Ron Roberts Officially Joins Gators Football Staff

by | Jan 16, 2024 | 0 comments

Ron Roberts Florida
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida head football coach Billy Napier announced the addition of Ron Roberts to the program on Tuesday, Roberts will serve as the Gators executive head coach, co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

“We are excited to add one of the best football minds in all of college football to our staff in Ron Roberts,” Napier said. “Ron is a great teacher and leader, and he has consistently produced and developed quality defensive players and units. His familiarity with our process and veteran experience as a coordinator and head coach will be great for the staff. It’s my honor to welcome him and his wife, Didi, to Gator Nation.”
“I’m thrilled to rejoin coach Napier and his staff, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be part of Gator Nation.” Roberts said. “I’m excited and ready to get to work.”
A coaching veteran of more than 30 years, Roberts arrives from Auburn where he was the defensive coordinator last season.  In his lone season, the Tigers’ defense saw improvements and were top in the country and SEC in multiple categories.
Roberts guided Auburn to top-50 in scoring defense, sacks, tackles-for-loss and total defense. The Tigers also ranked top-25 in third-down defense and first-downs allowed while ranking No. 1 in the SEC in red zone defense. In the conference, Auburn was second in third-down defense, third in pass defense and fourth in interceptions.
According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Roberts’ defense was graded the Tigers a top-25 team in pass coverage (17th), total defense (18th), rushing defense (19th) and tackling (24th).

Before his season at Auburn, Roberts spent three years (2020-22) at Baylor as the defensive coordinator and inside linebackers’ coach. He helped the Bears capture the program’s third-ever Big 12 Title and first BCS/New Year’s Six bowl victory in the modern era.
In 2021, the defense was one of the nation’s top units as they were one of three to limit every opponent to 30 points or fewer. Baylor led the conference in interceptions (19), turnovers gained (27), turnover margin (0.93) and defensive touchdowns (3). Additionally, the Bears were second in the Big 12 run defense (118.4 ypg), scoring defense (18.3 PPG), pass efficiency defense (121.54) and sacks per game (3.14).
En route to the conference title, BU held Oklahoma to its lowest scoring (14) and yardage (260) marks in five years under Lincoln Riley. Baylor became the first Big 12 team to hold OU without a passing TD since Nov. 22, 2014, which snapped a 65-game streak for the Sooners.
Roberts’ defense also helped capture the 2022 Sugar Bowl while limiting Ole Miss to seven points, an offense that averaged 28.9 points per game. The Bears had 10 sacks that game, setting a Sugar Bowl record as was Al Walcott’s 96-yard interception return for a touchdown.
In his first season in Waco, the defensive unit finished second in the conference in pass defense (203.0 ypg), interceptions (12) and third in turnovers forced (17).
Prior his stint at Baylor, Roberts was the defensive coordinator under head coach Billy Napier at Louisiana from 2018-19. In his two seasons, Roberts had nine defenders earn all-Sun Belt honors and helped the program reach two consecutive conference championship appearances and a school-record 11 victories in 2019.
Under Roberts’ leadership in 2019, the Ragin’ Cajuns led the Sun Belt Conference and ranked 9th nationally in red zone defense (72.1%), 18th in scoring defense (19.7 ppg) and 21st in passing defense (151.9 ypg). UL also was second in the conference in total defense (371.8 ypg).
Before working with Napier for the first time, Roberts was the head coach at Southeastern Louisiana from 2012-17. He led the Lions to two conference championships, back-to-back FCS playoff berths and had an overall record of 42-29 and a 35-14 mark in the Southland Conference.
The Lions won back-to-back conference titles in 2013 and 2014. SLU’s victory in 2013, marked the program’s first league title of any kind since 1961. That season the program earned its first-ever FCS playoff berth and was the No. 4 national seed. Southeastern finished 11-3 and 7-0 in league play and concluded the season ranked No. 6. The 2013 team had a school record 24 all-Southland selections.
Prior to SLU, Roberts spent seven seasons (2005-11) at Delta State where he started as the defensive coordinator for the first two seasons before being hired as the head coach in 2007. He led the Statesman to four playoff appearances, a 47-16 record, four 10-win seasons and two regional titles en route to an appearance in the 2010 NCAA Division II National Championship game and 2011 semifinals.
In his final season at Delta State, the Statesmen finished 11-3 and were ranked No. 1 nationally the majority of the season. DSU led the Gulf South Conference in passing offense, scoring offense, total defense, total offense and rushing defense. The offense was 12th nationally in total offense (463.7 ypg) and passing offense (282.7 ypg).
In 2010, DSU went 11-4 and 6-2 in GSC play earning a share of the conference title for the third time in four years.
A native of Visalia, California, Roberts served on season as the head coach at Mount Whitney (Calif.) High School 2004 after being the defensive coordinator at Texas State the year prior.
From 1998-2002, he was an assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Tusculum College. Roberts arrived from Greensboro College where he was an assistant in 1997 after being the head coach at Burroughs (Calif.) High School from 1994-96. He began in his coaching career in 1990 at Houston High School (Tenn.) where he spent four years as the school’s defensive coordinator.
Roberts played linebacker in at UT Martin and graduated in 1990. He then received his master’s degree from the University of Memphis in 1992. He is married to the former Didi Walker of Germantown, Tennessee. The couple are the parents of three children, Reed, Reilly, and Ryan.
Ron Roberts Coaching Experience
2024-Pres.: Florida (Co-Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers Coach)
2023: Auburn (Defensive Coordinator)
2020-22: Baylor (Defensive Coordinator / Inside Linebackers Coach)
2018-19: Louisiana (Defensive Coordinator)
2012-17: Southern Louisiana (Head Coach)
2007-11: Delta State (Head Coach)
2005-06: Delta State (Defensive Coordinator)
2004: Mount Whitney High School (Head Coach)
2003: Texas State (Defensive Coordinator)
1998-02: Tusculum (Assistant Head Coach / Defensive Coordinator)
1997: Greensboro (Assistant Coach)
1994-96: Burroughs High School (Head Coach)
1990-93: Houston High School (Defensive Coordinator)
NFL Players Mentored by Roberts*(teams drafted by/signed by)
Robert Alford (CB): Atlanta Falcons – 2013, 2nd Round
Jalen Pitre (S): Houston Texans – 2022, 2nd Round
JT Woods (S): Los Angeles Chargers – 2022, 3rd Round
Terrel Bernard (ILB): Buffalo Bills – 2022, 3rd Round
Siaki Ika (DT): Cleveland Browns – 2023, 3rd Round
Percy Butler (S): Washington Commanders – 2022, 4th Round
Harlan Miller (CB): Arizona Cardinals – 2016, 6th Round
Will Bradley-King (DE): Washington Commanders – 2021, 7th Round
Kalon Barnes (CB): Carolina Panthers – 2022, 7th Round

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