Cradle of Coaches
The Cradle of Coaches is a nickname given to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio for producing star football coaches including Earl Blaik, Paul Brown, Woody Hayes, Bill Arnsparger, George Little, Weeb Ewbank, Sid Gillman, Ara Parseghian, Bo Schembechler, John Pont, Carmen Cozza, Bill Mallory, Jim Tressel, Joe Novak, Ron Zook, Dick Crum, Paul Dietzel, Bill Narduzzi, Randy Walker, John Harbaugh, Gary Moeller, Larry Smith, Dick Tomey, Sean Payton and Terry Hoeppner.
Miami has also produced notable basketball coaches Darrell Hedric, Randy Ayers, Herb Sendek, Thad Matta and Sean Miller. Hedric, currently a scout for the Toronto Raptors, is an Ohio and Cincinnati Basketball Hall of Famer and holds the record for Miami victories. Ayers was a four-year starter for Miami, leading the team to back-to-back NCAA appearances in 1977 and 1978, and later served as a head coach for Ohio State and assistant coach in the National Basketball Association. Sendek began his head coaching career at Miami and led the RedHawks to the postseason in each of his three seasons. Matta, currently the head coach at Ohio State, was an assistant under Sendek for one memorable year that included a regular season MAC championship and NCAA tournament appearance, and also for one year under current head coach Charlie Coles.
Baseball Hall of Fame manager Walter Alston is also a graduate of Miami. Legendary University of Tennessee basketball coach Ray Mears is a graduate of Miami. Additionally, hockey coach George Gwozdecky served as head coach at Miami prior to leaving for Denver, where he won two national championships.
Official members of "The Cradle"
|Induction year||Name||Sport (current coaching position)||Miami class of|
|1992||Weeb Ewbank *||Football||1928|
|1992||Bob Kurz †||Football||1958|
|1998||Carmen Cozza||Football, baseball||1952|
|2001||George Rider||Football, baseball, basketball, track, cross country|
|2002||Peggy Bradley-Doppes||Volleyball (UNC Wilmington Director of Athletics)|
|2002||Denny Marcin||Football (New York Jets)||1964|
|2002||Nick Mourouzis||Football (DePauw)||1959|
|2004||Carol Clark Johnson|
|2004||Ron Niekamp||Basketball (Findlay)||1972|
|2006||George Gwozdecky||Ice Hockey (University of Denver)|
|2006||Danny Hall||Baseball (Georgia Tech)|
* Weeb Ewbank played football, basketball and baseball at Miami, and coached the basketball team before becoming an established football coach.
† Bob Kurz wrote "Miami of Ohio - the Cradle of Coaches" book
Miami has announced Super Bowl winning coach of the Baltimore Ravens John Harbaugh will be inducted in 2014.
Recently the nickname has been applied to the entire state by reporters with no understanding of its history and tradition. Native-born Ohio or Ohio-linked coaches dominate the top football programs in the Southeastern Conference, including national championship coaches Les Miles at LSU; Cincinnati alum Urban Meyer, formerly at Florida and currently at Ohio State; and Kent State alum Nick Saban at Alabama. National championship coach Bob Stoops from Oklahoma is a native, former USC head coach Pete Carroll was an Ohio State assistant, and Youngstown State alum Mark Mangino would be named the 2007 National Coach of the Year as the head coach of Kansas before returning to YSU as an assistant in 2013. Bo Pelini of Nebraska and Gary Pinkel of Missouri are also native Ohioans, and in 2008 the state had produced natives totalling 15% of the college head football coach ranks while only having 4% of the population, while 15 of the last 20 teams to play for the college football national championship had head coaches with Ohio connections.