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

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Published: Sunday, Aug. 28 2011 7:00 p.m. MDT

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Burley, ID

Thanks Coach Mac ... this is one Ute fan who will never forget what you did for us.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

Absolutely! It really took the three of them Ronnie Mac, Urban Meyer, and Coach Kyle to move the program to where it is. Dr. Chris Hill also deserves a tremendous amount of credit for moving the entire athletic department forward. No wonder he's been around for 26 years!

Iowa City, IA

"Ron McBride is a forgotten man in Utah's graduation to the football big-time, but he played a big role in making it happen."

We haven't forgotten coach. Thanks for the great memories!

South Jordan, UT

Loved McBride but hated the apparent lack of discipline. We lost a few games (or kept games too close) due to too many penalties and especially unsportsmanlike penalties always at bad times Loved his emotion but felt he took us as far as he could take us. I remember Ronnie giving me a hug after a few thousand of us celebrated a Freedom Bowl victory in Anaheim. More good memories than bad.

Farmington, UT

It was Urban Meyer that raised the level of football, not Ron McBride. Why do you think they got rib of Ron McBride, duh
Urban Meyer totatlly changed everything about the U football team. When I had classes with the football team the first year Urban was coaching, the football team would come in class with ice packs on them. Urban totally changed the way things were done at the U and Kyle Whittingham followed suit and continues the legacy today...
McBride had his time, but didn't accomplish what Urban made the team into.

Salt Lake City, UT

@ GABBY/8:38 - If you were a student at the time Urban was a coach, then it's no wonder you don't really appreciate what McBride did because you're too young to remember "pre" McBride.

Coach Mac totally changed the culture at the U. IMO, he did the heaviest lifting between he, Meyer, and KW; that is, he did the most inglorious part, and that was pulling us out of the gutter, dusting us off and giving us a shave.

IMO, Mac should be the one we honor for beginning the modern era of Ute football and our current run of success.

Salt Lake City, UT

Gabby you are not very aware of the history of Utah.

I love Mac and agree with this article.

I want to clarify one thing though. It was Coach Fassel that really started the turnaround at Utah because he is the one that brought the LDS missionary program back. It was Fassels first recruiting class of LDS players that went to the Copper Bowl their Senior season.

Wayn Howard Jinxed Utah because he wouldn't hold scholarships for LDS players. He really didn't have a clue about Utah and the caliber of players he was missing out on.

Mac is the one who really got the ball rolling though and deserves the credit of building the foundation of a great program.

Go Utah!

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

GABBY, I think you just don't understand enough of the history of Utah football.

McBride took a bad program and made it average.
Urban took an average program and made it good.
Whit took a good program and made it great.

The fact that McBride got fired doesn't mean he didn't do his part. He raised the level of the program - his issue was that he couldn't raise it any further.

Brigham City, UT

Mcbride has personality which has been lacking since he left.

Wiley Old School

No true Ute fan has forgotten. McBride belongs in the Utah hall of fame!

Cottonwood Heights, UT

I know what Doug Robinson is trying to point out in this article - basically just remind people of what Mac did for the Utes - but I disagree with the statement that people have forgotten what Mac did. I haven't forgotten and never will. I think most true Ute fans that have been around long enough would feel the same.
We'll always appreciate what you did Coach Mac!


I disliked McBride for two reasons, the apparent lack of discipline in his players on the field (penalties, cheap shots, etc.) and the fact that he had figured out how to beat my cougars! I respect the ability of the man to do that second one.
On a side note, I do not think it is a coincidence that Utah's improvement coincided with the embracing of LDS missions. There are a lot of KEY positions that the Utes needed to fill that were not willing to sacrifice their mission for football. They may not have been the star players all of the time, but they were the trench players you have to have in order for star players to shine. When Utah began bringing in those trench workers they were missing out on before, the difference between them and BYU was suddenly a moot point. Like or hate the Mormons, the U is who they are today as a school, and a football program because of a lot of Mormons who went there, played there, and coached there. Before this attitude change, BYU and Ricks were the only place to go, now players have another choice.

Utesville, CA

Coach Mac raised Utah football to another level up--just like Lavell did for BYU football when he took over in the early 70s.

Urban and Kyle have taken Utah to the BCS-level.

BYU has stayed the same level (if not slightly below the level that Lavell took them up to)--mid-major level still.

Good article.
And coach Mac is not forgotten by true Utah football fans.

