Founders' Medal Recipient
Marv Levy '50

Marv Levy is one of Coe College’s most revered alumni. The leadership that he demonstrated while on campus, first as a student and later as a coach, was a prelude to a highly successful career. Marv exemplified the student-athlete philosophy, as he excelled both in the classroom and as a three-sport athlete. Along with lettering in three sports, he was the president of several Coe organizations, and he was named as the Outstanding Coe student of 1950. He graduated magna cum laude and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Subsequently, his career—and support of Coe College—has spanned seven decades.

Marv coached in St. Louis for a year, then returned to his alma mater for three years while teaching courses in physical education and history. He then moved through the university coaching ranks, and in 1969, got the opportunity to begin coaching in the National Football League. He coached for the Philadelphia Eagles, the Los Angeles Rams and the Washington Redskins. After successfully coaching the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League to two Grey Cup championships, Marv got his first NFL head coaching job with the Kansas City Chiefs from 1978-1982. After a stint with the Chicago Blitz in the USFL, Marv served as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills from 1987-1997. At a time when most people would be content to retire, Marv returned to the Buffalo Bills as the general manager in 2006-2007.

As evidence of his success and the respect Marv earned in the NFL, he has earned the top coaching awards in professional sports. Marv was named Coach of the Year in 1988 and AFC Coach of the Year in 1988, 1993 and 1995. From 1987-97, the Bills were first in AFC winning percentage and second only to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL. Levy guided the Bills to an unprecedented four straight Super Bowls in the 1990s. And finally, the ultimate honor in the NFL, as Marv was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.

Along with his success in the NFL, Marv is truly a renaissance man in the best tradition of the liberal arts. As an accomplished author, Marv has not only penned his autobiography, "Where Else Would You Rather Be?", but also a fictional novel about a rigged Super Bowl and a children's book, "Go Cubs Go!"

Throughout his success, Marv has never forgotten his roots as a Kohawk. He has been a consistent and generous contributor to the Coe Fund, in support of ongoing needs of the college. Marv has contributed to several student scholarship funds, and provided a substantial gift for the installation of FieldTurf at Clark Field. In addition, he has provided inspiration to all Kohawk student-athletes, and especially to football players. Over the years, he has made inspiring speeches to the football team and was a keynote speaker for the kickoff of the Make Your Move campaign during Homecoming, 2015.

Marv Levy is a source of pride for everyone in the Coe community. Through his ongoing support of the college in numerous ways, he has helped the college for decades. And through his own success at the highest national levels in his profession, he has exemplified the Kohawk spirit as an example for all.