Longtime college coach Pont dies at 80

Updated: July 1, 2008, 8:34 PM ET
Associated Press

OXFORD, Ohio -- John Pont, who guided Indiana to its only Rose Bowl appearance 40 years ago and also coached at Northwestern, Yale and Miami of Ohio, died Tuesday. He was 80.

Officials at Miami said Pont died at his home in Oxford, Ohio. Pont had been fighting cancer.

Pont coached the Hoosiers from 1965 to 1972. In 1967, Indiana was 9-2 and represented the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl, where the Hoosiers lost to Southern California.

Pont spent 13 years at Miami as a player and coach. He was an assistant to Ara Parseghian and succeeded Parseghian, who left for Notre Dame, as head coach at Miami in 1956. When Pont graduated, he was the school's career rushing leader with 2,457 yards and became Miami's first player to have his number, 42, retired.

"John Pont meant an awful lot to me. He was the captain of my very first team at Miami in 1951 and was an outstanding leader," Parseghian said in a statement. "As a person, John could identify with everyone he met, from the janitor to the president."

Pont was head coach at Miami from 1956-62, Yale from 1963-64, Indiana from 1965-72 and Northwestern from 1973-77. At Northwestern. he also was athletic director from 1975-80.

He later coached at Hamilton High School in Ohio, the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati and in Japan.

Pont is survived by his wife, Sandy, three children and seven grandchildren.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press