Measuring the six degrees of the cradle
What's Going Downey
Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 01:09
Miami University is known as the “Cradle of Coaches” for good reason. No school can match the amount of legends that have connections to Miami. The RedHawks have such a deep pool of coaches, that just about every person or team has some link to the Red and White. Much like the Kevin Bacon game, it can all come back to Miami in six steps or less.
Let’s start with one of the greatest coaches of all time: John Madden. Connecting him to Miami is actually quite simple; he coached under Al Davis with the Raiders, who coached under Sid Gillman.
Sid Gillman was a head coach at Miami from 1944-1947 and went 31-6-1 during his time as a ’Hawk. Gillman was the first in a long line of coaching greats and was the one who recruited Bo Schembechler and Ara Parseghian to come play at Miami. Gilman was a legendary coach and front office man who also has links to other coaching greats including Tony Dungy, Chuck Noll, Bill Walsh, Sam Wyche and Jon Gruden, to name a few.
Let’s pick another famous coach: Bill Parcells. Parcells is known for being one of the greatest coaches ever, as well as having a massive coaching tree. He too, is rather easy to link back to Miami. Parcells coached under Ray Perkins with the New York Giants, Perkins under Don Shula and Shula under Paul Brown. Brown played football at Miami.
Paul Brown’s statue was unveiled Saturday in the Cradle of Coaches Plaza at Yager Stadium, a well deserved honor. Brown also has links to Mike Holmgren, John Fox, Lovie Smith, Andy Reid and Marty Schotteneheimer, among others. Brown was also named The Sporting News’ 12th greatest coach of all time.
How about the man the Super Bowl trophy is named after: Vince Lombardi. Lombardi coached under Earl “Red” Blaik, who played football for the ’Hawks.
Blaik was inducted into the college football Hall of Fame in 1964. Sid Gillman also coached under him.
Let’s try the Ryan family, with dad Buddy and sons Rex and Rob. They too are quite simple with Buddy having coached for Weeb Ewbank.
Ewbank played quarterback at Miami and also coached under Paul Brown.
Let’s link a famous player: Drew Brees. This one is the easiest of all, because Brees’ coach, Sean Payton, was an offensive coordinator at Miami.
With all of the legends that have links to Miami, it is easy to find links between just about any current player and this great program.
Many coaches have either played or coached at Miami including Jim Tressel, John Harbaugh, Woody Hayes, Ron Zook and others. In fact, 12 college football coaches that have won “National Coach of the Year” have links to the Red and White.
Everything football related eventually comes back to Miami University. This little school in Oxford, Ohio, the middle of nowhere, is the epicenter of football.
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