SALT LAKE CITY - After retiring from football just 97 days ago, former Weber State and Utah head coach Ron McBride has decided to return to the gridiron.
The Utah Blaze announced in a press conference Monday that 72-year old McBride will end his retirement to coach the team's offensive line in 2012. McBride is a football legend in the state of Utah and brings 46 years of coaching experience to the Blaze staff.
"It is truly an honor to have a coach of Ron McBride's stature join our staff," said president/head coach Ron James. "We are dedicated to bringing our fans the best football team possible in 2012. This hire is yet another example of our organization's commitment to excellence. Coach McBride has extensive football knowledge and we are looking forward to working shoulder-to-shoulder with a football coaching legend."
"I'm excited about the opportunity," said McBride. "I coached the offensive line during the first 30 years of my career. It's a passion of mine and something I really enjoy doing. The arena game is a new and exciting opportunity for me, and I'm really looking forward to coaching these young players and helping them develop."
McBride served as head coach of the Wildcats for seven seasons before announcing his retirement on Nov. 8, 2011. Since being named the ninth head coach in school history in 2004, McBride compiled a 43-38 overall record that included two NCAA FCS Playoff appearances. His signature season at Weber State came in 2008, when he led the Wildcats to their first Big Sky Conference Championship in 40 years.
"Coach Mac" is best known for revitalizing the football program at Utah during his 13 seasons as head coach (1990-2002). Prior to his arrival, Utah had reached bowl games just three times in 97 years.
Yet in just his third season as head coach, McBride guided the team to its first bowl appearance since 1964. Utah made six bowl games under McBride's guidance.
In 1994, McBride led Utah to its first 10-win season in school history. He excelled against in-state competition, as his Utes won six of their final 11 games against BYU after losing 16 of the previous 18 meetings.
Coach Mac also turned in an 11-2 record against the Utah State Aggies. Ironically, his only two losses to Utah State came when current Blaze offensive coordinator Matthew Sauk was starting at quarterback for the Aggies.
McBride's storied coaching career has also included stops at San Jose State, Wisconsin, Arizona and Kentucky. He's coached over 70 NFL players, including All-Pros Jamal Anderson (Atlanta Falcons), Luther Ellis (Detroit Lions), Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers) and Jordan Gross (Carolina Panthers). In April of 2008, Mac was honored by the Utah Football Coaches Association and given the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to football in the state of Utah.