Bringing to Gainesville one of the most tenured resumes of the new Florida Gators coaching staff, Ron English would probably be a bit too overqualified to be the Gators safeties coach – had this been six years ago.
Until last year as Mississippi State’s safeties coach, it had been 12 years since Ron English had been a position coach – defensive backs coach at Michigan. Over the next 12 years, English (one of the top rising stars in the coaching ranks), served as defensive coordinator at Michigan and Louisville and then as head coach at Eastern Michigan.
And then it was over. English was no longer the hot name. In fact, he left Eastern Michigan after a tirade at players only suitable for an NC-17 movie was released.
After an 11-48 record at Eastern Michigan, English left the coaching ranks – sorta – he took a job with the Cleveland Browns in an internship program for Minority Coaches under Bill Walsh helping to coach the offensive line. And in 2014 he was turned down by Georgia State’s president in hiring and in 2015 he was going to be brought on as a position coach – but was again rebuked by leadership.
But the flame that flickered so bright, was nearing its extinguishing.
However, in 2016 San Jose State was able to bring him on as defensive coordinator – but was again jobless when the staff was overhauled after the season.
Enter Dan Mullen who called English and offered him a position for the 2017 season at Mississippi State – a year after his team had given up the most passing yards in the SEC.
English, along with the Todd Grantham-led defense, improved Mississippi State to the 12th best defense in the country in pass defense – allowing just 174.7 yards per game, including eight games with less than 200 yards passing.
Let’s look at a few of the numbers that have defined English’s career.
- A two-time Broyles Award nominee and 2006 National Defensive Coordinator of the Year (Rivals).
- The 2011 MAC Coach of the Year – only the second in school history up to that point.
- Ranked 4th in the SEC last season in passing defense, 4th in interceptions, and 6th in passes defended.
- Safety Mark McLaurin led the team with six interceptions for 85 yards.
- In 2006, Michigan’s defense ranked first in rush defense, 10th in overall defense, and 15th in scoring defense.
- In 2004, he became the first coach ever to coach two consensus All-American defensive backs in the same season.
- In five seasons at Michigan, he coached at least one All-Big Ten defensive back every season.
- Led San Jose State to the 19th ranked pass defense in 2016.
- In 2017, Mississippi State ranked 3rd in “fewest long passing plays allowed”.
- In 2017, MSU had the 3rd in passing completions allowed, 6th lowest completion percentage allowed, and 1st in passing first downs allowed,