|Title||Assistant athletics director for development|
|Born||January 24, 1967|
Redwood City, California
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|2013–2016||San Jose State|
|2018||San Diego State (OCRC)|
|2019||San Diego State (TE/PCG)|
|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|2020–present||San Diego (asst. AD, development)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|3× PFL (2007, 2011, 2012)|
|PFL Coach of the Year (2011)|
Ronald Allen Caragher (born January 24, 1967) is an American athletics administrator and former college football coach who is currently assistant athletics director for development at the University of San Diego. He was previously the head coach at the University of San Diego and San Jose State. Originally from Morgan Hill, California, Caragher played college football at UCLA and later became an assistant coach for UCLA football, first as a graduate assistant from 1994 to 1995, then as wide receivers coach from 1996 to 2002. From 2003 to 2006, Caragher served as running backs coach for Kentucky and was part of the 2006 Music City Bowl championship coaching staff.
Caragher first became a head coach at the University of San Diego in 2007 and remained in that position until 2012. During his tenure there, San Diego won three Pioneer Football League championships. From 2013 to 2016, Caragher was head coach at San Jose State. Although he inherited a team that finished 2012 ranked in the top 25, he was unable to match the success of that season. After leaving San Jose State, Caragher was an assistant coach at San Diego State in 2018 and 2019. Beginning in 2020, Caragher returned to the University of San Diego as an assistant athletics director.
Born in Redwood City, California, Caragher grew up with his mother in Morgan Hill after his parents divorced. Caragher played on the local Pop Warner football team and switched from running back to quarterback at age 12. Reflecting on his upbringing, Caragher said: "In a single-parent home, I was very influenced by coaches. "I was very blessed to have male coaches in my life that were good guides for me, because I could've gone different directions." Attending Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, Caragher lettered in three sports including football and graduated in 1985.
College playing career
Caragher received an athletic scholarship to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1985. At UCLA, Caragher redshirted his freshman year, then was backup quarterback from 1986 to 1989, including two seasons behind Troy Aikman. Caragher was part of the UCLA teams that won the 1986 Freedom Bowl, 1987 Aloha Bowl, and 1989 Cotton Bowl Classic.
In UCLA's 52-17 win on November 7, 1987 over Oregon State, Caragher was one of three backup quarterbacks who substituted for Aikman during garbage time. As a junior in 1988, Caragher completed 4 of 7 passes for 19 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. With UCLA leading Arizona 24-0 late in the fourth quarter on October 22, Caragher came in to replace Aikman but threw an interception that led to an Arizona field goal; UCLA would ultimately win 24-3. In the 1989 Cotton Bowl, senior Caragher took over on one handoff play after Aikman lost a contact lens. In 1990, Caragher graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. Caragher became a pension administrator after finishing his bachelor's degree.
Assistant coach (1994–2006)
While studying for his master's degree in 1994, Caragher became a graduate assistant with UCLA football. In 1995, Caragher earned his master's degree in educational administration from UCLA. In 1996, Caragher became coach for wide receivers, punters, and kickers, a position he would hold until 2002. Caragher coached UCLA through five bowl games. UCLA had a record 20-game winning streak from 1997 to 1998. With Pac-10 titles in 1997 and 1998, UCLA also won the 1998 Cotton Bowl Classic (following the 1997 season) and 2002 Las Vegas Bowl.
From 2003 to 2006, Caragher was running backs coach at Kentucky and was recruiting coordinator from 2005 to 2006. Kentucky's 8-5 2006 season was the school's best record since 1984, and Kentucky's 2006 Music City Bowl victory marked its first bowl game since 1999 and first bowl win since 1984.
