Ron English, a former defensive coordinator at the University of Louisville, has been named to the defensive coaching staff for UofL head coach Jeff Brohm.
“We are very pleased to have Ron join our coaching staff at the University of Louisville,” Brohm said. “He brought a toughness to our defense and has familiarity with the University of Louisville. Ron has a broad range of experience as a head coach and a defensive coordinator at the highest levels. I am excited to bring his knowledge to our defensive staff.”
The UofL defensive coordinator in 2008, English returns to the Derby City after spending two seasons as the co-defensive coordinator and secondary at Purdue, where the Boilermakers improved dramatically under English’s guidance.
Under English’s tutelage, Purdue’s defense improved dramatically in the two seasons with him at the helm. Taking over a defense that was giving up almost 400.0 yards per game prior to his arrival, the Boilermaker defense yielded an average of 350.0 yards per game and 24.6 points per game. The Boilermaker’s held four opponents to less than 17 points, including a 56-0 shutout of Indiana State.
English’s ball-hawking style saw the Boilermaker’s improve their interception total in each of his two seasons leading the defense. Picking off just six passes the season before his tenure at Purdue, the Boilermakers would record 27 interceptions with English leading the secondary. Purdue finished in the top 35 nationally in interceptions, including 15th in the 2022 when they secondary recorded 14 picks.
In 2021, English put his stamp on the defense immediately, The Boilermakers yielded an average 22.4 points per game, ranking 34th in the country, to improve upon their No. 67 ranking from the 2020 campaign, where they gave up an average of 29.8 ppg. English tutored strong safety Cam Allen, who hauled in four interceptions throughout the season, ranking fourth in the Big Ten and 14th nationally. Purdue’s defense also found the top 25 in red zone defense (23rd – .756).
English joined the Purdue staff spending three seasons (2018-20) as the safeties coach at Florida. During his time in Gainesville, the Gators appeared in three consecutive New Year’s Six bowl games, winning the 2018 Peach Bowl and the 2019 Orange Bowl.
In 2019, Florida finished tied for ninth in the FBS with 16 interceptions. UF’s Shawn Davis, Kaiir Elam, Donovan Stiner and Marco Wilson were just one of two quartets in the nation with at least three picks individually on the season. Stiner led Florida with four interceptions, while Elam was merely one of seven true freshmen to have three interceptions at the FBS level. Chauncey Gardner Johnson and Marco Wilson were fourth-round selections under English.
Prior to his time at Florida, English was the safeties coach at Mississippi State for one season (2017). The Bulldogs went 9-4 and beat Louisville and Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson in the TaxSlayer Bowl where English served as MSU’s defensive coordinator for the game and the Bulldogs intercepted four passes in the 31-27 win. Mark McLaurin led the SEC in interceptions that season and picked off Jackson three times in the bowl game.
The Bulldogs returned an interception for a touchdown in three straight games in English’s lone season in Starkville and finished fourth in the Southeastern Conference in pass defense (175.0 yards per game) and third in the SEC in total defense (302.0 yards per game). MSU allowed merely 20.4 points per game in 2017. English mentored John Abram into a first-round pick by the Las Vegas Raiders.
English served as San Jose State’s defensive coordinator for a season in 2016, with the Spartans finishing fourth in the Mountain West Conference in pass defense (188.6 yards per game), first in third-down conversion defense (37.6 percent), fifth in interceptions (10) and fourth in turnovers forced (19).
English was the head coach at Eastern Michigan from 2009-13, leading the Eagles to immediate success. In 2011, he guided the Eagles to their best record in 15 years, finishing 6-6 and 4-4 in the Mid-American Conference. English was named the MAC Coach of the Year that season.
Prior to serving as the defensive coordinator at Louisville in 2008, English coached at Michigan for five seasons (2003-07), spending three seasons (2003-05) as the defensive backs coach and the final two years (2006-07) as the Wolverines’ defensive coordinator. Michigan finished the 2007 season eighth in the nation in pass defense, which helped English to be nominated for the Broyles Award, presented annually to the nation’s top assistant coach.
During his time in Ann Arbor, English was named the Rivals Defensive Coordinator of the Year (2006) and a Rivals top 25 recruiter (2006), all while helping guide Michigan to three Rose Bowl appearances (2004, 2005 and 2007). In 2004, he became the first coach to have two All-American defensive backs in the same season (cornerback Marlin Jackson and safety Ernest Shazor). Michigan led the nation in fewest touchdown passes allowed (9) in 2003.
English was the secondary coach at Arizona State for five seasons (1998-2002), where the Sun Devils appeared in the 2002 Holiday Bowl and the 1999 and 2000 Aloha Bowls. ASU finished second in the nation in turnovers forced in 2000.
English also spent time at San Diego State (1996-97) and Northern Arizona (1996) as a defensive backs coach.
As a graduate assistant coach at ASU (1994-95), English earned a master’s degree in education administration. He began his collegiate coaching career at Mt. San Antonio College (1993) after spending one year as an assistant at Ganesha High School (1992) in California.
A four-year letter winner as a safety at Cal (1987-90), English earned a bachelor’s degree in social sciences in 1991, while helping guide the Golden Bears to the 1990 Copper Bowl title. He was named a team captain his senior season.
English and his wife, Sophia, have three children; Simon, Sydney and Seth.
1992: Pomona Ganesha HS (CA) (assistant)
1993: Mt. San Antonio (Defensive Backs)
1994–1995: Arizona State (Graduate Assistant)
1996: Northern Arizona (Defensive Backs)
1996–97: San Diego State (Defensive Backs)
1998–2002: Arizona State (Defensive Backs)
2003–05: Michigan (Defensive Backs)
2006–07: Michigan (Defensive Coordinator)
2008: Louisville (Defensive Coordinator)
2009–2013: Eastern Michigan (Head Coach)
2016: San Jose State (Defensive Coordinator)
2017: Mississippi State (Safeties)
2018–20: Florida (Safeties)
2021–22: Purdue (co-Defensive Coordinator/(Defensive Backs)
2023–pr. Louisville ((Defensive Coordinator)
Alma Mater: California
Playing Career: 1997-00
Graduated: 1991 – Bachelor’s in Social Sciences