Jimmy James
Salt Lake City, Ut

Great article. Ron Mcbride absolutely deserves credit for helping the U get to the PAC. After all, while Urban did amazing things, he did it with coach Mac's recruits (including Alex Smith). And if it wasn't for Mac's efforts beforehand, I doubt that Urban Meyer would have ever even came to the U.

That said, for me the majority of the credit should rest with Urban Meyer. He took an average program and turned it around in a phenomenal way. He put us on the map. And of course, a large amount of respect should be given to Whittingham for continuing what Urban Meyer started. Initially I didn't think that Whittingham would be able to do what Meyer had done, but then came the Sugar Bowl. And in terms of earning national respect, that game is the most important football game Utah has ever played.

So in sum, as a Ute fan, I want to give a huge thank you to those 3 incredible coaches who each played a pivotal role in getting us to where we are today!

Provo, Utah

McBride completely changed the way Utah played football. Having come from Arizona, he built his Utah teams to be a mirror of top PAC 10 teams like Arizona, USC, and Washington. They ran the ball with punishing running backs, the offensive line became a bulwark, and the defense became an attacking group. He hired proven winnner coaches like Fred Whittingham.

In addition, he decided that beating BYU was Utah's prime football directive. He refused to lay down and let BYU continue to destroy the Utes. He recruited some of the best players that ever played for the Utes, including star defensive linemen, star offensive linemen, star defensive backs, and those fantastic running backs. He even got Elliot and Smith to come to Utah to play quarterback.

The whole program changed when the rivalry became a rivalry. It's all Ron McBride. He got the Utes into the Top 10.

The whole state should give him tremendous credit for changing the face of college football and making key decisions that laid the foundation for the move to the PAC-12. Without him, none of this would have happened.

Las Vegas, NV

DR's column is right on. Coach McBride is second to none and Coaches Meyer, Whittingham, and those that follow will all stand on Mac's shoulders. Coach Mac's teams were the real deal, as evidenced by the 2001 LV Bowl where the tougher and more determined Ute's beat a more talented Pete Carrol and Carson Palmer lead USC 10-6. The next year USC received multiple #1 votes after humiliating Iowa in the Orange Bowl. Then USC won two NC's in a row and was barely beat by TX when going for #3. USC may have been lucky they didn't have to play undefeated Utah in 2004. Coach Meyer definately elevated things, but Coach Whittingham may have had the toughest job, i.e. continued growth after the Utes beat Pitt, and beyond. It's a great time to be a fan of Ute football, thanks to all three.


Shame on any Ute fan who has forgotten what Coach Mac did for the program.

Salt Lake City, UT

Bill Meek had some good years, left the cupboard absolutely bare of players when he left, which is odd, because some of the players were driving some sweet rides...

Utah beat UTEP 82-6 in 1973.

Tom Lovat was a disaster. No discipline, no work ethic, no victories. Utah lost to UTEP in Lovat's first game. No QB, no offensive line, no running backs.

Wayne Howard was obsessed. There were signs in each coach's office, all season long, that said, "What have you done today to beat BYU?"

Chuck who?

Fassell was one dimensional.

McBride turned everything around, deserves more than "some" credit. Had passion, was a great recruiter, and had more class than any coach before and since. His players got unsportsmanlike penalties? Boo hoo! Passionate players. Mac's the one coach who understands you can be friends with your opponent and still try to beat their brains out -- like brothers do.

Urban built on Mac's foundation, was a better coach, increased fan support.

Whittingham is the perfect coach for Utah. Not a carpetbagger like Meyer, better coach than Mac, isn't looking to "move up." I suspect he'll stay at Utah no matter how much success they have.

Naval Vet
Philadelphia, PA

"I wanted to establish something here." -- fmr-Head Coach Ron McBride

I was on his sideline my entire tenure studying at the U. Utah has certainly moved up the ladder, and into the upper-echelon of college football. I'll certainly NEVER forget Ron McBride. He'd done too much for the Utah program to ever be an afterthought. Even Urban Meyer refused to take too much credit for our Liberty and Fiesta Bowl seasons; preferring rather publicly acknowledged McBride's ripple effect.

Thank you Coach McBride. I know what you did for us. And you did it the right way. Well done!

Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA

Coach Mac will always be one of my favorite all time coaches, but he still needed to go. In his last three years the Utes were predicted to win the conference twice and both times finished with losing records. His team would blow games late with poor play calling, and players were getting into trouble. Mac loved the players too much to show them the proper discipline. What he did in the previous decade before those last three years was a great gift to the University of Utah and he had some wonderful teams and players. I will always wish the best for Coach Mac but it was time for him to go, unfortunately.

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