A new era of Bulldog football kicked off Wednesday after Tim DeRuyter was named the 17th head coach in program history. The Texas A&M assistant brings 22 years of college coaching experience to the Valley, including the last two spent as Aggie's Defensive Coordinator.
"Couldn't be more excited about this opportunity to take over the program at Fresno State. It's a dream for me. And I really look forward to building champions and building on the foundation that's been laid," said new Bulldogs Head Coach Tim DeRuyter.
Deruyter, who grew up in Southern California, takes over a program that lost nine games this season while giving up a number of big plays along the way. But his reputation for building aggressive defenses is what made him an attractive candidate for Fresno State.
Bulldog fans are hoping the new coach will be able to do something Pat Hill struggled to do over the years -- win conference championships. DeRuyter said his top priority next season will be to challenge for the Mountain West Conference crown. "Our number-one Goal is to win conference championships -- is to win the Mountain West Conference"
Although he was named coach on Wednesday, DeRuyter won't start the job full-time until after he coaches Texas A&M in its New Year's Eve bowl game against Northwestern.
FRESNO STATE PRESS RELEASE
Tim DeRuyter Named New Head Football Coach at Fresno State
DeRuyter becomes the 17th head coach to lead the Fresno State football program
FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State Director of Athletics Thomas Boeh has announced the appointment of Tim DeRuyter, Interim Head Coach at Texas A&M, as the 17th head coach of the Bulldog football program. DeRuyter (pronounced da-ROOT-er) will begin recruiting for Fresno State immediately before the NCAA-mandated "quiet period," which begins Dec. 19. He will begin his full-time coaching with the Bulldogs immediately following the Aggies' game versus Northwestern at the Meineke Car Care Bowl on Dec. 31. He has spent the past two seasons as an assistant head coach/defensive coordinator at Texas A&M.
"It is with great pleasure that we welcome Tim DeRuyter and his family to Fresno State and the San Joaquin Valley," Boeh said. "Throughout his career Tim has continuously displayed the passion, integrity, expertise, innovation and commitment to his student-athletes that are the common trademarks of successful head football coaches. He has a clear plan for the future of our football program and shares our vision for the continual development of the Athletics Department."
"We're happy to welcome Tim DeRuyter to the Fresno State family," Fresno State President John D. Welty said. "After consulting with Director of Athletics Thomas Boeh, meeting Tim and reviewing his record, I'm confident he can build a winning Bulldog football team, keep our student-athletes on track in the classroom, re-energize our longtime fans and attract new ones. He steps into big shoes and also the challenge of moving the Bulldogs into a new conference next season. But you only have to talk with Tim for a few minutes before you're convinced he has the enthusiasm, experience and dedication to get the job done."
DeRuyter comes to Fresno State with 22 years of experience as a college coach, 16 of which have been spent as a defensive coordinator. His plan for the Fresno State football program is to have the hardest working, most disciplined, best conditioned team in the nation.
"My vision and plan is for a championship Fresno State football program," DeRuyter said. "We will build student-athletes into champions, both on and off the field. Fresno State is where I can live out my dream of building a team that can accomplish this. Along with that, I want to help fulfill the dreams of the Red Wave by winning conference championships and becoming a player once again on the national stage."
DeRuyter says that his three keys will focus on recruiting, discipline and development. Development is the one area where the defensive-minded coach is remarkably proven. Throughout his career, he has taken over leadership of several struggling defensive units and turned them into some of the best in the nation.
Prior to DeRuyter's arrival at Texas A&M in 2010, the Aggie defense ranked No. 105 nationally by allowing 33.5 points per game. After one season in DeRuyter's aggressive and physical system, A&M allowed 21.9 points per game and gave up 62 fewer yards per contest.
Aggie linebacker Von Miller flourished under DeRuyter's 3-4 scheme. Miller posted 10.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for a loss en route to winning the 2010 Butkus Awards as the nation's top linebacker. Miller was the second overall pick of the Denver Broncos in the 2011 NFL Draft.
DeRuyter also greatly improved the Air Force Academy defense that ranked 79th in the country in total defense the year before he arrived into a squad that ranked 11th overall in his last year there (2009). At Ohio, he inherited a defense ranked 99th nationally in 2001, but by the 2004 season, he had turned the Bobcat defense into a unit that ranked 22nd in the country.
He has experience in both the 3-4 and 4-3 defensive schemes and his aggressive style of play is centered on pressuring the quarterback and forcing turnovers.
Case in point, all three of DeRuyter's defense's at Air Force from 2007-09 ranked in the top 25 nationally in turnovers forced and his 2009 squad was fifth in the country with 34 turnovers gained. Over the past seven seasons his squads have averaged 32 sacks per year and A&M's 43 sacks this season tied for the most in the FBS.
Along with his lofty expectations for the Bulldogs to play sound defense, DeRuyter is quick to point out how dangerous the offense can be with the wealth of talent on that side of the ball. He also comes in looking to capture the heartbeat of the Valley.
A native of Long Beach, Calif., DeRuyter has his sights on several goals for the program:
- Win the Mountain West Conference and Bowl Games.
- Recapture the heart of the Valley. Become the Valley's team again.
- Develop a product on the field unique to Fresno State, one that brings excitement and enthusiasm to Bulldog fans and one that has a preeminent national image.
- Have a program with the highest academic achievements in the Mountain West Conference.
- Win every day as a person of great character.
DeRuyter has coached in a bowl game 12 times in his career, including one in each of the past six seasons, and as an outside linebacker at Air Force in the early `80s, he led the Falcons to three-straight bowl victories.
The 48-year old coach got his start in 1991 where he served as the JV coach and varsity assistant at his alma mater, Air Force. There he worked under Hall of Fame head coach Fisher DeBerry. From 1995-98, he served as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Ohio.
After a three-year stop as the secondary coach at Navy (1999-01), DeRuyter once again took over the defensive coordinator responsibilities with the Ohio Bobcats (2002-04). In 2005-06, he served as the co-defensive coordinator at Nevada under another Hall of Fame coach in Chris Ault before going back to Air Force in 2007.
DeRuyter served seven-and-a-half years of active duty in the Air Force after graduating from the Air Force Academy in 1985.
He was born on Jan. 3, 1963 and graduated from St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, Calif., in 1981. He holds a bachelor's degree in management from Air Force (1985) and a MBA in market strategy from Regis University (1992).
DeRuyter and his wife, Kara, have a son, Jake, a freshman at the Air Force Academy, and a daughter, Christina, who is a junior in high school.