA eventually issued the "death penalty" to the SMU program for infractions committed during Meyer's six-year tenure there.

He earned AFC Coach of the Year honors after taking over a team that finished with a league worst 2-14 record and leading New England to its first playoff appearance since 1978.

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

He went on to coach the Colts from 1986 to 1991, earning AFC Coach of the Year again in 1987.

The Patriots named Meyer head coach on January 15, 1982. He was a great man. Coach and his family are in my thoughts and prayers. In a game against the Dolphins that season, Meyer famously instructed a stadium worker to drive a snowplow on to the field to clear a spot for the holder on a field goal attempt. Meyer was hired when the Colts were 0-13 and after three seasons, they were 9-6 during another strike-shortened year.

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 posted a 34-32-1 record in Dallas before putting up a 54-50 mark in the NFL.

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Meyer was born in Columbus, Ohio, on February 17, 1941.

Meyer played quarterback and defensive back in the early 1960s at Purdue, where his coaching career began.

He started at Penn High School in IN before receiving a job as an assistant at Purdue. He went on to be named the head coach at the University of Nevada - Las Vegas in 1973.

He also served a stint coaching in the short-lived XFL.

Offensive guard John Hannah, a future member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was so put off by Meyer's mannerisms and supposed lack of organization that he remained at his Alabama home at the start of a training camp.