Ron Prince

Ronald Dale Prince (born September 18, 1969) is an American college football coach. He was previously the assistant head coach and offensive line coach for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL).[1] In college football, he has served as the head coach at Kansas State and Howard.

Ron Prince
Candid neck-up photograph of Prince with a mustache and goatee wearing a blue checked shirt
Prince in 2006
Personal information
Born: (1969-09-18) September 18, 1969 (age 51)
Omaha, Nebraska
Career information
High school:Junction City (KS)
College:Appalachian State
Career history
As coach:
Head coaching record
Regular season:NCAA: 18–27 (.400)
Postseason:Bowl games: 0–1 (.000)
Career:NCAA: 18–28 (.391)

College coaching careerEdit

Early yearsEdit

From 1993 through 2002, Prince worked at five college football programs as offensive line coach: Alabama A&M, South Carolina State, James Madison, Cornell, and Virginia. From 2003 through 2005, he was the offensive coordinator for Virginia under head coach Al Groh.

Kansas StateEdit

Prince succeeded head coach Bill Snyder at Kansas State following the 2005 season. When he started his first season at Kansas State, in 2006, he was 36 years old and the third-youngest head coach in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision.

During the 2006 season, Prince led Kansas State to its first winning record since 2003 with a 7–6 mark, as well as a berth in the inaugural Texas Bowl. The hallmark win of the regular season was a 45–42 upset of then #4 Texas on November 11, 2006. However, the Wildcats lost to intra-state rival Kansas 39–20. Kansas State lost the 2006 Texas Bowl to #16 Rutgers, 37–10.

In Prince's second season, Kansas State slipped to a 5–7 record, including a four-game losing streak to end the year and a second loss to Kansas 30–24.

On National Signing Day in February 2008, 19 junior college recruits signed to play football at Kansas State, although only 15 of them were able to enroll in the fall. As a result, Kansas State's 2008 recruiting class reportedly contains more junior college players than any other class ever compiled by current BCS teams. Some criticized it as "panicking" to get good players, while others praised Prince's moves, pointing out predecessor Bill Snyder's success with using junior college players.[2][3][4][5][6]

At the beginning of Prince's third season, on August 7, 2008, Ron Prince agreed to a new contract through the 2012 season. The deal was retroactive to January 1, 2008, and ran through December 31, 2012, replacing the original contract signed in December 2005. Prince's base salary for 2008 was $143,000 with a total guaranteed package of $1.1 million, which also included payments from endorsements such as television, radio, internet, personal appearances and apparel. Prince could have earned up to an additional $950,000 per year in performance-based incentives.[7][8]

During the 2008 season, Prince led the Wildcats to another 5–7 record and a third loss to Kansas 52–21. With three games remaining to be played, University officials announced on November 5, 2008, that Prince would not return as head coach in 2009. He finished his tenure 0–9 against Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.

On November 5, 2008, Prince was fired from his position as head coach.[9] He received a $1.2 million buyout and an additional $150,000 of a $250,000 longevity bonus.[10]

Kansas State buyoutEdit

On May 20, 2009, Kansas State University and its athletic corporation filed suit to have an allegedly secret agreement between Prince and former athletic director Bob Krause from 2008 declared invalid. The agreement required Kansas State to pay a total of $3.2 million in three deferred payments to a corporation called In Pursuit of Perfection, LLC, if the school terminated Prince before December 31, 2008. The payments were scheduled to be made in 2015, 2016, and 2020.

The agreement was entered into separately by Krause on the same day that Prince signed a five-year contract extension, on August 7, 2008. The agreement was allegedly discovered on May 11, 2009, as the university responded to "routine informational requests" for a lawsuit involving former coach Tim Tibesar. University president Jon Wefald denied any prior knowledge of this agreement and immediately called for Krause to resign, which he did, effective May 20, 2009.

In a subsequent release, interim Kansas State athletic director Jim Epps stated: "On May 11, 2009, I learned of a secret deferred compensation agreement that Bob Krause apparently negotiated with Ron Prince's attorney. This alleged deal was made without the knowledge of anyone else in the athletics department, including its attorney. This deal was apparently constructed as a further supplement to the buyout provision contained in Prince's employment contract. I do not know why any additional supplement was justified, or why Bob Krause concealed this agreement from everyone until it was inadvertently discovered last week."[11]

On August 10, 2009, attorneys for Prince filed a counterclaim against Kansas State Athletics seeking $3 million in punitive damages. The filings claim that Wefald and other high-ranking members of the athletic department were aware at all times of the agreement. The claim also contended that Krause directed the department's attorney to reword the public contract to allow for a supplemental buyout.[12]

