Next year, Head Coach Ron McBride will not be on the sidelines of Stewart Stadium when the Weber State University football team takes the field. Despite this, his memory and legacy will remain for years to come.
Earlier this week, McBride announced he will retire following the completion of this season. For 40 years, McBride has patrolled the sidelines; the last seven years have been spent at WSU. In that time, McBride has made an impact upon players, coaches and fans. Director of Football Operations Kamaal Ahmad said it’s hard to express how much McBride has meant to him.
“Working with him has been a phenomenal experience,” Ahmad said. “Words can’t describe that man, not at all. I’ve probably spent more time with him than anyone in my family.”
WSU running back Josh Booker said he echoed Ahmad’s comments that McBride is a unique coach and person.
“There is not a person in this world like Mac,” Booker said.
Ahmad said he has spent a great deal of time with McBride, first as a player at the University of Kentucky, then as a member of the WSU coaching staff. He said over the past 10 years, his favorite memory of McBride came from UK. At the time, McBride was the linebacker coach for UK.
“As a player, it was probably the first time I heard him speak,” Ahmad said. “We were going through a losing streak at Kentucky, and he got up and spoke. Eyes were just glued on him, and every word he said, I was thinking he’s not a position coach, he’s a head coach.”
WSU cornerback Robbie Diamond posted on his Twitter account Monday his feelings for McBride and his retirement.
“Thank u Coach Mac for everything you’ve done for me & da program. U was a great coach!! #legend,” Diamond tweeted.
McBride made a lasting impact upon players and coaches for his no-nonsense style. He said he was happiest in rough physical games. Ahmad said it was the simple things that McBride instilled in him.
“It’s something a lot of people overlook,” Ahmad said, “but I learned from him the basic fundamentals of football and how you treat people.”
Booker said McBride showed him the right way of doing things, which is something that will help him in both football and in life.
“He has instilled in me that there is no easy way of doing things in life,” Booker said. “You have to be willing to accept challenges and not shy away. You shouldn’t ever try to find loopholes to get what you want. You need to fight through and do it yourself, whether on the field or just in life.”
McBride took a serious interest in his players’ lives, both on the field and off. In his press conference, he talked about visiting players’ houses and asking how their family was first, before discussing anything else. He also said he’d tell players’ families that he would be there to see them graduate.
Booker also said when he plays for McBride, there is an added mentality on the field to do things right because that’s what McBride wants.
“My favorite memory of Coach Mac is just seeing him happy,” Booker said. “All the plays that we did, stuff as a team made him happy. Those are the most exciting and memorable times for us.”
Now that McBride has announced his retirement, things are sure to change for the WSU football program, but in his farewell press conference earlier this week, McBride said he is confident the team will continue to grow and succeed, both on the field and off.