July 1, 2008
REMEMBERING JOHN PONT
(collected by Miami University Athletic Media Relations Staff)
DR. DAVID HODGE, President, Miami University
"John Pont's passing is a great loss to Miami University. We send our deepest condolences to his family."
BRAD BATES, Director of Athletics, Miami University
"John was beloved by Miami and the Oxford community. He was a leader among leaders in collegiate athletics and shaped the future of intercollegiate athletics as a student, coach and administrator. To me, John has been an extraordinary and humble mentor, advisor and counselor as I learned from both near and far, through observation and interaction and by his words, actions and wisdom."
Shane Montgomery, Head Football Coach, Miami University
"Miami University lost one of its finest ambassadors in the passing of Coach Pont. He was one of the greatest players and one of the most respected coaches in college football. John Pont's legacy will live on forever. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sandy and her family."
ARA PARSEGHIAN, former Head Football Coach, Miami University (1951-55)
"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. Two years later, I brought him back as our freshman coach. He had all the qualities that you wanted in a coach--very knowledgeable about football, a great personality, and tremendous character. The fact that his number was retired at Miami speaks volumes about his talent. He wasn't very big--5-7, 175 pounds--but he had an uncanny ability to change direction without losing speed. As a person, John could identify with everyone he met, from the janitor to the president. I'm very sad to hear of his passing."
DAVE YOUNG, former Sports Information Director at Miami University
"John Pont was one of the reasons I ended up coming to Miami. I first met him as the sports editor of Bowling Green's student newspaper. The battles between John Pont and Doyt Perry's teams were legendary. John first impressed me with the kindness and time he gave to a young person like myself. That stuck in the back of my mind. So, when I was choosing between Miami and Western Michigan's SID jobs, I remembered John's friendliness. I thought, if this is typical, Miami is where I wanted to be. Every time you talked to John, you had more respect for him because of his genuineness. The fact that he wanted to move back to Oxford and Miami University after he retired said a lot about his love for this community."
BILL MALLORY, former Head Football Coach, Miami University (who played for and coached with John Pont)
"John made an impact on a lot of people's lives. There are two things that stand out: 1) no one had more passion for the game and for coaching, and 2) he was a survivor, enjoying great success and enduring tough roads along the way. John wasn't an ego guy. Whether it was in college football, in high school football, or during his years in Japan, John went wherever because he enjoyed the game."
BILL LYNCH, Head Football Coach, Indiana University
"Coach Pont was a great man who left a lasting impression at Indiana University. He will be missed by the entire Indiana football family. Along with Coach Mallory and Coach Hoeppner, Coach Pont came from Miami (Ohio) and brought with him integrity, dignity and class. My thoughts and prayers go to out to John's wife, Sandy, their children, and the rest of the Pont family."
MICHAEL A. McROBBIE, President, Indiana University
"John Pont exemplified leadership and great success during his years as head football coach at Indiana University. He was committed to ensuring the academic, as well as the athletic, success of his players and always represented his team and the university with class and professionalism. I was pleased that he could attend the ceremonies last year celebrating the IU Rose Bowl team. It was an honor for me to meet him. Indiana University mourns his passing and extends our condolences to his family."
HAROLD MAURO, Director of Football Operations, Indiana University (who played for and coached with John Pont)
"I owe my career, not only as a player but as a professional, to Coach Pont. I love Coach Pont and I miss him already. He had a big impact on my life as well as my entire family. Indiana University has lost a good man today."
MARK DEAL, Associate Director of Football Operations, Indiana University (Mark's brother, Mike, played on IU's 1967 Rose Bowl team)
"I was 10 years old watching the '67 Rose Bowl team. They were my heroes then and still are today. Coach Pont was the leader of that group. He was a great, great IU man and did something no one has ever done here, before or since. It is a sad day for Indiana University football."