Ron Meyer

Ron Meyer

Ron Meyer
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1941-02-17) February 17, 1941
Columbus, Ohio
Playing career
1961–1962 Purdue
Position(s) Quarterback, defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1964 Penn H.S.
1965–1970 Purdue (Asst.)
1971–1972 Dallas Cowboys (Scout)
1973–1975 UNLV
1976–1981 SMU
1982–1984 New England Patriots
1986–1991 Indianapolis Colts
1994 Las Vegas Posse
2001 Chicago Enforcers
Head coaching record
Overall 61–40–1 (college)
54–50 (NFL)
5–5 (XFL)
Bowls 0-2
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
1 SWC (1981)

As a coach
1x NCAA Division II Coach of the Year (1974)
1x SWC Coach of the Year (1981)
2x AFC Coach of the Year (1982, 1986)
UPI NFL Coach of the Year 1987

As a player
1962 Academic All-Big Ten
1962 Noble E. Kizer Award
1963 Big Ten Medal of Honor

Ron Meyer (born February 17, 1941) is a former college and professional football coach. He is best known for being the head coach of Southern Methodist University, the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts.


  • Biography 1
  • Head coaching record 2
    • College 2.1
    • NFL 2.2
  • References 3


Meyer's head coaching career began at UNLV, where he coached from 1973 through 1975. In 1974, he had an undefeated season at UNLV at 11–0; leading the Rebels to the NCAA Division II playoffs. In 1976, Meyer was the head coach of Southern Methodist University where he coached until 1981. This tenure included winning the Southwest Conference championship in 1981 with running backs Eric Dickerson and Craig James. While at SMU, Meyer was the losing coach in the famous "Miracle Bowl" in the 1980 Holiday Bowl, where SMU held a 45–25 lead against BYU with less than four minutes to play in the fourth quarter, only to lose 46–45 thanks to three touchdown passes from Jim McMahon.

Meyer moved to the pros in 1982, where he would coach the New England Patriots for 3 seasons. He was named the AFC Coach of the Year in his first season where he led the New England Patriots to the playoffs in the strike-shortened 1982 NFL season after the team had finished with the league's worst record the prior season. He is perhaps best remembered by New England fans for coaching during the infamous Snowplow Game against the Miami Dolphins on December 12, 1982. Under heavy snow at Foxboro Stadium with 4:45 remaining in the game, the Patriots lined up for a go-ahead field goal. Meyer called for a stadium worker named Mark Henderson (who was on a prison work release) to drive his snowplow on the field in order to clear an area for holder Matt Cavanaugh to spot the ball and to give kicker John Smith better footing. The Patriots went on to win the game, 3–0, on their way to their first playoff appearance since the 1979 season.

In 1984, Meyer was fired in midseason despite having a 5–3 record and was replaced by Raymond Berry. The move was prompted by team-wide alienation of players on Meyer's part, to where Patriots GM Patrick Sullivan was forced to hold player-only meetings. Meyer responded by firing assistant coach Rod Rust, though he did not have authority to do so. He was fired soon after.[1] Rust was rehired by Berry, and the Patriots reached Super Bowl XX in 1985 and won the AFC East Division Title in 1986. Rust became head coach upon Berry's resignation after the 1989 season, but was fired after a disastrous 1–15 campaign in 1990.

Meyer spent over a year out of coaching after being dismissed by the Patriots. Late in the 1986 season, he was hired to coach the Indianapolis Colts, who were 0–13 at the time. Meyer promptly lead the Colts to 3 straight victories to finish 3–13. A year later, he won the AFC East Division title with the Colts where he once again won the AFC Coach of the Year. Meyer was helped in large part by being reunited with his former college standout, Eric Dickerson, who was acquired by the Colts in a three-team, 10-player trade involving the Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills.

The Colts did not return to the playoffs under Meyer, slipping by one game in each of the next three seasons, from 9-7 in 1988, to 8–8 in 1991, when the Colts started off 0–5, he was let go.

The year after his dismissal from Indianapolis, Meyer became an analyst for CNN's Pro Football show. He would remain in that role for 2 seasons.

In 1994, Meyer returned to coaching again. This time Meyer became the head coach of the Canadian Football League's Las Vegas Posse franchise. The Posse finished the season 5–13. In addition to the poor record, the team suffered from poor attendance and eventually folded. Meyer would return to his role at CNN the following season.

In 2001, Meyer would return to coaching yet again, this time as part of the XFL's Chicago Enforcers franchise. The team would finish 5–5 and would lose to the eventual champion, the Los Angeles Xtreme. After the season, the XFL folded.

He is currently an NFL analyst for the show The Score on the NFL on the Canadian sports channel The Score.

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
UNLV Rebels (NCAA Division II independent) (1973–1975)
1973 UNLV 8–3
1974 UNLV 12–1 L Grantland Rice
1975 UNLV 7–4
UNLV: 27–8
SMU Mustangs (Southwest Conference) (1976–1981)
1976 SMU 3–8 2–6 T–7th
1977 SMU 4–7 3–5 T–6th
1978 SMU 4–6–1 3–5 T–6th
1979 SMU 5–6 3–5 6th
1980 SMU 8–4 5–3 T–2nd L Holiday 20 20
1981 SMU 10–1 7–1 1st 5
SMU: 34–32–1 23-25
Total: 61–40–1
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
NE 1982 5 4 0 .556 7th in AFC 0 1 .000 Lost to Miami Dolphins in AFC Wild-Card Game
NE 1983 8 8 0 .500 2nd in AFC East - - - -
NE 1984 5 4 0 .625 2nd in AFC East - - - Fired midseason
NE total 18 15 0 .545 0 1 .000
IND 1986 3 0 0 1.000 5th in AFC East - - - -
IND 1987 9 6 0 .600 1st in AFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to Cleveland Browns in AFC Divisional Game
IND 1988 9 7 0 .563 2nd in AFC East - - - -
IND 1989 8 8 0 .500 2nd in AFC East - - - -
IND 1990 7 9 0 .438 3rd in AFC East - - - -
IND 1991 0 5 0 .000 5th in AFC East - - - Fired midseason
IND total 36 35 0 .507 0 1 .000
Total 54 50 0 .519 0 2 .000


  1. ^ see Tales From The Patriots Sidelines (Illinois: Sports Publishing LLP), by Michael Felger