Linebacker Skills and Drillsby Ron Roberts
Linebacker Skills and Drills
Ron Roberts begins his second year as head football coach at Southeastern Louisiana University, looking to build on the excitement of the Lions’ most successful season in the Southland Conference since the school joined the league in 2005.In his inaugural season in Hammond, Roberts guided Southeastern to a 5-6 record, which equaled the combined wins by the Lions in 2010-11. Southeastern’s 5-2 record in Southland Conference action marked the most wins in conference play since 1978 when former coach Billy Brewer guided the Lions to a 5-1-1 mark in the Division II Gulf South Conference.
After an 0-3 start to open the 2012 season, Southeastern rallied from a 14-point deficit and helped Roberts earn his first victory in Hammond with a 25-24 win over nationally-ranked McNeese State. The excitement generated by the dramatic comeback served as a spring board for the rest of the season as the Lions won their first three games in Southland Conference play and five of their final eight contests.Southeastern’s 5-2 mark in Southland Conference action – a four-game improvement from an identical 1-6 record in 2010 and 2011 – left the Lions one game behind co-champions Central Arkansas and Sam Houston State in the final standings. Along with its win over McNeese State, Roberts also guide the Lions to victories over Northwestern State and Nicholls State, marking the first-ever sweep of Southeastern’s in-state rivals in a season.
Named the 16th head coach in school history on December 19, 2011, Roberts brings a proven record of success to Hammond after a successful five-year tenure at Division II Delta State University.At DSU, Roberts led the Statesmen to a 47-16 record, four 10-win seasons and two NCAA Super Region II titles that included an appearance in the 2010 NCAA Division II national championship game and the 2011 semifinals.
A native of Visalia, Calif., Roberts led DSU to an 11-3 record in 2011 and was named the AFCA Division II Region Coach of the Year. The Statesmen led the GSC and finished 12th nationally with 463.7 yards per game while ranking 21st nationally in passing offense (282.7). DSU, which was ranked No. 1 nationally in the Division II polls for much of the season, paced the GSC in seven categories including total offense, scoring offense (33.4), total defense (336.6) and rushing defense (134.1).
In 2010, the Statesmen averaged 31.9 points and 452.9 yards of total offense per game. That combination propelled the Statesmen to an 11-4 overall record and a 6-2 mark in GSC play; giving the Statesmen a share of the GSC title for the third time in four years.
During Roberts’ tenure at DSU, 23 players were named to All-America teams and two players – Michael Eubanks in 2007 and Micah Davis in 2011 – were finalists for the Harlon Hill Trophy, the Division II equivalent to the Heisman Trophy. During Roberts’ stint with the Statesmen, 64 players, including 19 in 2011, were named to the All-GSC squad.
Roberts spent two seasons as defensive coordinator at DSU under former coach Rick Rhoades before becoming the school’s 17th head coach in 2007. The Statesmen posted identical 10-2 records and claimed Gulf South Conference titles with a combined 16-0 mark in Roberts’ first two seasons as head coach.
The Statesmen concluded 2007 ranked second in the NCAA in total defense, third in rush defense, second in scoring defense and first in defensive pass efficiency.
The successes of 2007 continued into 2008, where the Statesmen finished the season ranked second in the GSC (471.9 ypg) and sixth nationally. Led by All-GSC candidate Garrett DeWitt, the Statesmen passing attacked ranked fourth nationally with 328.3 yards passing per game. The Statesmen also rolled up 1,713 rushing yards and ranked second in the GSC and 16th nationally with 36.2 points per game.Prior to joining the DSU staff, Roberts served one season as head coach at Mount Whitney (Calif.) HS, and the 2003 season as defensive coordinator at Texas State.
While at Texas State, Roberts took over a defense ranked near the bottom in the Southland Conference. Within a year the seasoned coordinator improved the Bobcats’ defense in virtually every statistical category and Texas State placed two defenders on the All-Southland Conference Team.Before his appointment at Texas State, Roberts spent five seasons as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Tusculum College. During his tenure at the Greeneville, Tenn., school, the Pioneers posted one of the most memorable runs in school history.
In 2002, Roberts guided a defense that led the South Atlantic Conference in yards allowed per game and in points per game. In 2002, the Pioneer defense posted a school-record with 31 turnovers. Roberts coached 11 All-South Atlantic Conference defensive selections and Ricardo Colclough, a second-round National Football League draft pick in 2004.
Prior to joining the Tusculum staff, Roberts served as an assistant coach at Greensboro College in 1998 and was head coach at Burroughs High School (1994-96) in California. While at Burroughs, Roberts guided BHS to its first playoff appearance in 15 years and followed that up with another post-season trip the following year. He began his coaching career at Houston High School in Germantown, Tenn., as a defensive coordinator.Roberts was a two-time All-Conference selection at linebacker at the College of Sequoias in his native Visalia, Calif. He transferred to the University of Tennessee at Martin, where he helped guide them to the 1988 Gulf South Conference Championship. He graduated in 1990 from UTM with a degree in Sociology and later earned his master’s degree in Education from the University of Memphis in 1992.Roberts is married to the former Didi Walker of Germantown, Tenn. The couple are the parents of three children; Reed, Reilly, and Ryan.