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Marv Levy to receive Coe’s highest honor, the Founders' Medal

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Secretary of the College
(319) 399-8605 or rpritcha@coe.edu

2017-04-07 09:19:54 - General

Marv Levy '50 was photographed with President David McInally and Charlie Kohawk during the Make Your Move campaign kickoff in the fall of 2015. Levy returns to Coe on April 22 to receive the Founders' Medal and for the dedication of Marv Levy Way.
Marv Levy '50 was photographed with President David McInally and Charlie Kohawk during the Make Your Move campaign kickoff in the fall of 2015. Levy returns to Coe on April 22 to receive the Founders' Medal and for the dedication of Marv Levy Way.

Coe College will honor alumnus Marv Levy with its highest honor, the Founders' Medal, on Saturday, April 22. As a past recipient of Coe's Alumni Award of Merit (1972), Athletic Hall of Fame (1973), and honorary degree (1991), Levy will formally be awarded the Founders' Medal for "exemplifying in extraordinary degree the qualities of a liberally educated person."

The celebration begins at 9 a.m. with a light breakfast buffet in Stewart Memorial Library as Coe showcases improvements to the gallery spaces due to the generosity of Kim Benjamin '75 and his family. The Founders' Medal Ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. in the library, followed at 11:30 a.m. by the dedication of Marv Levy Way at the corner of College Drive and D Avenue.

Born in Chicago, Levy served in the Army Air Corps from 1943-46. At Coe he lettered in football, track and basketball. He graduated magna cum laude in 1950 and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He later earned a master's in English history at Harvard University.

After coaching in the college ranks at Coe, the University of New Mexico, the University of California (Berkeley), and the College of William & Mary, Levy transitioned to NFL coaching stints as an assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles (1969), the Los Angeles Rams (1970) and the Washington Redskins (1971-72). He was the special teams coach on the Redskins team that lost 14-7 in the 1972 Super Bowl to the undefeated Miami Dolphins. Later, Levy won two Grey Cup championships with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, and then got his first NFL head coaching job with the Kansas City Chiefs from 1978-82. He coached in the USFL with the Chicago Blitz in 1984 before becoming the head coach in Buffalo from 1987 through 1997. He was also the Bills general manager in 2006-07. His lifetime coaching record is 185-143-4 (.565), including a 43-31-4 mark in Canada.

Levy, who lives in Chicago with his wife, Fran, 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. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.

The former coach has also become an accomplished author. Along with his autobiography "Where Else Would You Rather Be?", Levy collaborated with Jeffrey Miller in penning "Game Changers - Greatest Plays in Buffalo Bills Football History." He has also authored "Between the Lies," a fictional novel about a rigged Super Bowl as well as a book of poetry entitled "It's Time for a Rhyme." Recently, Levy released his first children's book "Go Cubs Go!"

Levy becomes the eighth Founders' Medal recipient, joining Paul Engle '31 and William Shirer '25 in 1976; F. Gaynor Evans '31 and S. Donald Stookey '36 in 1980; and Don Ebinger '47, Russell Knapp '30 and William Whipple '35 in 2001 as part of Coe's sesquicentennial celebration.

Coe College offers superb academics and exciting co-curricular activities in a thriving urban setting that promotes student growth and success. Established in 1851, Coe has a national reputation for academic excellence enhanced by a student-centered, highly supportive campus environment. Coe's vibrant Cedar Rapids location provides an abundance of internships for students and career opportunities for graduates.