Retired New England Patriots coach Ron Meyer, who led the team from 1982-1984, has passed away. The team put out an official statement on their website, which reads in part:
“The New England Patriots are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former head coach Ron Meyer. He was 76 years old. Meyer took over a Patriots team that finished with a league worst 2-14 record and led the team to a 5-4 record and the team’s first playoff appearance since 1978 in the strike-shortened 1982 season. He earned AFC Coach of the Year honors for his efforts. In two-and-a-half seasons, Meyer finished with an 18-15 regular season record (.545 winning pct.).”
Meyer had previously coached in the college ranks, at Southern Methodist University, for six years. After leaving the Patriots, he became the coach of the Indianapolis Colts until 1991. He also spent time working with the Dallas Cowboys.
Patriots boss Robert Kraft put out his own personal statement when he heard the news.
“I am sad to hear of Ron Meyer’s passing,” Kraft said. “He was a colorful head coach who was very entertaining for fans during his tenure. One of the greatest things Ron did when he was hired in 1982 was to bring us a young coach from his staff at Southern Methodist University named Dante Scarnecchia. Thirty-five years later, that hire has proven to be a lasting legacy. 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.”
Scarnecchia, now 69, is still coaching with the Patriots as their offensive line coach. Meyer had a lasting impact on the organization even decades after his own career had moved on.