After he led Weber State to a share of the Big Sky championship last season, you might want to call coach Ron McBride a miracle worker. The consistently mediocre program hadn't won a Big Sky title in football in 30 years. McBride, now on the doorstep of turning 70 years old, is set to show last season wasn't a fluke. Deseret News sportswriter Andrew Aragon caught up with McBride after Weber State's first day of fall camp, and here's what he had to say:
Question: How was your summer and what did you do?
Answer: My summer was good. I worked a camp in Hawaii. That's always good, and then my daughter (Kelly) got married, which is a big plus. I played some golf. That wasn't too good, but it was fun. I swam — did my laps every day. That was good. I didn't go a lot of places, except the trip to Hawaii. Part of the family vacation was spent on the wedding so that kind of broke the bank. And then I spent a lot of time here (at Weber State).
Question: Is the program about where you wanted it to be at this point in the summer?
Answer: Yeah. After looking at all the numbers from the strength room and everything else … the strength numbers and the jumping numbers are phenomenal. There were something like 25 or 30 guys with verticals over 35 (inches) and we had four guys jump 40-plus. That's really unusual in any program. Just the numbers coming out of the weight room I thought were very good. The guys in their conditioning tests were very good. The whole operation for the whole season, I'm extremely pleased with.
Question: Are you happy with the talent level in the program and how everything has come together?
Answer: Yeah. We have a little bit of depth, and I like what I see so far. The players are strong and they're in shape and they look good. It looks like we have speed in the secondary and good speed outside. We got good runners. It looks pretty solid at this point.
Question: You guys got a lot of attention and respect in the offseason (picked second in the Big Sky and ranked No. 7 nationally). Is that a good thing?
Answer: I think the positive thing about it is at least Weber State is getting respect. Before, we were kind of a second thought of everybody. So now people say they have this guy and he's pretty good and this guy and he's pretty good. That's nice, but if you have a little bit of a reputation you have to take care of that reputation.
Question: What keeps you going as a coach?
Answer: Players. I love the players. I love practice. I love to watch them practice, watch them compete. That's what keeps me going. Just being out here on the grass.