The Texas State football team hopes it received a needed boost for its ineffective run defense Friday when it named Mike Bugar as the new defensive line coach.
Bugar comes to Texas State after seven years as the interior defensive line coach at North Texas. During the last six of those years, Bugar produced seven All-Sun Belt Conference selections, including two-time Sun Belt Player of the Year Brandon Kennedy.
From 2001 to 2003, only five opposing players rushed for 100 yards or more in a game against Bugar’s fronts. In 2002, North Texas ranked third nationally in scoring defense and ninth in total defense.
However, the good times didn’t last. In 2007, North Texas ranked 115th out of 119 Football Bowl Series (FBS) teams against the run, allowing an average of 229.7 yards per game. The Mean Green allowed 5.66 yards per carry. Only Alabama-Birmingham (5.71) and Minnesota (5.70) gave up more.
The Mean Green also finished dead last in scoring defense, allowing 45.08 points per game.
Being fair, though, North Texas reached out of its Sun Belt environs to play a couple of the nation’s most potent offenses, especially when it comes to running the ball. Among the Mean Green’s results were losses of 74-62 to Navy (ranked first nationally at 348.77 rushing yards per game), 66-7 to Arkansas (ranked fourth nationally at 286.54 rushing yards per game) and 79-10 to Oklahoma (ranked fifth nationally in scoring offense at 42.29 points per game).
Last year, the Texas State defensive line was one of the team’s weakest units. The Bobcats ranked 83rd nationally among 116 Football Championship Series (FCS) teams against the run, allowing 190.3 yards per game. Texas State also tied for 88th with 16 sacks in 11 games, an average of 1.45 per game.
“We are very excited to have Mike Bugar as our defensive line coach,” Texas State Head Coach Brad Wright said. “He brings an unbelievable wealth of knowledge and experience to our staff. He also will help enhance the same ‘mentality’ that we began to implement in our program this past January.”
Bugar joined North Texas in 2000 as the program’s strength and conditioning coordinator and became the team’s interior defensive line coach in 2001. He has more than 31 years of experience coaching the defensive line and strength and conditioning.
A three-year letter winner and 1969 graduate of Florida State, Bugar began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater in 1970. He also has served on the staffs at Wofford (1971-76), Gardner Webb (1977), Clemson (1977-79), Florida (1980-82), West Georgia (1985-87), Southern Miss (1988-89), Louisiana State (1990-93), Baylor (1994-96), Mary Hardin-Baylor (1998), and Jacksonville State (1999).
In addition, he spent one year in the professional coaching ranks as defensive line coach for the Arizona Wranglers of the USFL in 1983. He has coached under Curley Hallman at LSU, Danny Ford at Clemson and Charley Pell at Florida during his career.
He has coached for schools that appeared in 13 bowl games, including the 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 New Orleans Bowls (North Texas), 1994 Alamo (Baylor), 1990 All-American (Southern Mississippi), 1988 Independence (Southern Mississippi), 1982 Astro Bluebonnet (Florida), 1981 Peach (Florida), 1980 Tangerine (Florida), 1979 Peach (Clemson), 1978 Gator (Clemson), and 1977 Gator (Clemson). During Bugar’s playing days at Florida State, the Seminoles participated in four bowl games – 1964 Gator, 1966 Sun, 1967 Gator, and 1968 Peach.