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Former Patriots head coach Ron Erhardt dies at 80

erhardt Getty Images

Ron Erhardt, who coached the Patriots from 1979 to 1981 and ran the offenses for two Super Bowl winning Giants teams, has died at the age of 80.

The Patriots announced the sad news on Wednesday afternoon and North Dakota State University, which Erhardt coached to great success, also released a statement. Erhardt coached the Patriots to a 21-27 record during his three years as a head coach, including the 1980 season when the Pats set a club record with 441 points that was not broken until 2007.

After leaving the Patriots, Erhardt went to the Giants where he ran the offense under Bill Parcells. The Giants won Super Bowls XXI and XXV with Erhardt calling the plays for a powerful rushing attack. The latter win came with Jeff Hostetler at quarterback after Phil Simms was injured late in the season and featured a fine job by Erhardt as he helped keep the powerful Bills offense off the field by dominating time of possession in a 20-19 victory.

Erhardt moved on to Pittsburgh after Parcells left the Giants and was the offensive coordinator for the team that lost Super Bowl XXX to the Cowboys. During that season, Erhardt helped give Kordell Stewart his “Slash” nickname by utilizing him in a variety of ways on offense. He wound up his NFL coaching career back in New York under Parcells with the Jets.

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6 Responses to “Former Patriots head coach Ron Erhardt dies at 80”
  1. modellforprez says: Mar 21, 2012 5:38 PM

    Mr.earhardt was bill cowher first off. co. and he seemed like a very nice man and the players back then respondes well to him he was their off. co. in super bowl 30 and we woulda won If neil o’donnell didn’t complete more passes to the cowgirls than his own team. our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family.

  2. raider17 says: Mar 21, 2012 6:08 PM

    R.I.P Ron! A true football guy!

    Al Davis Forever!!!
    Just Win Baby!!!

  3. babyhorsemorgan says: Mar 21, 2012 6:13 PM

    While it’s too early to attribute Erhardt’s death directly to the Saints’ bounty system, authorities are keeping an open mind.

  4. profootballwalk says: Mar 21, 2012 6:15 PM

    One of those guys – great coordinator, poor head coach. His last year, the Patriots went 2-14. After he was let go, we learned that he was going out with the players for beers. ‘Fargo,’ as he was known, was apparently a really nice guy, and his players loved him. That was the problem – they loved him, but they didn’t play hard for him. He was TOO nice.

    Great career, all in all.

  5. adkfootballfan says: Mar 21, 2012 6:34 PM

    More sad news on a crazy NFL day…

  6. Deb says: Mar 21, 2012 7:38 PM

    I still have so many fond memories of our Super Bowl XXX team. Kordell Stewart didn’t particularly want to play the “Slash” role, but he did it beautifully, and it made for an exciting offense. Deepest condolences to Coach Erhardt’s family, friends, and all the players and coaches who worked with him.

    RIP

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