Kansas State University announced on May 6, 2011 that an agreement for settlement between Prince and K-State Athletics, Inc. and the University had been reached. K-State Athletics, Inc. will pay one lump sum of $1.65 million to Prince's company, In Pursuit of Perfection, LLC, on or before May 25, 2011. This is in addition to the $1.2 million Prince had already received per his employment contract, for a total buyout payment of $2.85 million.[13] K-State President Kirk Schulz stated: "We are pleased to have this matter resolved. We appreciate the work that our University counsel has provided during this process and can now maintain focus on moving forward as a University community." K-State Athletics, Inc. reported paying $395,000 in external legal fees during the dispute.[14] The University made the agreement public as a news release and was bound to provide this statement: "Neither the University nor K-State Athletics contends or believes that in negotiating his employment agreement or the MOU, Coach Prince engaged in any wrongful or unethical conduct. Discovery has demonstrated that this situation was not of Coach Prince’s making."[15]

Virginia (second stint), Rutgers, MichiganEdit

In 2009, Prince was rehired by the University of Virginia as special teams coach,[16] and spent one season with the program. After spending the 2010 through 2012 seasons coaching in the NFL, Prince was hired as offensive coordinator of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on February 19, 2013,[17] and spent one season in that role. Prince spent the 2018 season as an offensive analyst for the Michigan Wolverines.

Howard UniversityEdit

In December 2018, Prince was hired as the head coach for the Howard Bison.[18] In early November 2019, Prince was placed on administrative leave by the university, "after allegations of verbal abuse and intimidation of players."[19] The team was 1–8 at the time that Prince was placed on leave. On December 6, 2019, he resigned his position.[20]

Professional coachingEdit

Indianapolis Colts

On March 21, 2010, the Indianapolis Colts announced the hiring of Prince as the assistant offensive line coach.[21] On January 31, 2012, Prince was fired by new Colts head coach Chuck Pagano.[22]

Jacksonville Jaguars

In February 2012, Prince was hired as assistant offensive line coach by the Jacksonville Jaguars and new head coach Mike Mularkey.[23] Prince spent one season with the team.

Detroit Lions

After spending the 2013 season with Rutgers, Prince was hired as the assistant head coach and tight ends coach of the Detroit Lions on January 18, 2014. New Lions head coach Jim Caldwell had previously worked with Prince on the staff of the Indianapolis Colts. Prince was fired by the Detroit Lions on January 1, 2018.[24]

Personal lifeEdit

Although Prince was born in Omaha, Nebraska, he was raised in Junction City, Kansas, a town 20 minutes west of Kansas State's campus in Manhattan, Kansas. He was raised by Ernest and Georgeanne Prince. He has three sons and a daughter.

Prince attended Junction City High School, where he graduated in 1988. He began his college football career at Dodge City Community College, then transferred to Appalachian State University, where he graduated and played on the offensive line under coach Jerry Moore.

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Kansas State Wildcats (Big 12 Conference) (2006–2008)
2006 Kansas State 7–6 4–4 T–2nd (North) L Texas
2007 Kansas State 5–7 3–5 4th (North)
2008 Kansas State 5–7 2–6 T–4th (North)
Kansas State: 17–20 9–15
Howard Bison (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) (2019–present)
2019 Howard 1–8 0–4 Placed on leave prior to Nov. 9 game
Howard: 1–8 0–4
Total: 18–28


  1. ^ "Lions hire Ron Prince as assistant head coach/tight ends coach". Archived from the original on January 20, 2014. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
  2. ^ Evans, Thayer (July 23, 2008). "Kansas State Sees Players Where Some See Panic". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  3. ^ "How desperate is K-State's Ron Prince this year?".
  4. ^ "The pros and cons of raiding the junior colleges for players".
  5. ^ "Playboy envisions breakthrough year for K-State". Archived from the original on August 25, 2008.
  6. ^ "Juco-heavy Wildcats take a risk".[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Prince signs new contract". Retrieved March 22, 2018.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Details of Prince's contract". Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  9. ^ "Prince won't return as Kansas State coach in '09". November 5, 2008. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  10. ^ "Fired Ron Prince: 'I do believe we ran out of time'".[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "K-State files suit asking court to declare secret agreement invalid".
  12. ^ "Prince seeking $3 million". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  13. ^ "K-State settles with Ron Prince for $1.65 million".
  14. ^ "K-State settles lawsuit with Ron Prince". Archived from the original on July 19, 2011.
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ "Breaking News, World News & Multimedia". Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  17. ^ "Rutgers names Ron Prince offensive coordinator, elevates Dave Cohen on defense". February 19, 2013. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  18. ^ "Ron Prince Named Head Football Coach at Howard University". (Press release). December 10, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  19. ^ VanHaaren, Tom (November 6, 2019). "Howard places coach Ron Prince on leave amid ongoing investigation". ESPN. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  20. ^ Bogage, Jacob (December 6, 2019). "Howard football coach Ron Prince resigns after allegations of verbal abuse, player intimidation". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
  21. ^ "Colts add ex-Bear Turner, Prince to coach staff". March 20, 2010. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  22. ^ "NFL football news, rumors, analysis". Pro Football Weekly. Archived from the original on February 4, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  23. ^ Stellino, Vito. "Jaguars finish coaching staff, hire Ron Prince as assistant offensive line coach". Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  24. ^ "Lions also fire offensive line coach Ron Prince". Retrieved January 1, 2018.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit