Before coaching in Super Bowl XLVII, Head Coach John Harbaugh said he was just trying to live up to the names in Miami University’s Cradle of Coaches.
Now he’s among them.
On Tuesday, Miami University (Ohio) announced that Harbaugh, a 1984 graduate, will be inducted into the Cradle of Coaches Association and be immortalized with a statue at Yager Stadium’s Cradle of Coaches Plaza.
Harbaugh’s bronze, full-body statue will depict him on the sideline as the coach of the Super Bowl XLVII champion Ravens. The induction and statue unveiling will occur in early 2014.
“Miami is a very special place and as anyone who played or coached at Miami knows that the Cradle of Coaches is a great honor,” Harbaugh said in a press release. “To me, there is no greater recognition in coaching. To be included with these great men is something only dreamed about.”
Harbaugh will join some legendary coaches.
The list includes Earl “Red” Blaik, Paul Brown, Carm Cozza, Paul Dietzel, Wilbur “Weeb” Ewbank, Ara Parseghian, John Pont and Glenn “Bo” Schembechler, whom the Harbaughs in many ways revered during their youth.
Only Harbaugh and Ewbank won Super Bowl titles (Ewbank as the coach of the New York Jets in Super Bowl III in 1969). Brown won NFL World Champion titles in 1950, ‘54 and ‘55 as head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
Harbaugh is the only head coach in NFL history (since the 1970 merger) to win a playoff game in his first five years. Among active head coaches with at least two full seasons, Harbaugh has the league’s best regular-season winning percentage (.675) with a 54-26 record. His Ravens are 9-4 in the postseason.
Harbaugh thanked his coaches, teammates and professors that helped him reach his lofty place among the NFL. He specifically mentioned coaches Tom Reed and Jay Fry.
“There are great teachers and many friends that I cherish to this day,” Harbaugh said. “Miami is the people who have made the difference in so many lives. Whole-hearted thanks to the current administration and board for such a wonderful gesture. I will be forever grateful to Miami.”