Thursday, February 09, 2006

Kansas State Football Head Coach Ron Prince

Since I have some catching up to do, I thought I would post some background information on our new coach. I think HCRP will bring a fresh attitude and new blood to a program that needed a push back in the right direction.

Courtesy: Kansas State UniversityRelease: 12/09/2005

“I’ve been preparing for this opportunity my whole life,” were among the first words that came out of Ron Prince’s mouth after being introduced as Kansas State’s 33rd football coach on Dec. 5, 2005. And for Prince, serving as the Wildcats’ head football coach is truly a dream come true.
Raised in Junction City, Kan., which is located just 20 miles west of Manhattan, Prince literally grew up in the shadow of Kansas State University. And as far back as he can remember, at least to the age of three or four according to his best recollections, he has dreamt of one day leading the Wildcats.

With that dream now realized, Prince has hit the ground running in his short tenure with the Wildcats. Working at a break-neck pace, he has quickly gone about the task of solidifying K-State’s recruiting and building his staff, all the while beginning the long-term process of re-integrating himself into a community that has for so long been an integral influence on his life.
Prince came to Kansas State from the University of Virginia, where he served the past three seasons as the Cavaliers’ offensive coordinator and a total of five years as the offensive line coach on Al Groh’s staff.

In that time, Prince developed a reputation as one of the nation’s top young coaching talents, helping guide Virginia to four straight bowl berths from 2002-05. Along the way, his Cavalier offense set a dozen team and individual school records and had nine offensive players drafted by NFL teams.

Currently the youngest NCAA Division I-A head coach in the country and one of just four African-American head coaches in all of Division I-A, Prince joined Groh’s staff as the Cavaliers’ offensive line coach in January of 2001 and quickly went about molding the unit into one of the ACC’s best.

In 2002, Virginia's young offensive line provided solid protection for record-setting quarterback Matt Schaub, who was named ACC Player of the Year after throwing for a school-record 2,976 yards and 28 touchdowns. Tackle Mike Mullins – the lone senior starter on the offensive line – and Elton Brown each earned honorable mention All-ACC recognition in 2002. In addition, left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson received Freshman All-America distinction and guard Brian Barthelmes earned Freshman All-ACC honors.

By the 2003 season, his third at Virginia and his first as the program’s offensive coordinator, the Cavaliers’ front wall became a dominating force, allowing the ACC’s fewest sacks as it protected Schaub, who passed for 2,952 yards that season – the second most in school history.
Heading into 2004, Virginia’s line began to be considered not only among the best in the rugged ACC, but nationally as well. In fact, The Sporting News tapped Prince’s unit the No. 3 line in all of college football that season.

And with the offensive line leading the way, Prince’s 2004 Virginia offense rolled up over 423 yards of total offense per game, including over 240 on the ground, once again led the ACC in fewest sacks allowed and finished the year atop the conference charts in both total offense and rushing offense.

Virginia’s team accomplishments on the field during Prince’s stint with the Cavaliers are bolstered by the individual accolades received by UVa’s student-athletes. During his five-year tenure at Virginia, 37 Cavaliers earned All-ACC distinction, including 19 on the offensive side of the ball. Of those 19 offensive selections, 12 occurred with Prince at the controls of the Cavs’ offense.

In 2003, Prince’s offensive unit placed four players on the All-ACC squad, including future All-Americans Heath Miller (TE) and Brown (G), who received the prestigious Jacobs Blocking Trophy, which is annually awarded to the ACC’s top offensive lineman.

In 2004, Virginia’s offense placed five student-athletes on the All-ACC team, the most of any school in the league, including Brown, who was awarded the Jacobs Blocking Trophy for the second straight year, and Miller, who went on to win the John Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end.

The spring of 2005 brought more recognition for Prince’s charges at Virginia as a school-record seven Cavaliers were selected in the NFL draft, including four offensive players. Miller was a first-round draft pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers, while Brown was selected in the fourth round by Arizona. Tailback Alvin Pearman was also picked up in the fourth round by Jacksonville and wide receiver Patrick Estes was taken in the seventh by San Francisco.

Prince capped his run at Virginia this past season by producing three more All-ACC selections. Ferguson, considered by many to be the top offensive line prospect in the country, led the way by earning first-team accolades for the second straight season and becoming the first Cavalier tackle named to the first team in back-to-back seasons since the 1990 and 1991 campaigns.
A 1988 graduate of Junction City High School, Prince played two seasons at Dodge City (Kan.) Community College, receiving All-Conference honors as an offensive tackle on the field and Academic All-America and National Dean’s List accolades for his performance in the classroom.
In 1990, Prince transferred to Appalachian State in Boone, N.C. He played two seasons for the Mountaineers and helped ASU to a Southern Conference championship and a berth in the NCAA I-AA playoffs as a senior in 1991 before earning a bachelor’s degree in history from the institution in 1992.

Prince received his start in coaching shortly after graduation, returning to the state of Kansas in 1992 to serve as a volunteer assistant coach working with offensive tackles and tight ends at Dodge City.

After just one season, Prince received his first offer to coach at a four-year institution and began his full-time coaching career as an offensive line, tight ends and strength and conditioning coach at Alabama A&M in 1993. During his lone season there, he helped produce three All-Conference players, including guard Joe Patton, who went on to become a third-round draft pick of the Washington Redskins.

A stop at South Carolina State followed in 1994. While at SCSU, Prince was instrumental in mentoring an offensive line that helped the Bulldogs lead the conference and rank among the national leaders (Division I-AA) in total offense, rushing offense and scoring offense that season. South Carolina State also captured the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship that season and went on to defeat Grambling, 31-27, in the postseason Heritage Bowl.

During his tenure at SCSU, Prince coached four All-Conference offensive linemen, including standout tackle Raleigh Roundtree, a 1995 fifth-round draft pick of the San Diego Chargers.
From 1995 to 1997 Prince served as the offensive line coach at James Madison and helped guide the Dukes to an NCAA I-AA playoff berth and two consecutive top-25 rankings before taking the reins of the offensive line at Cornell from 1998-2000.

The following season Prince was tapped to coach the offensive line, and later the entire offense, on Groh’s staff at Virginia.

In addition to his duties on the collegiate level, Prince has also served NFL Minority Fellowships with the Jacksonville Jaguars (1996), Washington Redskins (1997), Atlanta Falcons (1999) and New York Giants (2000).

Born in Omaha, Neb., but raised in Junction City by parents Ernest and Georgeanne Prince, he is married to the former ZoƩ Ahern of Valhalla, N.Y. The couple has four children, Deuce (6), James (4), Grace (3) and John (1).

1 comment:

Elaine Murphy-Mears said...

Ron Prince evidently has his priorities in order. People first and good grades second. and football first and second. Signed by a fan fo a HUGE FAN.