Ron Collins is in his fifth year as defensive coordinator at Colorado, as he was one of four assistant coaches to join Boise State head coach Dan Hawkins when he accepted the Colorado position in December 2005. He oversees all phases of the defense for the Buffaloes, but does not coach a specific position.
Collins, 46, served as Boise State's defensive coordinator for four seasons, while coaching the linebackers all five years he spent on the BSU staff under Hawkins. Under his guidance, the Boise State defense developed into one of the top defenses nationally and as the best in the Western Athletic Conference. All together, Collins had 26 players earn All-WAC recognition during his four seasons as defensive coordinator.
His first Colorado defense in 2006 was solid against the run (fourth in the Big 12, 30th in the NCAA at 112.4 yards per game) and allowed 341 yards per game overall in limiting five opponents to fewer than 20 points in a game while forcing 24 turnovers.
In 2007, the Buff ‘D' was again strong against the run (31st nationally), and had a three-week stretch where the opponent gained only 590 total yards, the second lowest total CU allowed over the previous 42 seasons. Within that run, the Buffs contained a powerful Oklahoma offense to only 230 yards, and Rivals.com selected him as the National Coordinator of the Week for Colorado's 27-24 win over the third-ranked Sooners.
The 2008 team was decimated by injuries on both sides of the ball, but despite all the prolific offenses in the Big 12, CU was the only school in conference action not to allow 500 or more yards in any game. And in a 14-13 win over Kansas State, CU held that precarious 1-point lead the final 25:49 of the game, the longest any team protected a 1- or 2-point lead in Division I-A (and the NFL) in 2008 and the longest a CU defense was asked to do it since 1936.
His 2009 defense was 11th in the nation in forcing "three-and-outs" with 53, and was seventh in the NCAA in red zone defense. It also registered the most sacks (29) at CU in the Hawkins Era, and held Texas (313 yards) and Nebraska (217) to regular season offensive total yardage lows.
The 2005 Boise State defense ranked 15th nationally against the run (107.9 ypg), a figure that also topped the WAC; it was also among the best in the nation in forcing turnovers with 26. Collins also had one of his players, linebacker Korey Hall, repeat as a first-team all-WAC performer.
His 2004 unit may have been his best. That year, the Broncos ranked in the top 10 nationally in three categories: interceptions (second), turnovers gained (fifth) and rushing defense (10th), while also finishing 13th in turnover margin.
That same team also ranked first in the WAC in five different categories, including rushing defense (103.9 yards per game), turnover margin (0.83) and interceptions (23), and was also second in total defense (357.8 ypg). Seven of BSU's starters selected were selected either first or second-team or honorable mention All-WAC in 2004, including first-team linebackers Hall and Andy Avalos and cornerback Gabe Franklin.
Those accomplishments followed up on a solid 2003, when BSU ranked in the top 20 nationally in interceptions (sixth), pass efficiency defense (seventh), rushing defense (11th), scoring defense (12th), turnovers gained (14th) and turnover margin (17th). Boise State was also 37th in total defense, and ranked first in the WAC in seven of the nine major categories, including scoring defense (17.1 points per game), rushing defense (100.5 ypg), total defense (348.4 ypg), pass efficiency defense (99.0), interceptions (21) and third down conversion defense (31.3 percent). All three of Collins' linebackers earned All-WAC recognition: Avalos was first-team, Travis Burgher was second-team and Hall an honorable mention selection.
In 2002, Boise State led the WAC in eight defensive categories, and finished 16th in the nation in rushing defense and 17th in scoring defense. One of his linebackers also garnered postseason recognition, as Chauncey Ako was named second-team All-WAC.
During his first year at BSU, he helped develop a young linebacker corps into a solid and deep group. He had one player, Greg Sasser, named second-team All-WAC.
He spent 13 seasons at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., the first full-time position of his career, as he joined the Bear staff under coach Ken Woody as secondary coach for the 1988 season. He was elevated to defensive coordinator a year later under new coach Larry Kindbom, a position he would hold through the 2000 season. In addition to his defensive coordinator duties, Collins also served as the special teams co-coordinator during the 1999 and 2000 seasons, and worked as the school's strength and conditioning coach for his entire 13-year stay.
With Collins at the helm of the defense, Washington University had one of the school's top football decades during the 1990s. In producing a 68-33 record from 1990-2000, Washington University shared three University Athletic Association (UAA) titles and won seven or more games on five occasions. In 1999, Collins coached the top ranked Division III defense in the country, as Washington allowed just 192 yards of total offense per game and a school record 49.8 rushing yards per game in making the NCAA playoffs for the first time in school history.
Prior to joining the Washington University staff, Collins was a graduate assistant at Iowa State University during the 1987 season. He started his coaching career as a volunteer assistant at his alma mater, Washington State, in the spring of 1987.
Collins is a 1987 graduate of Washington State, earning a bachelor's degree in physical education. The defensive team captain as a senior, he lettered four years for WSU at strong safety for coach Jim Walden. He started three seasons (1984-86) and once had three interceptions in a game (versus Stanford as a sophomore in 1984). He received a master's degree in education administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 1991.
He was born January 30, 1964 in Wenatchee, Wash., and graduated from Cashmere (Wash.) High School, where he earned a total of 10 letters in football, wrestling and track. He is married to the former Sharon Arthalony, and the couple has two daughters, Taylor Rae (11) and Alexandra (9).
TOP PLAYERS COACHED-All-Western Athletic Conference Performers (4): Chauncey Ako, Andy Avalos, Korey Hall, Greg Sasser.
RECORD-He has coached in 113 Division I-A games as a full-time coach, owning a record of 69-44 (16-33 at Colorado, 53-11 at Boise State); he has coached in five bowl games. He coached in 120 Division III games (76-44), including one playoff game at Washington University.