Miami (Ohio) is putting Sean McVay on pedestal with statue

An empty pedestal sits between those supporting nine bronze statues in the Cradle of Coaches Plaza in front of Yager Stadium at the University of Miami (Ohio).

It’s reserved for Rams coach Sean McVay.

In June, Miami confirmed plans for a statue of McVay, a 2004-2007 RedHawks recipient. The full-body sculpt of 36-year-old McVay will join those of Paul Brown, Bo Schembechler, Ara Parseghian, Weeb Ewbank, John Harbaugh, and others who Visited Miami before beginning their high-profile coaching career.

A plaque on the plaza also honors Woody Hayes, Sid Gillman and others who have coached at the university participating in the Mid-American Conference.

Miami athletic director David Sayler said Friday the empty pedestal was being built in 2014, when Harbaugh’s statue was unveiled.

A pedestal for a Sean McVay statue in the Cradle of Coaches at Miami of Ohio University exists.

A pedestal for a Sean McVay statue in the Cradle of Coaches at Miami of Ohio University exists.

(Gary Klein/Los Angeles Times)

“I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was built for Sean,” Sayler said, “but we were keenly aware of Sean’s rise and what was possible, and wanted to be prepared to celebrate it.”

McVay has enjoyed a meteoric rise as an NFL coach. In 2014, after one season as an assistant with Tampa Bay and four with Washington, McVay was named Washington’s offensive coordinator.

In 2017, the Rams made McVay, then 30, the youngest head coach in modern NFL history. A year later, McVay led the Rams to the Super Bowl. Last February, he led the Rams to victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium.

McVay is the third Miami graduate to coach a Super Bowl champion, following Ewbank and Harbaugh, who won titles with the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens, respectively.

As of Tuesday, the Rams are in Cincinnati, about 40 miles southeast of Oxford. They practiced alongside the Bengals on Wednesday and Thursday, and the teams will play their final preseason game on Saturday.

When asked if he’d ever considered having a statue in Miami, McVay was quick to joke.

“No,” he told reporters after one of the joint exercises, “I’m too young for that at the moment.

“It’s certainly very humbling and that really reflects that I’m around great people, great players and coaches. If we couldn’t do great things as a team, don’t put my statue there.”

McVay’s family has history in Miami. His grandfather, John, is a former RedHawk and was a part of five Super Bowl titles as an executive with the San Francisco 49ers. His uncle John also played in Miami.

“Being a third-generation player there and knowing the experiences that were there is just so crucial to my growth and development,” McVay said. “It’s all about people and that’s what makes Miami a special place.”

The Cradle of Coaches section of Yager Stadium in Miami, Ohio, where a statue of Rams coach Sean McVay will stand after it is unveiled in 2023.

McVay met with sculptor Kristen Visbal and sat down for a body scan, Sayler said. Ideally, the statue should be unveiled in April next year, he said.

Rams defensive back coach Chris Shula will be there for sure. McVay was Shula’s teammate in Miami. Shula is the grandson of the late Don Shula, the most successful coach in NFL history.

“We both come from football families,” McVay said, “and then to play at a really good university, that’s a great football program with a lot of great coaches that have come through there.

“We’re just trying to live up to the history and legacy that many others have built before us.” Miami (Ohio) is putting Sean McVay on pedestal with statue

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