HAMMOND, LA -- Ron Roberts, who guided Delta State University to four Gulf South Conference championships and four appearances in the NCAA Division II playoffs, has been named as the 15th head football coach at Southeastern Louisiana University, the school announced at a Monday morning press conference.
The hiring of the 44-year-old Roberts, a native of Visalia, Calif., is subject to approval from the University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors.
In a successful five-year tenure 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.
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 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.
THE RON ROBERTS FILE
Born: October 9, 1967
Hometown: Visalia, Calif.
Spouse: Married to the former Didi Walker of Germantown, Tenn.
Children: Reed, Reilly and Ryan
Attended College of the Sequoias from 1985-86
Graduated from Tennessee-Martin in 1988 with BS in Sociology
Received master’s in Education from Univ. of Memphis in 1992
All-Conference linebacker at College of the Sequoias (1985-86) and Tennessee-Martin (1987-88)
Southeastern Louisiana, 2012-, Head Coach
Delta State, 2007-2011 - Head Coach
Delta State, 2005-2006 - Defensive Coordinator (LB)
Mount Whitney HS, 2004 - Head Coach
Texas State, 2003 - Defensive Coordinator (LB)
Tusculum College, 1998-2002 - Defensive Coordinator/Asst. HC
Greensboro College, 1997 - Defensive Coordinator
Burroughs HS, 1994-96 - Head Coach
Houston HS, 1992-93 - Defensive Coordinator
AT DELTA STATE
Years at DSU: Five
Overall Record: 47-16
Gulf South Record: 29-7/2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 GSC Champions
• Led the Statesmen to 47-16 record and four Gulf South Conference Championships in first five years as head coach
• Named 2011 AFCA Division II Region Coach of the Year
• Team has played in NCAA DII Football Playoffs in 2007 (Second Round), 2008 (Quarterfinals), 2010 (National Runner-Up), and 2011 (Semifinals).
• His 10 wins in 2007 were the most of any first-year head football coach in DSU history
• Coached 24 NCAA All-Americans and 99 All-Conference performers
• Coached Pittsburgh Steeler corner Ricardo Colclough at Tusculum and Cleveland Browns wide receiver L.J. Castile at Delta State.
• Coached Michael Eubanks (2006-2007) and Lardester Hicks-Green (2008) to GSC Defensive Player of the Year Award
• Nine Statesmen have competed in the Cactus Bowl, the NCAA DII Football All-Star Game, since Roberts became head coach
YEAR-BY-YEAR COLLEGIATE COACHING RECORD
2007 10-2 overall/8-0 GSC • GSC Champions/NCAA Second Round
2008 10-2 overall/8-0 GSC • GSC Champions/NCAA Quarterfinals
2009 5-5/4-4 GSC
2010 11-4/6-2 GSC • GSC Champions/NCAA National Runner-Up
2011 11-3/3-1 GSC • GSC Champions/NCAA Semifinals
Overall Record: 47-16
Gulf South Conference Record: 29-7