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USU football: Dave Ungerer named special teams coordinator and running backs coach

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, March 11 2013 4:37 p.m. MDT

Dave Ungerer, who has 26 years of coaching experience and has been involved in five bowl games, has been named Utah State’s special teams coordinator and running backs coach, it was announced Monday by Aggie head coach Matt Wells.

“Dave brings a wealth of special teams experience into the meeting room and onto the field during game day,” Wells said. “He has a lot of experience, having worked with three Pac-12 schools and one Southeastern Conference school, and that will be beneficial to both our staff and student-athletes. We are happy to welcome Dave and his family into the Aggie football family.”

Ungerer was most recently the special teams coordinator and running backs coach at Washington State during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. During his first season at WSU, he improved the Cougars’ kickoff coverage unit from ranking 120th to first nationally in just one year.

“Utah State is a program on the rise and I’m very excited to be a part of that,” Ungerer said. “I have been very impressed by coach Wells and his organizational plan to continue to take Utah State up the ladder as far as college football teams are concerned. I am very impressed with Logan, Cache Valley and Utah State University and anxious to get started.”

Prior to Washington State, Ungerer spent the 2009 season at Elon University, where he helped the Phoenix to a 9-3 record and a second-place finish in the Southern Conference with a 7-1 mark. As special teams coordinator, his units ranked among the top 50 in four categories, including fifth in kickoff coverage as Elon surrendered just 17.06 yards per return.

From 2007-08, Ungerer served as the special teams coordinator at Oregon State and helped the Beavers to an 18-8 record (13-5 Pac-10) and back-to-back bowl appearances as they played in the Emerald and Sun Bowls. OSU finished the 2007 season ranked 25th in the final Associated Press poll and 18th in the final 2008 AP poll.

In his first season at OSU, he worked with All-Pacific-10 Conference placekicker Alexis Serna, who ended his career as the school’s all-time leading scorer and the Pac-10 record holder with 144 consecutive extra point conversions. Furthermore, the Beaver kickoff coverage team ranked first in the Pac-10 and fifth nationally. In 2008, he coached All-Pac-10 first-team punt returner Sammie Stroughter and second-team kick returner James Rodgers. As a unit overall, the Beavers ranked first in the conference in kickoff coverage (18.7 yards) and third in kickoff returns (23.4 yards).

Prior to Oregon State, Ungerer spent four seasons at Alabama as the special teams coordinator and tight ends coach helping the Crimson Tide (2003-06) finish the 2005 season ranked eighth in the final AP poll after posting a 10-2 record, which included a Cotton Bowl win. During his tenure at UA, the Crimson Tide blocked 13 kicks and returned five punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns. While at Alabama, he coached All-Southeastern Conference punt returners Javier Arenas and Tyrone Prothro.

Ungerer's first stint in the Pac-10 came in 2002 when he spent one season as the special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at California. In his lone season, kickoff returner LaShaun Ward ranked third in the nation in average returns, while Mike McGrath and placekicker Mark Jenkins earned All-Pac-10 honors. In addition, Cal's kickoff return team was third in the nation and first in the Pac-10.

Ungerer arrived at California after two years at Lehigh (2000-01), where he assisted the program in finishing in the top 10 in the nation both seasons as the Engineers etched a 23-2 record and advanced to the NCAA Division I-AA semifinals in 2001 and to the quarterfinals in 2000.

Ungerer also spent five years at Maryland (1992-1996), where he coached 1993 honorable mention All-American and first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference punter Scott Milanovich. He began his Maryland career as the strength coach before becoming special teams coordinator and running backs coach, a position he held for three years.

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