Ron Prince joined the Lions in 2014 as assistant head coach/tight ends and helped lead Detroit to a berth in the NFC Wild Card game 2014, and took over the team’s offensive line unit midway through the season in 2015. Prince came to Detroit from Rutgers, where he served as the offensive coordinator in 2013. Finishing his second season with Detroit, Prince possesses 24 years of coaching experience, including six in the NFL. He has previously held assistant offensive line positions with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2012) and Indianapolis Colts (2010-11), and has been a head coach (Kansas State) and offensive coordinator (Virginia, Rutgers) during his 19 years at the collegiate level.
LIONS COACHING HIGHLIGHTS
Prince took over the Lions’ offensive line unit midway through the season after beginning the 2015 slate as the team’s tight ends coach, helping Detroit’s offensive front protect QB Matthew Stafford as the Lions’ offense soared to new heights in the final eight games of the season.
In 2013, Prince led Rutgers to the Pinstripe Bowl and saw two of his players, TE Tyler Kroft and RB Paul James, earn All-American Athletic Conference honors in 2013.
Prince worked as an assistant offensive line coach in the NFL from 2010-12 with the Jaguars and Colts. In 2010, he helped Indianapolis’ offensive line pave the way for more than 5,000 yards of total offense for the 13th-consecutive season en route to the team’s second-straight AFC South division championship. His unit also finished tied atop the NFL in sacks allowed with 16 on 695 pass attempts as the Colts’ offense ranked fourth in total offense and first in passing offense. Prince also guided C Jeff Saturday to a fifth Pro Bowl selection that season, and the offensive line unit protected QB Peyton Manning as he set an NFL single-season record with 450 pass completions.
Before jumping to the NFL ranks, Prince served various positions at Kansas State (2006-08) and Virginia (2001-05, 2009), respectively. Before returning to Virginia in 2009 to coach special teams, Prince was the head coach at Kansas State where he led the Wildcats to 17 wins, the most by any head coach in his first three seasons in school history. In 2003, he was promoted from offensive line coach to offensive coordinator at Virginia as he commandeered the Cavaliers’ offense to four consecutive bowl games from 2002-05. During Prince’s time at Virginia, 11 players earned All-ACC honors, including the conference’s 2002 Player of the Year, QB Matt Schaub. Among the NFL talent Prince helped develop at both programs include T D’Brickashaw Ferguson, QB Josh Freeman, TE Heath Miller, WR Jordy Nelson, T Eugene Monroe, T Brandon Albert and G Elton Brown.
A native of Junction City, Kan., and former offensive lineman at Dodge City Community College (1988-89), Prince began his coaching career at the school as a volunteer in 1992 before earning his first coaching job at Alabama A&M as offensive line coach in 1993. His previous collegiate coaching stops include offensive line positions at South Carolina State (1994), James Madison (1995-97) and Cornell (1998-2000). He also served minority coaching internships with the Jaguars (1996), Washington Redskins (1997), Atlanta Falcons (1998) and New York Giants (2000).
Prince played collegiately for two seasons at Appalachian State from 1990-91, where he also earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 1992, after beginning his playing career at Dodge City. He was born September 18, 1969, and he has four children, Deuce, James, Grace and John.