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

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Ron Meyer, the football coach behind SMU's famed "Pony Express" and the NFL's infamous "Snowplow Game" between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins, has died at the age of 76.

Meyer's biggest win arguably came on December 12, 1982 against the Miami Dolphins.

"[Meyer] said, 'Get out there and do something.' I knew exactly what he meant, so I jumped on the tractor", Henderson told the Boston Globe in 2010. He said, 'All right!

"I wanted to go out there and punch him out", Shula said years later. "I just swerved over to the 23-yard line with my tractor, switched on the PTO [power take-off, which starts the brush spinning], and scraped the snow off the AstroTurf". But first, he called on Mark Henderson, who was operating the John Deere tractor as part of a work-release program at a local prison, to sweep a clean spot for Smith to make the kick and send the Patriots to victory.


With clear turf, Smith easily made the kick as Dolphins Coach Don Shula furiously looked on from the opposite sideline.

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

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. Indianapolis went 9-6 the next season, winning the AFC East, and Meyer was again named AFC Coach of the Year.

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.


Dickerson took to Twitter to mourn Meyer's passing, writing, "Devastated to hear the passing of my coach and great friend Ron Meyer".

Meyer's last coaching gig was with the XFL's Chicago Enforcers with the team finishing 5-5 and would lose to the eventual champion, the Los Angeles Xtreme, in the league semifinals.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Ron and his family. Meyer's career coaching record in college was 61-40-1.

Before leading the Mustangs, he was at UNLV, and turned around that program quickly as well - in 1972, the year before his arrival, UNLV won one game. 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.


Born in Columbus, Ohio, Meyer walked onto the football team at Purdue, eventually earning a scholarship.

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