Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Orange Park's McCrone Happy to Be Home Again - as JU Assistant

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Orange Park's McCrone Happy to Be Home Again - as JU Assistant

Article excerpt

Byline: Brent Beaird

Ron McCrone is glad to be back home. After stints as an assistant coach at Southern Miss and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the former Orange Park High football coach is happy to be back in the Orange Park area after he accepted a job as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Jacksonville University under head coach Kerwin Bell.

"It's a dream come true to be back home and stay at the college level," McCrone said. "I love the enthusiasm at JU."

McCrone said he is impressed with the Dolphins' new head coach, who replaced Steve Gilbert.

"Kerwin is a good guy," McCrone said. "After a couple of meetings with the players I have seen that he's going to be a disciplinarian. He's the kind of coach that I enjoy being around. He's going to be demanding, but he's going to show some genuine care for the players."

Bell said he is pleased to have a veteran coach like McCrone on his staff.

"After being here five to six weeks, I've leaned on him a lot, using his knowledge and experience," Bell said. "He's been a valuable asset as a coach."

McCrone said he has met with the defensive players and laid down the law about class attendance and study hall. He is also excited about being able to recruit players from Clay County.

"Some Clay County kids are already here and we're going to recruit some more," he said. "This is an ongoing recruiting process. Jacksonville and Clay County is an area that I've recruited for 30 years. We've upgraded the program tremendously along with what coach (Steve) Gilbert left us."

Bell said McCrone can help meet one of his priorities of recruiting local players.

"For him to know the area the way he does - he's recruited the area for the last 20 years - it was important to me for us to get the local area back for Jacksonville University," Bell said. "When I brought him in, I felt he was going to be able to do a lot of things for us with the relationships he has with all the great coaches in the Jacksonville area."

Like most schools, the Dolphins are already involved in winter conditioning before the start of spring practice the first part of March. …

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