OGDEN, Utah -- Legendary Weber State football head coach Ron McBride announced today he will retire at the end of the 2011 season, following seven years as head coach at Weber State and nearly 50 years of Division I coaching. He will coach the Wildcats in their final two games of the 2011 season.
"I've coached all over the country over the last 50 years, and it's been a great ride," said McBride. "Football has really been my life. The reality is that it's all about the players, so the reason I've come to this decision is that I looked at the program, and all the kids are in the right classes, the program is right where it needs to be, and I just feel like they need a new voice at the top.
"The only thing that is important to me right now is the success of Weber State. We built this program. With what we had in mind, everything is in place, and now we just need somebody to take it to the next step."
Coach McBride turned 72 in October 2011. He is currently the sixth oldest active head coach in Division I football. Penn State’s Joe Paterno, Albany’s Bob Ford, Appalachian State’s Jerry Moore, Kansas State’s Bill Snyder and Florida Atlantic’s Howard Schnellenberger are the five head coaches older than McBride.
"Today is a day where we celebrate a coaching legend," said WSU Director of Athletics Jerry Bovee. "Coach Mac has done some great things here at Weber State, and we would like to thank him, and his family, for all the hard work that he has put in. Where we go forward from here will be determined another day. Really, today is a day that needs to be what it is, and this is Coach Mac's day."
McBride will coach the Wildcats in the final two games of the 2011 season, including the final home game set for Saturday, Nov. 12 at 1:30 p.m. against Northern Arizona at Stewart Stadium.
He holds a 41-38 career record in his seven seasons as coach at Weber State. He is 32-21 in Big Sky Conference games. In his 20 seasons as a Division I head coach McBride holds an all-time record of 129-101. Mac has been coaching at the Division I level since 1965.
Coach McBride was named the ninth coach in Weber State history in December 2004, marking his return to the state of Utah as a head coach. In his six seasons since joining the Wildcats Coach Mac has posted a 38-32 overall record at Weber State and is 29-18 in Big Sky Conference games. He has also led the Wildcats to the NCAA FCS Playoffs two times and brought WSU its first Big Sky trophy since in 40 years.
In his first season with the Wildcats (2005) he led the Wildcats to a 6-5 record after winning just one game the previous season. In his first game as head coach Weber State set a new attendance record at Stewart Stadium. That season also included a 28-23 win at No. 6 Eastern Washington.
In 2006 the Wildcats posted a 4-7 record and the ‘Cats were 5-6 in 2007 but finish the year winning five of their last season games.
The highlight season for Coach Mac came in 2008 when the Wildcats came out of nowhere to win the Big Sky and post a 10-4 record. WSU was 7-1 in the Big Sky and advanced to the FCS playoffs for the first time since 1991 and only the third time in school history. Sophomore quarterback Cameron Higgins was named Big Sky MVP. The season included a 45-28 win over Montana, the first victory over the Grizzlies in ten seasons. The Wildcats defeated third-ranked Cal Poly in the first round of the playoffs before losing to Montana in the second round. The ten wins were the most for Weber State in 21 years.
McBride’s 2008 squad produced 12 players who earned First Team All-Big Sky honors - the most by any team in league history for one season. Eight other players earned second team or honorable mention honors. In addition, 10 players earned Second or Third Team All-America honors.
The ‘Cats had another strong year in 2009 where they finished 7-5 overall and 6-2 in Big Sky action, finishing in a tie for second in the league standings. They also advanced to the FCS playoffs for the second consecutive season.
In 2010 Mac led the ‘Cats to their third-straight winning season for the first time in 12 seasons. Weber State was 6-5 on the year with a 5-3 record in Big Sky play. They defeated Montana for the second time in the three seasons and also had a wild four-overtime win over Northern Colorado.
Coach McBride came to Weber State after spending two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Kentucky under his old colleague, Rich Brooks. McBride coached the inside linebackers at Kentucky for the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
Coach Mac is known for his success in revitalizing the football program at the University of Utah. He had three different stints at Utah, twice as an assistant, before becoming head coach.
