Saints coaches have ties to Miami – Ohio, that is
Bret Ingalls believes there’s something cosmic about playing
this Super Bowl in Miami.
Some 1,100 miles away, in the frosty North, folks at Miami
University would agree.
Six members of the New Orleans Saints staff, including head
coach Sean Payton and five of his assistants, each made it to this
championship game after a stopover at the Oxford, Ohio, school,
dubbed the “Cradle of Coaches.”
Payton says it’s no accident that it worked out this way.
“You have experiences at certain schools,” said Payton, a
RedHawks assistant in 1994 and 1995. “You pay attention to certain
coaches that you felt you’d like to work with again someday. …
When you have background and you know exactly what you were
getting, that’s pretty valuable.”
Offensive line coach Aaron Kromer and head strength and
conditioning coach Dan Dalrymple both played and coached for the
RedHawks, with Dalrymple enshrined in the school’s Hall of Fame.
Ingalls, now New Orleans’ running backs coach, was at Miami U as an
offensive assistant in 2005. Strength assistant Charles Byrd was a
graduate assistant at Miami in 2007, and assistant special teams
coach Mike Mallory is the son of former RedHawks coach Bill
Turns out, there’s a lot more to Miami U’s football lineage than
being the school where the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger
played college ball.
“I’ve said this before,” Payton said. “I’ve got a great
Considering Oxford is about five miles from the Indiana state
line, there’s likely going to be some divided loyalties this week
with the Saints preparing to face the Indianapolis Colts.
Or maybe not.
“We’re all pulling for the Saints,” said James Carsey, Miami
University’s current strength and conditioning coach who’s worked
with several of the former RedHawks on the Saints’ staff. “I’ve
got one of my assistants, she’s from Indiana and all about the
Colts, but because of the connection we have with the Saints we all
want to see it happen.”
There are more wacky ties that bind:
Saints wide receivers coach Curtis Johnson also coached at the
University of Miami, where New Orleans is practicing this week.
And, not only did Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown play for Miami
University more than 80 years ago, so did fellow Hall member Weeb
Ewbank, who coached the New York Jets to a Super Bowl championship
in – where else? – Miami.
“We all have history with each other,” Dalrymple said. “That
was one of the things when Sean put this staff together, same thing
with putting a team together. He looks at the best fit and the best
player. You can go out and get this All-Star collection for a
coaching staff, or you can get the right fit. There’s a lot of
Payton was at Miami under coach Randy Walker, who led the
RedHawks for nine seasons before taking over at Northwestern. He
died of a heart attack in 2006.
Dalrymple says Walker is still considered part of the
Miami/Saints connection, noting that not all of Payton’s coaching
nuances come from another mentor, Bill Parcells.
Yes, the same Parcells who is now the football czar of the Miami
“I never worked for coach Parcells, but I worked for coach
Walker,” Dalrymple said. “And Randy and Sean, they’re like the
same guy. I laugh all the time because I often hear Randy in the
things that Sean says. So it helps, because as a staff, you know
what to expect. We were all brought up in the same tribe, so to