Doug Robinson: Utah Utes football: Coach Ron McBride deserves some credit for the raised level of U. football

Published: Sunday, Aug. 28 2011 7:52 p.m. MDT

During his 13 years as head coach, Mac compiled a record of 86-63, most of the losses coming during the early years. He produced 10 winning seasons, including a 10-2 record in 1994. He beat BYU six times, after losing the first three games to Utah's arch-rival. He took the Utes to six bowls — double their previous total — and won three of them. He reversed decades of mediocrity and pushed them over the hump. He made it possible for Urban Meyer and Kyle Whittingham to take the Utes to the next level.

Mac's impact on the program can still be seen today. The roster is filled with returned LDS missionaries and Polynesians. Offensive line coach Tim Davis played for Mac and later served as a graduate assistant coach under Mac at Wisconsin and as a line coach at Utah. Mac hired Whittingham and Chad Kauha'aha'a as assistant coaches. Morgan Scalley and Jay Hill played for Mac.

In the end, Mac created a monster. He raised the level of expectations so much, just as he had vowed to do, that ultimately it cost him his job. By the time Mac was finished, the Utes were no longer satisfied with merely being competitive and beating BYU. Mac was fired in 2002 after a 5-6 season, which came on the heels of an 8-4 season. By then he had done what he said he would do. He showed the Utes what they could be.


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