His first taste of Utah came in 1977 when he followed Wayne Howard from Long Beach State to Utah. McBride was named Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line coach for the Utes for five seasons under Howard and one under Chuck Stobart. McBride then left the Utes to join the staff at the University of Wisconsin where he was offensive line coach for the Badgers.
When former Weber State assistant coach Jim Fassel was named head coach at Utah in 1985, he summoned McBride to coach the Ute offensive linemen, which he did for two seasons. In 1987 McBride left to become assistant head coach and offensive line coach at the University of Arizona under Dick Tomey.
Following the 1989 season, McBride returned to Utah when he was named head coach of the Utes. During his 13 seasons as head coach of the Utes, McBride guided his teams to an overall mark of 88-63. Those 88 victories are still the second most wins by a coach in Utah football history. He took the Utes to six bowl games, a noteworthy feat considering Utah had played in just three bowl games in the previous 97 years and hadn’t played in one since 1964. In 1994 his team won a then-school record 10 games and attained the highest post-season ranking at the time, in school history climbing to No. 8 in the USA Today/ESPN poll and No. 10 in the Associated Press poll. That team concluded its season with a 16-13 win over Arizona in the Freedom Bowl. His 1999 squad beat Fresno State 17-16 in the Las Vegas Bowl and his 2001 team beat USC 10-6 also in the Freedom Bowl. McBride also excelled in the in-state rivalry games, rebuilding the rivalry with BYU. His Utes won six of its last 11 games against the Cougars, after losing 16 of the previous 18 games. Under coach Mac, Utah also dominated Utah State, posting an 11-2 record against the Aggies.
A native of Los Angeles, California, McBride was an all-city football and baseball star at South Gate High School. He played football at San Jose State from 1959 to 1962 and served as team captain his senior year. He later played professionally with the San Jose Apaches for the USA League.
His coaching career began in 1965 when he served as the freshman team coach at San Jose State and also served as the defensive coordinator and linebacker coach. In 1966, he left to become an assistant coach at Piedmont Hills High School until 1968. He then returned to the collegiate coaching ranks, serving as an assistant coach at Gavilan Junior College from 1969 through 1971. His long association with Wayne Howard began in 1972 when he became the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach under Howard at the now-defunct football program at UC Riverside. In 1974, Howard took McBride and most of the staff to Long Beach State where they coached for three seasons before coming to the University of Utah.
MAC PRODUCES PLAYERS
Coach McBride has sent a steady stream of players into the NFL. Since taking over the ranks at Weber State, Coach Mac has had five players drafted into the NFL. After his first season with the Wildcats, two of his Wildcats, Paul and Pat McQuistan were selected in the 2006 NFL Draft. Paul was a third round selection of the Oakland Raiders and Pat was selected in the seventh round by the Dallas Cowboys. In 2008, David Hale was selected in the fourth round by the Baltimore Ravens. In 2009, J.D. Folsom was drafted in the seventh round by the Miami Dolphins and in 2010, Tim Toone was selected with the last pick of the draft by the Detroit Lions and was known as “Mr. Irrelevant”. In addition, Marcus Mailei signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009 and was a member of the New Orleans Saints Super Bowl championship team in 2010. In 2008 Dimitri Tsoumpas was selected with the second overall pick in the Canadian Football League draft by the Calgary Stampeders.
In his days with the Utes McBride coached notable players like Jamal Anderson who played for the Atlanta Falcons. Running back Mike Anderson was the 2000 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year for the Denver Broncos. Kevin Dyson was the first receiver taken in the 1998 NFL Draft and was a starter with the Tennessee Titans in the 2000 Super Bowl. Luther Ellis was an all-pro and two-time Pro Bowler defensive lineman for the Detroit Lions. Steve Smith is a four-time NFL Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro selection with the Carolina Panthers. Jordan Gross was selected with the eighth pick of the 2003 Draft by the Carolina Panthers and is a three-time Pro Bowl selection.
In April 2008, Coach McBride 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.
In March 2010 he and his wife Vicky celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Mac has four children: Danny, Mike, Kelly, and Jill. McBride’s son-in-law John Baxter, who is married to daughter Jill, is the assistant head coach at Fresno State University.