Ron Meyer, former UNLV football coach with highest win percentage, dies

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Ron Meyer, former UNLV football coach with highest win percentage, dies

Ron Meyer, the New England Patriots head coach who orchestrated the 1982 "Snow Plow Game", has died at the age of 76, according to the team.

"I am sad to hear of Ron Meyer's passing", said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft.

UNLV was Meyer's first job as a head coach; he was subsequently hired by Southern Methodist University. On Feb. 6, 1987, five years after Meyer left the school, SMU was given the "death penalty", the harshest penalty ever levied against a major college football program, for violations that occurred partly under his watch. "On behalf of the entire Patriots organization, we send our thoughts and prayers to the Meyer family and the many friends who are mourning his loss".

Irving Fryar, left, poses with New England Patriots coach Ron Meyer, right, during a press conference at Sullivan Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, on Wednesday, April 11, 1984.

In his first season, he led the Pat to a 5-4 record during a strike-shortened season and the team's first playoff appearance in four seasons. The game will be Meyers first bowl as a head coach and SMUs first bowl in 12 years. He had an 18-15 record during the regular season. 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.

Indianapolis didn't make the playoffs in the next three years and Meyer's tenure was over when the Colts started 0-5 in 1991.

One of his most infamous games was the December 12, 1982 Snow Plow Game. The Patriots had the ball at the Dolphins' 16-yard line and Meyer called for kicker John Smith to attempt a 33-yard field goal.

The Patriots won, 3-0.

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. He led the team in playing time at defensive back in his junior and senior seasons, chosen to the All-Big 10 Academic Team as a senior. He spent six seasons at his alma mater before spending two seasons as a scout for the Dallas Cowboys.

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