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Cradle of Coaches Plaza Yager Stadium

Miami University in Oxford, Ohio is known throughout the sports world as the "Cradle of Coaches." Legendary football coaches Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, Ara Parseghian, Weeb Ewbank, Paul Brown and Sid Gillman all had roots at Miami. Over 100 Miami graduates are active in coaching or sports administration in the professional and collegiate levels. More than 30 of the men and women in the collegiate ranks are presently head coaches.

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Over the past six decades, 20 collegiate and professional coaches from the “cradle” have reached the pinnacle of their professions as National Coaches of the Year. Bob Kurz, a 1958 graduate of Miami and former Miami Sports Information Director, put the legacy in context in his book Miami of Ohio: The Cradle of Coaches. His inspiration for the story came in 1959, when Miami graduates Paul Dietzel and Ara Parseghian were coaching the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked college programs and Brown, Gillman and Ewbank were revolutionizing the professional game. Bob and Marian Kurz, provided a gift to construct the Cradle of Coaches Plaza beyond the South end zone of Fred C. Yager Stadium. The beautiful plaza provides a grand entrance to the stadium and has been adorned with life-sized statues of some of the program’s coaching legends. A $1 million gift from the family of Thomas P. Van Voorhis helped to create the nine statues for Miami University’s Cradle of Coaches Plaza at Yager Stadium.  A tenth statue, which stands just outside the gates of the plaza, honors Mr. Van Voorhis who was a coach, physical education instructor and athletic administrator for Miami from 1921-56, and taught many Cradle members in the classroom.

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