Stanford's Crook to Coach WVU's O-Line
- By Mike Montoro
- February 25, 2013 03:29 PM
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen has announced that Ron Crook will join the Mountaineer coaching staff as the offensive line coach.
“Ron brings many years of outstanding offensive line coaching experience to West Virginia,” Holgorsen said. “He has helped developed winners at his stops and comes highly recommended. He brings a professional and positive attitude and expects toughness from the players. He has a proven track record as a teacher, coach and recruiter. He is a West Virginia native, who wants to be here, and I look forward to his contribution to our coaching staff.”
Crook comes to Morgantown with 24 years of collegiate coaching experience, coaching the offensive line for 23 years, one year as the offensive coordinator, five years as the special teams’ coordinator and working three years with the tight ends. He has worked with teams that have won championships in nine seasons and two teams that participated in the NCAA Division II playoffs.
“One of the main reasons I wanted to come here was because I know how important football is in the state of West Virginia, especially the Mountaineer football program,” Crook said. “I’m very excited about this opportunity to work at a program with the history and tradition that it has. I understand the responsibility that it involves, and I don’t take that lightly.
“I’m excited to be part of Coach Holgorsen’s offensive system. When you’re an offensive coach, you like scoring points. It was good to meet with him (Coach Holgorsen) and see his vision for the program. I look forward to working and learning from him and the other members of the staff. I’m excited to get started.”
Crook served the past two seasons as the tight ends and offensive tackles coach at Stanford. He helped lead Stanford to a two-year record of 23-4, win the 2012 Pac-12 Conference Championship, make an appearance in two straight BCS Bowls, including a 20-14 win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2013.
He was a key in the development of unanimous All-American tight end and two-time Mackey Award Finalist Zach Ertz, who ranked first in 2012 among FBS tight ends with 837 receiving yards and 66 receptions (both marks are Stanford single-season tight end records).
Both Ertz and Levine Toilolo were named to the Mackey Award Midseason Watch List, the only pair of teammates in the nation to receive that distinction. Either Ertz or Toilolo led Stanford in receiving in 10 of 13 games in 2012.
Stanford's tight end trio of Coby Fleener, Ertz and Toilolo were widely considered the best unit in the nation in 2011, as the three players combined to catch 86 passes for 1,356 yards and 20 touchdowns. The trio accounted for more than half of Stanford's touchdown receptions (38) during an 11-2 campaign.
Fleener, who led the Cardinal with 10 touchdown grabs, was named a Sporting News All-American in addition to earning first team all-conference honors, while Toilolo was an honorable mention all-conference selection. Fleener was drafted in the second round by the Indianapolis Colts in 2012, finishing with 26 catches for 281 yards and two touchdowns.
Crook's work with offensive line coach Mike Bloomgren helped shape the Cardinal's front five into one of the nation's top units in 2011. The line's pass protection ability aided quarterback Andrew Luck in passing for a school-record 37 touchdowns while it's blocking ability helped a Cardinal ground attack amass the third-highest rushing total in school history.
Prior to his arrival at Stanford, Crook spent eight seasons (2003-10) as offensive line coach at Harvard. While at Harvard, Crook's offensive line helped pave the way for Clifton Dawson (2003-06) to set the Ivy League's all-time career rushing record with 4,841 yards, breaking the former mark held by Cornell's Ed Marinaro. Eight of Crook's players earned All-Ivy first team honors a combined 11 times, including tackle James Williams, who was a three-time All-America and first team All-Ivy selection.
In 2009, four of Harvard's linemen earned all-league honors while tailback Treavor Scales, who ran behind Crook’s line, was named the Ivy League's Rookie of the Year. In addition, Crook tutored Frank Fernandez, who was selected to play in the 2007 Hula Bowl.
Prior to his appointment at Harvard, Crook served on the coaching staff at Illinois in 2002, where he assisted with the offensive line. He worked closely with All-Big Ten players Dave Diehl and 2001 All-America Tony Pashos, who were both selected in the 2003 NFL Draft.
As a graduate assistant coach at Cincinnati in 1993, he helped the Bearcats to an 8-3 finish.
Crook has strong ties to the state of West Virginia, having coached in the state for nine years. He served as the offensive line coach and offensive coordinator at West Liberty State, helping the Hilltoppers to the 2000 WVIAC title. A decade earlier, Crook broke into the collegiate coaching ranks at West Liberty, where he served as a student assistant, working primarily with the tight ends. He also served as the offensive line coach for three seasons (1990-92).
Crook was part of coaching staffs at West Virginia Tech (1999), Glenville State (1997-98) and Clarion College (1994-96) and was part of NCAA Division II playoff teams at Glenville State and Clarion.
Crook, a native of Parkersburg, W.Va., earned his degree in physical education from West Liberty State in 1991. Ron and his wife, Stacy have three children - Andrew, Cian and Kenley.