San Jose, Calif.-----San Jose State University football head coach Ron Caragher filled the vacancies of the team’s defensive coaching staff by appointing Arnold Ale as linebackers coach, Ron English as defensive coordinator, Will Harris as defensive backs coach and Barry Sacks as defensive line coach.
“I’m excited about the new defensive staff members we added to our program. Arnold Ale (Ah-lay), a former teammate of mine at UCLA, was the defensive coordinator at Long Beach City College and was instrumental in that program’s turnaround. Ron English has experience as a coordinator at the Division I level and as a head coach at Eastern Michigan. His experience and success in coaching will be a great addition,” says Caragher, who is entering his fourth season as the Spartans’ head coach.
“Will Harris has a great understanding of the fundamentals of both the safety and cornerback positions. And, Barry Sacks is an experienced coach who does an outstanding job in recruiting and in coaching the defensive line position.”
Ale comes to San Jose State after three seasons (2013-15) as the defensive coordinator/linebackers coach at Long Beach City College. He also was the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at Los Angeles Harbor College (2010-12).
The 1993 UCLA graduate played his college football at Notre Dame and UCLA where he was a teammate of Coach Caragher. Ale was a member of the 1993 Seattle Seahawks practice squad and played for the 1994 Kansas City Chiefs and 1996 San Diego Chargers.
English served as a defensive coordinator for six seasons at Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools Michigan (2003-07) and Louisville (2008) and was the 2011 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year for Eastern Michigan University. Four of the five Michigan defenses he coordinated from 2003 through 2007 finished in the top-25 in scoring defense. Three Wolverine teams were in the top-25 in total defense and pass defense efficiency. The 2006 Michigan squad was the national leader in rushing defense. English was Eastern Michigan’s head coach during the 2009 through 2013 seasons.
The Spartans’ new defensive coordinator has 17 seasons of major college coaching experience in six NCAA Division I conferences. His first major college assistant coaching job was in 1996 at Northern Arizona University as the defensive backs coach. He served in a similar capacity at San Diego State in 1997 and the next five seasons at Arizona State.
The 1991 University of California graduate played four seasons for the Golden Bears and earned his master’s degree in educational administration from Arizona State in 1995. In 2014, English was awarded a Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship by the Cleveland Browns.
Harris comes to San Jose State after one season at Dixie State University in St. George, Utah. The 2010 University of Southern California graduate began his coaching in 2013 as the defensive backs coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State University and was in a similar capacity at Humboldt State University in 2014. While at Humboldt State, he also served as the special teams coordinator.
As a player, Harris was a strong safety on four USC bowl teams. He went on to sign contracts with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League in 2010.
Sacks returns to San Jose State for his second stint as a defensive line coach. He was a Spartan assistant during the 1998 through 2000 seasons. In each of those three seasons, San Jose State defeated Stanford and upset of the #9-ranked and undefeated TCU, 27-24, on November 4, 2000.
The 1980 graduate of the University of Montana finished his 30th season as an assistant coach in 2015. Except for the 2001 season as the defensive coordinator for the San Jose Sabercats of the Arena Football League, his coaching career centers on coaching defensive linemen at the college level. The 1980 University of Montana graduate coached at Portland State (1986-92), Boise State (1993-96), Adams State (1997), Nevada (2002-12), California (2013) and New Mexico (2014-15).
The four new San Jose State assistant coaches will be on the field when the team’s spring football practice begins on March 11.