Meet the legends in Miami University’s football ‘Cradle of Coaches’

Miami University’s acclaimed “Cradle Of Coaches” memorial next to Yager Stadium is where statues of Miami’s championship winning former players and coaches stand as a proud reminder of the school’s historic role in professional and collegiate football.

Miami is the only school to count three Super Bowl-winning head coaches among its alumni.

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Among the coaches to play or coach at Miami and are now enshrined there include:

Earl (Red) Blaik

Credit: Samantha Grier

Credit: Samantha Grier

Earl “Red” Blaik was the head football coach at Dartmouth College from 1934 to 1940 and at the United States Military Academy from 1941 to 1958. Blaik compiled a record of 166–48–14 over the course of his college coaching career. His Army football teams won three consecutive national championships in 1944, 1945 and 1946.

He played at Miami from 1915-17.

Paul Brown

Credit: Dayton Daily News Archive

Credit: Dayton Daily News Archive

Paul Brown was both the co-founder and first coach of the Cleveland Browns, a team named after him. In 1968, Brown co-founded and was the first coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. During his playing days, Brown was a starting quarterback at Miami University.

Woody Hayes

Woody Hayes served as the head coach at Denison University from 1946 to 1948, Miami University from 1949 to 1950, and Ohio State from 1951 to 1978, compiling a career college football record of 238-72-10. Hayes led the 1950 Miami Redskins team to an appearance in the Salad Bowl, where they defeated Arizona State.

Paul Dietzel

Credit: Samantha Grier

Credit: Samantha Grier

Paul Dietzel served as the head coach at LSU from 1955 to 1961, the United States Military Academy from 1962 to 1965, and the University of South Carolina from 1966 to 1974, compiling a career record of 109–95–5. Dietzel played center at Miami and was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 1948 NFL Draft.

Ara Parseghian

Ara Parseghian guided the University of Notre Dame to national championships in 1966 and 1973. He was a running back at Miami during his playing days. After his professional playing career with the Cleveland Browns, Parseghian became an assistant coach and then head coach at Miami University from 1951 to 1956.

John Pont

Credit: Miami University

Credit: Miami University

John Pont played halfback during at Miami University. He later went on to become a head coach with Miami University, Yale, Northwestern and Indiana. Pont was the only Indiana University coach to take a team to the Rose Bowl.

Jim Root

Jim Root served as the head football coach at the University of New Hampshire from 1968 to 1971 and at the College of William & Mary from 1972 to 1979, compiling a career college football record of 57–62–2. Root was a quarterback for Miami. He later played professionally with the Chicago Cardinals in the NFL and the Ottawa Rough Riders of the CFL.

Weeb Ewbank



Weeb Ewbank led the Baltimore Colts to consecutive NFL championships in 1958 and 1959 and the New York Jets to victory in Super Bowl III in 1969. He is the only coach to win a championship in both the NFL and the AFL. Ewbank was a multi-sport star at Miami University, playing baseball, basketball and football. Ewbank was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978.

Bo Schembechler

Bo Schembechler served as the head football coach at Miami University from 1963 to 1968 and at the University of Michigan from 1969 to 1989, compiling a career record of 234–65–8. Schembechler played as a tackle at Miami, where he was coached by Woody Hayes, for whom he would later serve as an assistant coach at Ohio State University. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1993.

Bill Narduzzi

Bill Narduzzi was the head football coach at Youngstown State University from 1975 to 1985, compiling a record of 68–51–1. Narduzzi played several positions at Miami University, including tight end, guard and tackle.

Rick Carter

Rick Carter served as the head football coach Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana from 1966 to1971, Hanover College from 1972 to 1976, the University of Dayton from 1977 to 1980, and the College of the Holy Cross from 1981 to 1985, compiling a career college football coaching record of 137–58–7. His 1980 Dayton team won the NCAA Division III Football Championship, ending up with a record of 14–0 that season. Carter received a master’s degree from Miami University.

John Harbaugh

Credit: Greg Lynch

Credit: Greg Lynch

John Harbaugh is the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, who won the Super Bowl in 2013. Harbaugh played defensive back at Miami University, graduating in 1984.

Next up? ... A Super Bowl win on his second try is going to land Miami University alum — and Los Angeles Rams head football Coach Sean McVay — a place in the school’s famed “cradle.”

McVay was the youngest coach — hired at 30 — in NFL history and the youngest to coach in a Super Bowl.

Miami officials recently announced that work has begun on McVay’s statue and it will soon stand alongside the statues of NFL and collegiate football coaching greats already featured under the giant “Cradle Of Coaches” banner at Yager Stadium.

A wide receiver for the RedHawks from 2004-2007, McVay caught 39 passes for 312 yards during his four-year career.

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