by Daniel Olsen
Once a week, we will be highlighting an inductee of the Utah Sports Hall of Fame. This week’s inductee is former Ute football coach Ron McBride.
Some coaches are the ones who get the national attention and other coaches pave the way for the next guy to do so. Ron McBride is a coach who paved the way for Utes coaches Urban Meyer and now Kyle Whittingham.
McBride is a West Coast guy who grew up in Los Angeles. He was one of the best football and baseball players in the city at the time. He then made the move up to the north side of California to play football for the San Jose State Spartans from 1959-1962. He was the team captain his senior year. He briefly played professionally for the San Jose Apaches.
Coaching before Utah
Many of the stops early in McBride’s coaching career were in California. He started out in Piedmont Hills high school before coaching the offensive line at Gavilan JC, UC Riverside and Long Beach State. His first big gig in the Beehive State was the offensive coordinator at the University of Utah from 1977-1982. He briefly left to coach the offensive line at Wisconsin before returning to Utah for another short stint. He made one more trip away from Utah to coach the offensive line at Arizona for a couple years.
McBride becomes the leader for the Utes
The third time was the charm as he finally was able to secure his first collegiate head coaching job at the University of Utah. He was one of the first Utah coaches in the Lavell Edwards era to compete with BYU. He finished with a 6-7 record against the Cougars who at that time were a national powerhouse. Some of his most memorable wins ended by the score of 34-31.
While it didn’t have a storybook ending, McBride left the Utes better than he found them. After his tenure, the Utes skyrocketed to the top of the college football world when they won the Fiesta Bowl in 2004 and the Sugar Bowl in 2008. McBride went on to coach Weber State for a little while before retiring.
McBride should be remembered for helping the Utes become a relevant program in the state of Utah and laying the groundwork for what would become a nationally recognized team.
Featured image courtesy Deseret News