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Dugans ‘excited’ about returning to FSU as wide receivers coach

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One year after missing out on his attempt to land former Florida State standout Ron Dugans as an assistant coach, Florida State head coach Willie Taggart finally got his man.

Dugans has agreed to join the Seminoles' staff as wide receivers coach. FSU confirmed the hiring Sunday evening.

This will be Dugans' second stint as a Taggart assistant and his second time serving as a member of the Florida State coaching staff -- he was a graduate assistant coach on offense in 2006.

He then spent three seasons at Georgia Southern, three seasons at Louisville and two at South Florida before working the last three years at the University of Miami.

During his time at USF, Dugans helped Taggart turn around the struggling Bulls program. Taggart tried to bring Dugans in as part of his first staff at Florida State last year, but the wide receivers coach instead opted to stay with the Hurricanes.

Dugans, a Tallahassee product who starred at FSU in the last 1990s, was recently fired at Miami following the retirement of former head coach Mark Richt. New head coach Manny Diaz replaced the entire offensive staff immediately after accepting the top job.

With Dugans taking over as receivers coach, David Kelly is expected to take on a support staff position. Exactly what role Kelly will fill has not been announced.

Official release from FSU:

Former Seminole and 1999 national champion Ron Dugans has been hired as FSU’s wide receivers coach, head coach Willie Taggart announced Sunday.

“Ron Dugans is a respected teacher and recruiter who understands the culture we are building and the benefits of playing at Florida State,” Taggart said. “He has NFL and high-level college coaching experience, including two years with us at South Florida, and won a national championship at Florida State. His coaching experience has proven he is extremely qualified for this position, and we are happy to welcome him back home to Tallahassee.”

Dugans returns to Florida State after three years as wide receivers coach at Miami. In his first two seasons there he also served as passing game coordinator before being promoted to co-offensive coordinator for the 2018 season. Prior to his time in Coral Gables, he coached wide receivers on Taggart’s staff at South Florida in 2014 and 2015 following four years as Louisville’s wide receivers coach. Dugans began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at FSU in 2005 and 2006, after which he was a coaching assistant with the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL and then served as wide receivers coach at Georgia Southern for three seasons.

“I am extremely excited to be back at Florida State,” Dugans said. “My family and I are so appreciative of this opportunity presented to us by Coach Taggart. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the way he runs a program and that helps me come in and hit the ground running because I know exactly what he expects from me as a member of his staff. It’s a great honor to be able to return to my alma mater and help Coach Taggart put Florida State back where it should be.”

In 2018, Dugans co-coordinated an offense that converted at least 45 percent of its third-down conversions in seven games after only reaching that benchmark twice the year before. In 2017, he helped direct the Hurricanes to a 10-win season that culminated with an appearance in the Capital One Orange Bowl. Braxton Berrios had career-high totals with 52 receptions, 634 yards and nine touchdowns while earning All-ACC recognition, the Jim Tatum Award as the ACC’s top student-athlete and being a finalist for the Campbell Trophy. In Dugans’ first season at Miami, he guided Ahmmon Richards to Freshman All-America and All-ACC honors after breaking UM’s freshman receiving record with 934 yards. Senior Stacy Coley also was named All-ACC after becoming only the eighth Hurricane to accumulate 2,000 career receiving yards behind a career-high 754 yards in 2016.

Dugans’ receivers broke USF’s single-season touchdown record in both of his seasons at South Florida under Taggart. In 2014, Andre Davis set the Bulls’ record with seven receiving scores despite missing four games due to injury. The following year, Dugans tutored Rodney Adams to a career-high 822 yards and a school-record nine receiving touchdowns that still stands as USF finished 8-5 and played in the Miami Beach Bowl.

Dugans helped lead a program revitalization in his four seasons at Louisville. The Cardinals were 23-3 over the 2012 and 2013 seasons, including 11-2 with a victory over Florida in the Sugar Bowl in 2012 and a 12-1 mark in 2013 that culminated with a win over Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl. He guided wide receiver DeVante Parker to first-team All-AAC honors in 2013 as the junior caught 55 passes for 885 yards and 12 touchdowns. Parker, who was also a 2012 first-team All-BIG EAST selection after posting 10 touchdown receptions, caught 28 touchdowns in his first three seasons. Three Cardinal receivers caught 40 or more passes in 2013, including senior Damian Copeland who had a career-best 58 receptions for 780 yards for his second straight 50-catch season.

Prior to his time at Louisville, Dugans coached the receivers at Georgia Southern. Under Dugans’ guidance, Raja Andrews broke numerous single-season school records in 2008, including 64 receptions, 873 yards and five 100-yard receiving games, while finishing the year ranked 15th nationally in receptions per game and 20th in receiving yards. Dugans started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at FSU, working in the strength and conditioning program in 2005 before working with the offense in 2006. He also served as a coaching assistant in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2007.

Dugans was a wide receiver at FSU from 1995-99, playing his first two seasons before taking a medical redshirt in 1997. He returned to start in 1998 and 1999, helping the Seminoles reach the BCS National Championship Game in both seasons. He caught six passes for 135 yards in the 1999 Fiesta Bowl against Tennessee and grabbed five receptions for 99 yards and two touchdowns in the 2000 Sugar Bowl win over Virginia Tech that gave FSU its second national championship and completed the first wire-to-wire season as the Associated Press’ No. 1-ranked team. In his career, he made 105 receptions for 1,520 yards and seven touchdowns. He was selected by Cincinnati in the third round of the 2000 NFL Draft and played professionally for three seasons, compiling 89 catches for 797 yards and three touchdowns in 46 games.

A Tallahassee native, Dugans was a three-sport standout at Florida A&M University High School. He played football, rushing for 730 yards and 10 touchdowns while adding 75 tackles and seven interceptions on defense as a senior, in addition to participating in basketball and track and field.

Dugans and his wife, Yasheka, have four children, Yasmin, Y’Allana, Yanni and Ron, Jr.

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