Baylor Athletics Press Release:
WACO, Texas – Baylor head football coach Dave Aranda has named 30-year coaching veteran Ron Roberts as the Bears’ new defensive coordinator.
“Ron Roberts is a mentor to me. A lot of the defensive principles and concepts that I have used in my career, I learned from Ron,” Aranda said. “The defense he is going to run here is an attacking one that dictates to the offense. I’m so excited that he’s here. He’s going to be a great developer of young men and he will be able to get our defense to the highest level.”
Longtime associates, Aranda served as defensive coordinator under Roberts at Delta State in 2007.
Roberts comes to Waco from Louisiana-Lafayette where he has coordinated the defense since 2018. Under his leadership, the Ragin’ Cajuns led the Sun Belt Conference and ranked 18th nationally in scoring defense in 2019 allowing only 19.7 ppg, an improvement of 87 spots in the rankings and a difference of -14.5 ppg.
Overall, UL finished second in the Sun Belt in total defense (371.8 ypg) and had the league’s top red zone defense (51.16 percent) with only 22 touchdowns allowed in 43 attempts. His defense held opponents to a Sun Belt-leading 197.7 passing yards per game (No. 21, NCAA).
“I’m excited to be a part of Coach Aranda’s staff, what he is doing and his vision for Baylor University,” Roberts said. “Our relationship goes back nearly 20 years. I have always valued my relationship with Coach Aranda and I look forward to the opportunity work side-by-side with him.”
In two seasons at Louisiana, he had nine defenders earn All-Sun Belt honors. The program made two consecutive Sun Belt Conference championship game appearances and won a school-record 11 games in 2019 including a 27-17 bowl victory over Miami (Ohio).
Prior to joining Louisiana, he served as the head coach as Southeastern Louisiana. During his time at the helm of the SLU football program, Roberts led the Lions to two conference championships with a 42-29 overall record and a 35-14 Southland Conference mark.
The Lions won their second-straight Southland Conference championship in 2014, sharing the regular season title with Sam Houston State, following that season the Lions placed 16 players on the 2014 All-Southland Conference teams.
Under Roberts, the 2013 Lions won their first-ever Southland Conference championship and their first league title of any kind since 1961. Southeastern finished with an 11-3 overall record and 7-0 mark in league play, earning its first-ever FCS playoff berth and the No. 4 national seed. The single-season school record victory total propelled the Lions to a No. 6 ranking in the final FCS Coaches and Sports Network polls. The 2013 squad had a school record 24 All-Southland Conference players.
Prior to SLU, Roberts spent five seasons at the helm of Division II Delta State where he led the Statesmen to a 47-16 record, four 10-win seasons and two NCAA Super Region II titles that included an appearance in the 2010 NCAA Division II national championship game and the 2011 semifinals.
A native of Visalia, Calif., Roberts led DSU to an 11-3 record in 2011. The Statesmen led the GSC and finished 12th nationally with 463.7 yards per game while ranking 21st nationally in passing offense (282.7). DSU, which was ranked No. 1 nationally in the Division II polls for much of the season, paced the GSC in seven categories including total offense, scoring offense (33.4), total defense (336.6) and rushing defense (134.1).
In 2010, the Statesmen averaged 31.9 points and 452.9 yards of total offense per game. That combination propelled the Statesmen to an 11-4 overall record and a 6-2 mark in GSC play; giving the Statesmen a share of the GSC title for the third time in four years.
Roberts spent two seasons as defensive coordinator at DSU under former coach Rick Rhoades before becoming the school’s 17th head coach in 2007.
The successes of 2007 continued into 2008, where the Statesmen finished the season ranked second in the GSC (471.9 ypg) and sixth nationally.
Prior to joining the DSU staff, Roberts served one season as head coach at Mount Whitney (Calif.) HS, and the 2003 season as defensive coordinator at Texas State.
Roberts spent five seasons as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Tusculum College (1998-2002). Prior to joining the Tusculum staff, Roberts served as an assistant coach at Greensboro College in 1998 and was head coach at Burroughs High School (1994-96) in California.
Roberts is married to the former Didi Walker of Germantown, Tenn. The couple are the parents of three children; Reed, Reilly, and Ryan.