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Miami Hurricanes Coach Profile: Ron Dugans

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The Miami wide receivers have been a highlight since Dugans arrived

Buccaneers v Bengals Photo by Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images

Miami Hurricanes wide receiver coach Ron Dugans was born in Tallahassee, FL. Dugans played his college football at Florida State for current Miami head coach (then FSU offensive coordinator) Mark Richt from 1995-1999. Collegiately, Dugans shared the spotlight with Peter Warrick but caught 105 balls for 1,520 yards and seven touchdowns.

Dugans was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 3rd round of the 2000 NFL Draft, reuniting Dugans with Warrick. While in the league, Dugans caught 89 passes for 797 yards and three touchdowns from 2000-2002.

In 2005, Dugans started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Florida State. After his G.A. experience Dugans returned to the Bengals as an assistant coach before coaching receivers for Georgia Southern (2008-2009), Louisville (2014-2015), and USF (2014-2015) before arriving at Miami to work on Coach Richt’s staff in 2016.


Performance

Dugans’ receivers have performed well since his arrival in Coral Gables and one notable area has been blocking downfield. Stacy Coley had a career year in 2016 as he caught nine touchdowns, a personal record, as a senior. 2016 also saw the breakout of freshman sensation Ahmmon Richards. Richards averaged 19.1 yards per catch in ‘16 as he totaled 934 yards and three touchdowns.

In 2017, Braxton Berrios had a breakout senior campaign replacing Coley as the main threat. Berrios became one of the most clutch receivers in recent Miami history as he gained 679 yards and caught nine touchdowns including two touchdowns against the ‘Noles. Richards battled injuries but still averaged 18.3 yards per catch in limited action. Dugans also coached another freshman that made plays as Jeff Thomas averaged 22 yards per catch and caught two touchdowns last year.


Recruiting

In 2016, the ‘Canes staff had to throw together a recruiting class late in the game and Dugans signed three four-star recruits and a three-star JUCO player in Dayall Harris. This was a rough class for Dugans as Harris, and a pair of four-star freshman in Dionte Mullins and Sam Bruce have since left Coral Gables. However, Harris did perform well in the blocking game and had a few nice bubble screens on RPO’s while at Miami. Richards has over 1800 career receiving yards and six touchdowns in 20 games.

In 2017, Dugans signed four receivers in Jeff Thomas, Mike Harley, Evidence Njoku, and Derrick Smith. Thomas played as as freshman and averaged 22 yards per catch while Harley struggled to break away with only 10 yards per reception. Njoku and Smith didn’t log any stats as freshman.

In 2018, Coach Dugans signed two four-star prospects and a three-star receiver. Six-foot-one, 175 pound Mark Pope is a four-star receiver from Miami Southridge. Three-star receiver Daquris Wiggins, also from Southridge, is a rangier threat at six-foot-three and reminds me of ‘Canes great Lamar Thomas. 2018’s freshman star looks to be Brian Hightower out of IMG. Hightower had a breakthrough spring game catching four passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns.


Outlook

The Miami receivers are in good hands both personally and professionally with Ron Dugans. Coach Dugans is a great person and has improved the effort, recruiting, and playmaking since arriving on campus. The 2018 receiving corps has the potential to be elite with Harley, Thomas, Richards, Lawrence Cager, and Hightower all being high level players in orange and green. If Malik Rosier can get them the football this could be the best meeting room of receivers we’ve seen in Miami since the 2001 season.