San Diego (2007–2012)
Succeeding Jim Harbaugh, Caragher became head coach at Football Championship Subdivision school University of San Diego in 2007. Under Caragher, San Diego won three Pioneer Football League (PFL) titles: in 2007, 2011, and 2012. The Pioneer Football League named Caragher Coach of the Year following a 9-2 season in 2011, the team's third season with such a record under Caragher. At San Diego, Caragher coached quarterback Josh Johnson, who was selected in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
San Jose State (2013–2016)
Signing a five-year contract, Caragher accepted the head coach position at San Jose State on December 17, 2012, a week after previous head coach Mike MacIntyre resigned to become head coach at Colorado. Caragher coached his first game in the 2013 season after Kent Baer served as interim head coach for the 2012 Military Bowl on December 27, 2012. During the 2013 spring practice period, Caragher changed the defensive line alignment from a 4–3 to a 3–4 defense and put quarterback David Fales under center rather than the pistol offense.
Following an 11–2 season in 2012, San Jose State went 6–6 (5–3 in Mountain West play) in Caragher's first season as head coach and the program's first year in the MW and ended the season with a 62–52 upset win over AP #16 Fresno State. San Jose State fell to 3–9 in 2014. The season included a quarterback controversy that extended into the season, when Caragher changed the starting quarterback from Blake Jurich to Joe Gray after the third game.
In 2015, San Jose State improved to 6–7, including a win in the Cure Bowl. Despite a 5–7 regular season record, San Jose State was bowl-eligible due to a lack of 6–6 or better teams for all available bowl game spots. However, the team dropped to 4–8 in 2016, and Caragher was fired on November 27, the day after San Jose State beat rival Fresno State in the season finale.
San Diego State assistant (2018–2019)
In 2018, Caragher became offensive quality control coach and on-campus recruiting coordinator at San Diego State under Rocky Long. Caragher was promoted to tight ends coach and passing game coordinator in 2019. The 2019 San Diego State team finished 10–3 (5–3 Mountain West) and won the 2019 New Mexico Bowl. Long retired after the season, and new head coach Brady Hoke did not retain Caragher.
Athletic administration career
Head coaching record
|San Diego Toreros (Pioneer Football League) (2007–2012)|
|San Jose State Spartans (Mountain West Conference) (2013–2016)|
|2013||San Jose State||6–6||5–3||T–3rd (West)|
|2014||San Jose State||3–9||2–6||5th (West)|
|2015||San Jose State||6–7||4–4||T–2nd (West)||W Cure|
|2016||San Jose State||4–8||3–5||T–3rd (West)|
|San Jose State:||19–30||14–18|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
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- Durkin, Jimmy (December 22, 2012). "Ron Caragher's coaching path shaped by quarterback role". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on January 28, 2013. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
- "Ron Caragher". San Diego Toreros. Archived from the original on February 17, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
- Dodds, Tracey (November 8, 1987). "Beaver Homecoming Is Beautiful Until Bruins Crash the Party, 52-17". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
- Crowe, Jerry (October 23, 1988). "UCLA Comfortable With Top Spot : Aikman and Bruin Defense Have Little Trouble in 24-3 Win Over Arizona". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
- Hearther, Kellee (February 9, 2013). "Farewell Caragher Family, Until We Meet Again". eCoronado.com. Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
- "Ron Caragher". San Jose State Athletics. Archived from the original on April 13, 2017. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
- Wesch, Hank (January 9, 2007). "USD selects Kentucky's Caragher as new coach". San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on January 28, 2013. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
- Dubow, Josh (March 5, 2013). "Expectations high for San Jose State's new regime". Associated Press. Archived from the original on April 19, 2013. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
- Durkin, Jimmy (October 3, 2014). "SJSU quarterback Joe Gray says he's ready to take leap forward". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on November 30, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
- Almond, Elliott (December 6, 2015). "San Jose State to face Georgia State in Cure Bowl". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on February 6, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
- Wilner, Jon (November 27, 2016). "San Jose State fires football coach Ron Caragher, begins search for successor". The Mercury News. Archived from the original on November 30, 2016. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
- "SDSU Football Adds Ron Caragher to Coaching Staff". San Diego State University. February 6, 2019. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
- Kenney, Kirk (January 9, 2020). "Hoke making big changes to Aztecs football staff". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
- "Ron Caragher - Assistant Athletics Director for Development". University of San Diego. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
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