Ron Caragher motivates his football players at the University of San Diego for success on the playing field, but later this week the head coach, entering his third year, will deliver a different message to an entirely new audience.
Local attorney Donald Tremblay, father of defensive lineman Paul Tremblay, invited Caragher to be the featured speaker at Fridayâ€™s St. Thomas More Society of San Diego program at the downtown Westgate Hotel.
â€œIn this position, Iâ€™m fortunate to have the chance to spread the information about what the USD experience is all about, particularly for a football player,â€ Caragher said. â€œYes, we talk about succeeding on the playing field, but beyond that, we also talk about community involvement. Itâ€™s something thatâ€™s bigger than what happens on the playing field.â€
Caragher will speak at 1 p.m. following a noon Mass, to an organization comprised of members of the local legal community.
His focus will be on his experiences as an assistant coach at high-profile Bowl Championship Series (Division I) football programs UCLA and the University of Kentucky, and on coaching at USD, a non-scholarship program that successfully competes in the Pioneer Football League and the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) level. In addition to an 18-4 record and one league title in his two seasons, two of his starting players have also earned national academic recognition.
â€œI can compare being at schools in the Pac-10 and the SEC (Southeast Conference) to what it means to be coaching players who play for the love of the game, and I can tie it into the strong academics at USD, where our players truly are student-athletes,â€ he said.
The coach said he enjoys the opportunity to talk about USD, citing a similar approach when recruiting players and meeting with parents.
Caragher, who graduated from San Joseâ€™s Bellarmine College Prep, and has bachelor and masterâ€™s degrees from UCLA, replaced Jim Harbaugh (now at Stanford University) as USD head coach in January 2007.
â€” Ryan T. Blystone