John Harbaugh has won a Super Bowl. Forever etched in NFL history for his Baltimore Ravens championship earlier this month, Harbaugh will soon be joining another elite coaching circle.
Miami University director of athletics David Sayler announced Tuesday that Harbaugh, a 1984 graduate and former defensive back for the RedHawks, will be inducted into its famed Cradle of Coaches Association in 2014, complete with a full body bronze statue in his honor and his image added to a mural of Cradle members at Yager Stadium.
Harbaughs will be the ninth statue to be erected on the plaza at the south end of Yager Stadium, joining fellow Miami alumni Earl "Red" Blaik, Paul Brown, Carm Cozza, Paul Dietzel, Wilbur "Weeb" Ewbank, Ara Parseghian, John Pont and Glenn "Bo" Schembechler.
"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," said Harbaugh in a statement. "To me, there is no greater recognition in coaching. To be included with these great men is something only dreamed about. I am most grateful to Miami, which is to say the coaches, teammates and professors that made a positive impact on an impressionable young guy. Coach (Tom) Reed gave me an opportunity and taught me important lessons about becoming a man. Coach (Jay) Fry pushed and supported us. There are great teachers and many friends that I cherish to this day. 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."
The Ravens beat San Francisco, coached by Harbaughs younger brother Jim, 34-31 in Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3 in New Orleans. John Harbaugh was named the head coach of the Ravens in 2008 and has led the franchise to at least one victory in the playoffs in each of his five seasons, becoming the only coach since the NFL-AFL merger of 1970 to accomplish the feat. Baltimore is 63-30, including the playoffs, under Harbaugh.
Harbaugh held assistant coaching positions at five colleges before joining the Philadelphia Eagles in 1998 as their special teams coordinator. He held that role for nine seasons, including Philadelphias NFC championship season of 2004, before taking over the secondary in 2007.
The Cradle of Coaches Association was established in 1971 and began formerly inducting individuals in 1992. There are 63 current members of the Cradle of Coaches Association.
"The pride that John has for Miami University is clear from the moment you speak with him, said Sayler.