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Dec. 22, 2008
CONTACT: Jim Streeter
jim.streeter@emich.edu 734.487.0317

Ron English introduced as EMU head football coach

YPSILANTI —Ron English, the defensive coordinator for the University of Louisville football team in 2008, has been named head football coach at Eastern Michigan University. EMU Director of Athletics Dr. Derrick Gragg made the announcement today (Dec. 22) in a press conference held in the atrium of the Convocation Center. English replaces Jeff Genyk who did not have his contract renewed after the 2008 season.

Ron English

Ron English

"When we began this search for a new head football coach at Eastern Michigan University we wanted someone that we felt could take our program in a new direction," Gragg said. "After going through an exhaustive search process we have selected Ron English to lead our football program. He has proven himself as a tremendous defensive coordinator over a long career and we feel that he is prepared to take over our football team as a head coach."

Prior to spending the 2008 season at Louisville, the 40-year-old English was an assistant football coach at the University of Michigan from 2003-07 where he coached the defensive backs for his first three seasons and served as the football program's defensive coordinator in his final two seasons.

In 2007 English oversaw an aggressive Michigan defense that was the nation's eighth-ranked pass defense and 17th in pass efficiency defense. The Wolverines were also 23rd in scoring defense and 24th in total defense.

English was named Rivals.com National Defensive Coordinator of the Year during his initial season as the defensive signal caller at Michigan in 2006. That Wolverine defense rated among the nation's best, finishing first against the run, fourth in sacks, seventh in third-down defense, 10th in total defense and 15th in scoring defense.

The Wolverine defensive secondary collected 36 interceptions during his three seasons overseeing the entire corps and turned four of those picks into touchdowns. In addition, U-M yielded 37 touchdown passes by the opposition during that time, including an NCAA-leading nine in 2003.

English became the first coach in NCAA history to have two defensive backs earn consensus All-America honors in the same season, since the organization began incorporating both an offensive and defensive team in 1965, as cornerback Marlin Jackson and safety Ernest Shazor earned the recognition following the 2004 season. During his tenure on the Michigan staff he coached an All-Big Ten defensive back in every season and had two All-Conference selections in four of his five seasons.

English made an immediate impact on the Wolverine secondary during his first season as an assistant coach when U-M tied for the national lead in fewest touchdown passes yielded with nine, and finished ninth in pass efficiency defense. The secondary collected 13 interceptions and returned two for scores.

A 15-year veteran of college coaching, English spent five seasons as an assistant football coach at Arizona State University. He coached the secondary all five years with the Sun Devils, the final two years with the cornerbacks and the previous three seasons mentoring the safeties. He helped ASU to three bowl appearances: the 1999 and 2000 Aloha and 2002 Holiday bowls.

English also tutored the secondary for two seasons at San Diego State (1996-97) and served as the outside linebackers coach at Northern Arizona for the 1996 spring practice. His first stint at ASU was as a graduate assistant coach handling the defensive line during the 1994-95 seasons. English began his collegiate coaching career as the defensive backs coach at Mt. San Antonio College (1993) in Walnut, Calif. He coached one season at Ganesha High School (1992), his alma mater, in Pomona, Calif.

English was a four-year letterman (1987-90) and senior starter at safety for the University of California Golden Bears football squad. He also started on special teams all four seasons at California. English finished his career with 134 tackles and seven sacks and participated in the 1990 Copper Bowl against Wyoming. His identical twin brother, Don, also played for the Golden Bears.

English played one season of prep football at Ganesha High School before heading to California.

A 1990 graduate of the University of California-Berkeley with a bachelor's degree in social sciences, English earned his master's degree in education administration from Arizona State in 1995.

English will be one of five African-American head coaches in the 119-school NCAA Football Subdivision ranks.

English and his wife, Sophia (Woodard) have three children; Simon (9), Sydney (5) and Seth (3).


Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

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