John Harbaugh (Courtesy: Baltimore Ravens)
written by Miami University athletics
Super Bowl champion coach John Harbaugh, a 1984 graduate of Miami University, was inducted into the Cradle of Coaches Association and immortalized with a statue at Yager Stadium's Cradle of Coaches Plaza this past weekend (April 19). Harbaugh's bronze, full-body image depicts him on the sidelines as coach of the 2013 Super Bowl XLVII champion Baltimore Ravens.
Read more about weekend events online at www.MURedHawks.com.
The statue of Harbaugh joins the existing Cradle of Coaches statues of Earl "Red" Blaik, Paul Brown, Carm Cozza, Paul Dietzel, Wilbur "Weeb" Ewbank, Ara Parseghian, John Pont and Glenn "Bo" Schembechler. The statues honor Miami graduates who have earned recognition as national collegiate or professional coaches of the year, who have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame or the Pro Football Hall of Fame, or whose teams won national collegiate or professional/Super Bowl championships.
Harbaugh's image also will be added to the Cradle of Coaches mural that is on front of the scoreboard on the south end of Yager Stadium.
Following the 34-31 triumph by his Baltimore Ravens over the San Francisco 49ers on Feb. 3, 2013, Harbaugh joined Ewbank ('28) as members of Miami's famed Cradle of Coaches who have taken their teams to NFL supremacy. One other Miamian, Paul Brown ('30), won NFL World Champion titles in 1950, '54 and '55 as head coach of the Cleveland Browns. In addition, Ewbank's Baltimore Colts of 1958 and '59 were also pre-Super Bowl NFL champs.
Inspired by Bob Kurz, who coined the phrase "Cradle of Coaches", a donation for the Plaza was originally presented to the university in 1994 from Kurz and his wife, Marian. Located adjacent to the south end of Yager Stadium, the Plaza is a tribute to the nine Miami graduates who have earned recognition as national collegiate or professional coaches of the year and/or been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame or Pro Football Hall of Fame, or who have won a Super Bowl.
A generous gift from the family of Thomas P. Van Voorhis, announced August 27, 2009, has helped provide the crowning touches to the Cradle of Coaches Plaza. The $1 million gift, provided by Daniel T. Van Voorhis-a grandson of Thomas P. Van Voorhis and a successful businessman-has been used to create nine heroic-scale figures to represent and honor the men at the heart of the Cradle of Coaches tradition. The statue of Thomas Van Voorhis stands just outside the gates of the Plaza.
Harbaugh’s statue is the ninth coach and the 10th overall addition to the plaza.