ACC: Ron West

UNC hires Ron West, tweaks staff

February, 14, 2013
North Carolina coach Larry Fedora has hired Ron West as co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, the school announced on Thursday. West, who coached previously with Fedora at Baylor and with defensive coaches Vic Koenning and Dan Disch at Illinois, comes to Chapel Hill after a year at Arizona State where he served as the Sun Devils’ co-defensive coordinator.

“Ron is familiar with our staff and he brings a great deal of success and experience from his previous coaching stops,” Fedora said in a prepared statement. “He’s an excellent teacher of defensive fundamentals who gets the most out of his players. His knowledge of the ACC and ability to recruit in this area of the country will help our program.”

Fedora also named Randy Jordan as the special teams coordinator and changed responsibilities among Carolina’s defensive assistants.

Koenning, who also worked with West at Clemson (2005-08), will continue in his role as UNC’s associate head coach for defense, but will now coach the safeties. Disch continues as the defensive coordinator and will coach cornerbacks. Keith Gilmore was hired last week as the defensive line coach. All four defensive coaches have worked together at some point in their careers.

A 1979 Clemson graduate, West was an assistant coach for 10 seasons (1999-2008) with the Tigers where he worked with Koenning from 2005-08. Clemson won 76 games and played in nine bowl games during his tenure.

To see the full release, click here.

Former Clemson assistant lands at Tulsa

January, 19, 2009

Posted by's Heather Dinich

Former Clemson assistant Ron West has found a home as Tulsa's co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, the schools announced today.

West, who spent the past 10 seasons as an assistant under former coach Tommy Bowden, was recently displaced when coach Dabo Swinney added Kevin Steele as defensive coordinator. West had been coaching the linebackers.

West was left to either find a new job, or take a role as an administrative assistant. West is a strong recruiter, and his experience will help in the states of Texas and Louisiana, but this whole transition couldn't have been easy for the 1979 Clemson grad. He was on Bowden's staff at Tulane, too. So it goes in the business of college football. 

Clemson announces staff assignments

January, 12, 2009

Posted by's Heather Dinich

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney today announced staff assignments, the most newsworthy being the official promotion of Billy Napier to offensive coordinator. Considering Napier and Swinney called plays together for the final seven games of the season, this shouldn't come as a shock.

It is, however, a big deal for Napier, who isn't even 30 yet (he'll reach that mark in July). Considering he and I are the same age, I'll be the last person to second-guess him because of it. His experience, though, is another matter.

Napier just finished his third season as a full-time assistant coach. He was previously the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator, the latter being a position he'll continue to hold through the end of this recruiting cycle. Now he's tasked with helping an offense that was at the root of this program's problems this season, despite its numerous playmakers.

How much better was the tandem of Swinney and Napier than former offensive coordinator Rob Spence and coach Tommy Bowden? Not much, and don't forget they had a healthy offensive line to work with.

Despite the tandem of James Davis and C.J. Spiller, Clemson had just 4 yards rushing in the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl against Nebraska and was held to under 100 yards rushing in four other games under the direction of Swinney and Napier. Clemson averaged 85.8 rushing yards during the coaching change and 102 under the previous regime (and that's NOT including cupcake wins over South Carolina State and The Citadel).

Napier and Swinney did average more points -- 23.8 to Spence's 15 -- and had a slightly higher average in passing yards and total offense. The difference, though, was hardly glaring. Of course, they were in a transition phase, but if Clemson is going to rebound, the offense and play calling still needs a makeover, and it looks like Napier is going to give it one.

"We will have some changes next year," Swinney said in a release. "We will basically be a spread-formation team. What will be different next year is that we will use the quarterback more in the running game. Billy is one of the fine young coaches in the nation. He will be a head coach some day."

Swinney made a small but smart move in regards to the offensive line. Brad Scott will continue to serve as associate head coach and he will coach the offensive guards and centers, but Danny Pearman, who joined the staff at the end of the regular season from Maryland, will coach the offensive tackles and tight ends and serve as assistant head coach. Pearman is a former Clemson tight end.

This should help devote more attention to what was an obvious weakness.

Outside linebackers coach Ron West's name is nowhere to be found on the final list of assignments, so he will either find a new job or move into an administrative position. The trendy thing to do these days is name a co-coordinator, and Swinney did that on defense with Kevin Steele and Charlie Harbison.

Here is the final list:

Offensive Assistants
Billy Napier -- Offensive Coordinator, quarterbacks
Danny Pearman -- Assistant head coach, tackles, tight ends
Andre Powell -- Running backs, Special teams coordinator
Brad Scott -- Associate Head Coach, Offensive guards and centers
Jeff Scott -- Wide Receivers

Defensive Assistants
David Blackwell -- Defensive tackles
Charlie Harbison -- Co-Defensive Coordinator, Defensive Backs
Chris Rumph -- Defensive Ends
Kevin Steele -- Defensive Coordinator, inside linebackers

ACC's lunchtime links: So long, farewell ...

January, 8, 2009

Posted by's Heather Dinich

In case you slept through all of Wednesday, two major things happened: Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski was fired, and a handful of players decided to leave the ACC for the NFL.

Here are a few stories and opinions on both of those subjects:


Gregg Doyel applauded Boston College for taking a stand, but he wasn't the only one. Sally Jenkins was also a fan of the move, as was Dan Wetzel. About the only opinion missing on this is Jagodzinski's. One thing is for sure -- athletic director Gene DeFilippo took it personally.


Maryland wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey is trying to remain a "normal citizen" while preparing for the NFL draft.

The fact that Virginia wide receiver Kevin Ogletree already graduated made his decision a lot easier.

Also leaving is arguably the best defensive end in the ACC, FSU's Everette Brown.


Paul Strelow is reporting that Clemson assistant Ron West (outside linebackers/bandit ends) might be the first one out the door to make room for new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele.

Konica Minolta Gator Bowl preview

January, 1, 2009
Posted by's Heather Dinich

WHO TO WATCH: Clemson's coordinators. Coach Dabo Swinney, who will be coaching in his first bowl game, will also be calling the plays. And the Tigers will depend on linebackers coaches David Blackwell and Ron West to coordinate the defense. How the defense -- particularly the secondary -- responds to its first game without former defensive coordinator Vic Koenning will be important against Nebraska's productive offense.

WHAT TO WATCH: The clock. Nebraska is No. 2 in the nation in time of possession, controlling the clock for 33:60. In order for Clemson to have a chance at winning, they've got to have their playmakers on the field. Clemson's defense should match up well against quarterback Joe Ganz, but it can't be on the field all day.

WHY TO WATCH: It's a matchup reminiscent of the 1982 Orange Bowl, when Clemson beat Nebraska 22-15 for the school's only national title. It's the first bowl game since 2006 that will feature two first-year FBS head coaches. It's also the final game for one of the most talented groups of seniors to come through the program.



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