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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 3

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Page 64 of 81

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 3 65 at married student housing. "We're having our baby, and our jalopy won't start!" Perhaps more than any other, that story typifies our shared experience at Purdue, where Ron's stellar foot- ball career began. From the moment we arrived as members of the 1959 freshman team, our lives seemed inextricably linked. Both married. Both poor. Both determined to make it all work somehow. Fortunately for us, my parents owned a grocery store. On most weekends, my wife Sandie and I would drive back to In- dianapolis, load up our trunk with food and bring home the loot to split with the Meyers. It was rumored that Ron had ar- rived at Purdue without the assur- ance of a football scholarship. But he was used to overcoming hard- ships. Ever the optimist, he worked hard, played hard and soon proved his worth as an outstanding football player. In the early 1960s, there was no two-platoon football at the collegiate level; everyone but the quar- terback had to play both ways. Ron was our defensive specialist who subbed in for the quarterback at each change of possession. A natural athlete, he excelled in the role and ultimately received many honors as a defensive back. During our years at Purdue, our bond of friendship grew as strong as any two teammates could ever have. We were roommates on away trips, competitive class- mates and golfing buddies ready to take on any challengers. Since Ron's two sons were born about the same time as my two daughters, we even learned how to be dads together. After graduation, we went our separate ways, each to pursue a ca- reer in coaching. I returned to my high school alma mater in Indianap- olis, where I ended up staying my whole career. Ron initially went off to start the football program at Penn High School in Mishawaka, then returned to Purdue to begin his meteoric rise through the ranks. Yet despite our different paths, our friendship al- ways remained. Because of our common background, I watched Ron's coaching success from afar with wonder and admiration. After exceling as an assistant at Purdue, where he helped lead the Boilers to a Rose Bowl win, he joined Coach Mollenkopf on Tom Landry's Dallas Cowboys staff and got a Super Bowl ring. Later, as a college head coach, he would occasionally drop in to pay a visit on recruiting trips to Indiana, including Route 66 Diner and Triple XXX Family Restaurants salute Coach Gene Keady who is the first Boilermaker coach to have a food item named after him. Introducing Coach Keady's JamaicaMeCrazy Burger! Indiana's Oldest Drive-In On the Hill, But on the Level Since 1929 During Meyer's five-year stint with the Indianapolis Colts, Schultz (left) took on a role with the his friend's team, and even spent time with star running back Eric Dickerson.

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