Barely Out of Pads Himself, Ronayne Waldron Is the Youngest Head Football Coach in America
Waldron grew up in Silver Spring, Md., some five miles from the Catholic University campus. He can't remember a Saturday without football. When he wasn't playing, he was on the sidelines with his father, who was a high school coach for 22 years. A standout high school player, Roe played center and co-captained the team at Virginia Tech. After graduating he put in three years as an assistant coach at the University of Kentucky. Last December he applied for the position at Catholic University mainly to get interviewing experience and because he thought it would be a good excuse to take a trip with his wife and visit his parents. In this no-pressure situation, the job bounced his way and Roe pounced on it.
One of his first acts as head coach was to hire his father as the quarterback coach. Defending his choice, Waldron the younger says, "I needed someone who was familiar with the current talent base of players in the Washington area, since I had been away for a few years. Plus I knew that I would really benefit from his experience as a coach." And, adds Roe with a laugh, at least he doesn't have to question this fellow's "loyalty."
As the first full-time head coach in 34 years at Catholic, which just spent about $7.7 million to renovate its athletic facilities, Waldron is well aware of the pressures in his new job. Like any coach of any age anywhere, he says, "I realize that if I don't do the job, I'll be gone." But for now he is making the most of a dream job come true: "I've always wanted to be the guy doing the talking to the team instead of one of the guys doing the listening."
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