American Football Database
American Football Database
Ron Caragher
File:Ron Caragher at 2016 Bay Area College Football Media Day.jpg
Caragher at 2016 Bay Area College Football Media Day.
Current position
TitleOn-Campus Recruiting Coordinator
TeamSan Diego State
ConferenceMountain West
Biographical details
Born (1967-01-24) January 24, 1967 (age 54)
Redwood City, California
Playing career
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
PFL (2007, 2011, 2012)
PFL Coach of the Year (2011)

Ronald Allen Caragher (born January 24, 1967) is an American college football coach. He has been 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. After SJSU head coach Mike MacIntyre departed for the University of Colorado following the 2012 regular season, San Jose State hired Caragher to be head coach beginning with the 2013 season.

Early life

Born in Redwood City, California and raised in Morgan Hill, Caragher graduated from Bellarmine College Prep of San Jose in 1985 and lettered in three sports there.[1][2]

College playing career

Caragher received an athletic scholarship to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1985.[3] At UCLA, Caragher redshirted his freshman year, then was backup quarterback from 1986 to 1989, including two seasons behind Troy Aikman.[1][3] 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.[4] As a junior in 1988, Caragher completed 4 of 7 passes for 19 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions.[5] 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.[6] In the 1989 Cotton Bowl, senior Caragher took over on one handoff play after Aikman lost a contact lens.[2] In 1990, Caragher graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology.[3] In 1995, Caragher earned his master's degree in educational administration from UCLA.[3]

Coaching career

Assistant coach (1994–2006)

Caragher became a pension administrator after finishing his bachelor's degree.[7] While studying for his master's degree in 1994, Caragher became a graduate assistant with UCLA football. 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.[3] 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.[8]

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.[3]

San Diego (2007–2012)

Succeeding Jim Harbaugh, Caragher became head coach at Football Championship Subdivision school University of San Diego in 2007.[9] 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.[8] Josh Johnson, a quarterback selected in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft, played at San Diego under Caragher.

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.[1] 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.[10]

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.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
San Diego Toreros (Pioneer Football League) (2007–2012)
2007 San Diego 9–2 6–1 T–1st
2008 San Diego 9–2 6–2 T–2nd
2009 San Diego 4–7 3–5 T–6th
2010 San Diego 5–6 5–3 4th
2011 San Diego 9–2 7–1 T–1st
2012 San Diego 8–3 7–1 T–1st
San Diego: 44–22 34–13
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
Total: 63–52
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Durkin, Jimmy (December 18, 2012). "New San Jose State coach Ron Caragher no stranger to maintaining success". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on December 21, 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Durkin, Jimmy (December 22, 2012). "Ron Caragher's coaching path shaped by quarterback role". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on December 22, 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 "Ron Caragher". San Diego Toreros. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  4. Dodds, Tracey (November 8, 1987). "Beaver Homecoming Is Beautiful Until Bruins Crash the Party, 52-17". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  6. 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 December 19, 2012.
  7. Hearther, Kellee (February 9, 2013). "Farewell Caragher Family, Until We Meet Again". Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Ron Caragher". San Jose State Athletics. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  9. Wesch, Hank (January 9, 2007). "USD selects Kentucky's Caragher as new coach". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  10. Dubow, Josh (March 5, 2013). "Expectations high for San Jose State's new regime". Associated Press.
  11. Durkin, Jimmy (October 3, 2014). "SJSU quarterback Joe Gray says he's ready to take leap forward". Retrieved November 29, 2014.
  12. Almond, Elliott (December 6, 2015). "San Jose State to face Georgia State in Cure Bowl". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  13. Gallegos, Martin (November 27, 2016). "San Jose State fires football coach Ron Caragher, begins search for successor". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved November 29, 2016.

External links