Miami of Ohio 1973-1974: They Were the Real Deal

Miami of Ohio has always been known as the school that has produced so many top coaches. It’s nickname is the Cradle of Coaches.

A lot of big time coaches got their start at Miami of Ohio. Paul Brown, Woody Hayes, Bill Arnsparger, Weeb Ewbank, Sid Gillman, Ara Parseghian, Bo Schembechler, John Pont, Bill Mallory, Jim Tressel, Ron Zook, Dick Crum, Paul Dietzel, John Harbaugh, Gary Moeller, Dick Tomey and Sean Payton. That’s actually an abbreviated list.

The coaches involved with this post are Bill Mallory and Dick Crum.

Coaches, in general, use MAC schools (Mid American Conference) to become noticed and get a job at a bigger school, or even the NFL.

Bill Mallory left Miami for Colorado and Dick Crum left for the head job at North Carolina. Neither was really able to recreate the success that they enjoyed at Miami of Ohio.

Bill Mallory was coaching Miami of Ohio in 1973 when they ran the table with an impressive 11-0 record.

In case one thinks they played nothing but patsies from the MAC, think again. In game two, they beat Purdue of the Big 10. Then, in game three, they beat South Carolina coached by Paul Dietzel.

A former assistant with Miami, Dietzel got his first head job with LSU and he won the national championship there in 1958.

It doesn’t appear impressive, but they also beat 19th rated Kent State. The Kent State Golden Flashes were coached by legendary Don James who coached Washington to a national title in 1991. Kent State finished 9-2 in 1973 and their leading tackler was Jack Lambert of Pittsburgh Steeler fame. They also had former Missouri coach Gary Pinkel at Tight End and he was their leading receiver.

The undefeated season earned the Redskins, now the Red Hawks, a bid in the Tangerine Bowl against the Florida Gators of the SEC. Surely, the Gators would put them in their place.

But, the Gators didn’t with Miami beating Florida 16-7.

The Colorado Buffaloes had a phenomenal season in 1971, finishing the season ranked third behind only conference foes Nebraska and Oklahoma. The Big 8 Conference dominated that season finishing 1, 2 and 3 in the final Polls. Read more about that here: 1971 Big 8

Eddie Crowder was the Buffaloes’ coach since 1963 and he led that program to one of their top finishes ever that season.

Crowder coached 2 more seasons after 1971 and then he became the Athletic Director after the 1973 football year.

One of the first things that the new AD did was replace himself as the football coach. Eddie Crowder  was obviously impressed with the job that Bill Mallory had done with his football team at Miami. Crowder hired Mallory as the new head football coach at Colorado.

The Miami of Ohio team was not without stars. Quarterback Sherman Smith played 8 seasons in the NFL or the Seattle Seahawks. Running Back Rob Carpenter played 10 seasons in the NFL and his son, Bobby, was a Linebacker on that great Ohio State team of 2005. Bobby Carpenter was a 1st

round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.

Running Back Randy Walker became a coach and later the head coach at Miami of Ohio and then Northwestern.

Miami lost their head coach, but they returned a lot of players for the 1974 season.

They hired Dick Crum as their new head coach.

Opening the season with a big win over Eastern Michigan, their 13 game win streak came to an end against Purdue. But, their was no Overtime in those years and the Red Hawks tied the Purdue Boilermakers, 7-7.

They still hadn’t lost a game in 2 seasons.

They rebounded by trouncing Marshall and they then beat Kentucky of the SEC.

They finished their season without a loss and they were invited to the Tangerine Bowl again. This time, they faced another SEC team, the Georgia Bulldogs.

This was not one of the better Georgia football teams, but Miami was still good enough to beat them,


The 1973 and 1974 seasons for the Miami Red Hawks were a glorious time. They posted a 21-0-1 in that time period and beat some pretty fair teams. Granted, they didn’t play Notre Dame, or Ohio State, or Alabama during this time period. But, they did beat everyone that they faced which is all they could do.

The following season, in 1975, the Red Hawks finally lost a game and that was to Michigan State of the Big 10. Plus, it was by just one point.

The Red Hawks finished the 1975 season with an 11-1 record and another win in the Tangerine Bowl.

It all came crashing down in 1976 and Miami of Ohio finnished 3-8. But Dick Crum and his Red Hawks bounced back in 1977 and they finished 10-1.

Miami head coach, Dick Crum, was off to North Carolina and he was replaced by Tom Reed.

The glory days were over for a while.

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