Cradle of Coaches

Throughout the sports world, Miami has the unique reputation as the "Cradle of Coaches." Legendary football coaches such as Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, Ara Parseghian, Weeb Ewbank, Paul Brown and Sid Gillman all had roots at Miami, and the impact they left on the college football landscape can still be felt today.

At last count, more than 100 Miami graduates were active in coaching or administrative work in the professional and collegiate levels. More than 30 of the men and women in the collegiate ranks are presently head coaches. Over the past six decades, 20 collegiate and professional coaches with Miami roots have stood atop their respective professions as National Coaches of the Year.

Bob Kurz, a 1958 graduate of Miami and former Miami Sports Information Director, helped put the legacy in context with his book Miami of Ohio: The Cradle of Coaches, which lays out the program's proud coaching tradition from its humble beginnings through the 2002 season, when it was last revised. His inspiration for the biography came in 1959, when Miami graduates Paul Dietzel and Parseghian were coaching the No. 1 and No. 2 college programs in the land and Brown, Gillman and Ewbank were revolutionizing the professional game.

Prior to the 2004 season, Kurz and his wife, Marian, provided a gift to the University to construct a Cradle of Coaches Plaza beyond the South endzone of Yager Stadium. The beautifully architected plaza provides a grand entrance to the stadium and have been adorned with life-sized statues of some of the program's greatest coaching legends.

Miami has been the training ground for 21 National Coaches of the Year recipients at the professional and collegiate levels.

Earl (Red) Blaik Army 1946
Paul Brown Cleveland Browns 1951, 1969
Woody Hayes Ohio State 1957
Paul Dietzel LSU 1958
Ara Parseghian Notre Dame 1964
John Pont Indiana 1967
Jim Root * New Hampshire 1967
Weeb Ewbank New York Jets 1968
Bo Schembechler Michigan 1969
Bill Narduzzi * Youngstown State 1978
Rick Carter * Dayton 1980
John Harbaugh Baltimore Ravens, 2013
* College Division
Randy Ayers Ohio State 1991
Ron Niekamp Findlay 2009
Women's Basketball
Sue Ramsey Ashland 2012
Walter Alston L.A./Brooklyn Dodgers 1955, 1959, 1963
Tracy Smith Indiana 2013
Ice Hockey
George Gwozdecky Miami 1993
Enrico Blasi Miami 2006
Synchronized Skating
Vicki Korn Miami 1999, 2007
Indoor Track and Field
Mel Brodt Bowling Green 1972

Cradle of Coaches Association

Cradle of Coaches Nomination Form Get Acrobat Reader


The Cradle of Coaches Association was established in 1971 to acknowledge the role Miamians have played in establishing Miami University as the Cradle of Coaches. While all Miami Alumni who go on to coach or those who have coached at Miami are considered a part of the Cradle of Coaches, the Cradle of Coaches Association began inducting individuals into the Association in 1992 to further recognize their accomplishments. In 1999 and 2000, Miami's Hall of Fame Committee further developed criteria for induction into the Cradle of Coaches to be more inclusive of all sports. The list of inductees thus far:

Weeb Ewbank
Bob Kurz
Bill Narduzzi
John Pont

Paul Brown
Mel Knowlton
Ara Parseghian

Bill Arnsparger
Paul Dietzel
Jack Llewellyn

Jack Faulkner
Joe Codiano
Bill Mallory

John Brickels
Hal Paul
Dick Shrider

Jerry Hanlon
John McVay
Frank Shands

Carmen Cozza
Marvin Morehead
Ernie Plank

Dick Crum
Darrell Hedric
Lou Kaczmarek
Rich Voiers
Walter Alston
Earl Blaik
Leann Davidge
Woody Hayes
Raymond Ray
George Rider
William Rohr

Peggy Bradley-Doppes
Denny Marcin
Marvin McCollum
Nick Mourouzis
Jim Rose
Ron Zook

Rodger Cromer
Carol Clark Johnson
Clarence "Mickey" McDade
Ron Niekamp
Bo Schembechler

George Dales
George Gwozdecky
Danny Hall
Bob Kappes
Dr. Stephen R. Strome
Randall Whitehead

Terry Hoeppner
Randy Walker

Jerry Angelo
Elaine Hieber
Dave Jennings
Rob Patrick
Gary Quisno
Pam Wettig

Randy Ayers
Thad Matta
Joe Novak
Sandy Pearsall
Sue Ramsey

John Harbaugh

Steve Cady
Dona Layman
Ron Masanek
Tracy Smith
Dan Stimson