Prince at the KC Catbackers summer 2006 event
|Date of birth||September 18, 1969|
|Place of birth||Omaha, Nebraska|
|Team(s) as a player|
|Team(s) as a coach/administrator|
College coaching career
Prince succeeded head coach Bill Snyder at Kansas State following the 2005 season. When he started his first season at Kansas State, in 2006, he was 36 years old and the third-youngest head coach in the Division I-Bowl Subdivision.
During the 2006 season, Prince led Kansas State to its first winning record since 2003 with a 7–6 mark, as well as a berth in the inaugural Texas Bowl. The hallmark win of the regular season was a 45–42 upset of then #4 Texas on November 11, 2006. Kansas State lost the 2006 Texas Bowl to #16 Rutgers, 37–10.
In Prince's second season, Kansas State slipped to a 5–7 record, including a four-game losing streak to end the year. He also led the Wildcats to their first home loss against Kansas in over a decade.
On National Signing Day in February 2008, 19 junior college recruits signed to play football at Kansas State, although only 15 of them were able to enroll in the fall. As a result, Kansas State's 2008 recruiting class reportedly contains more junior college players than any other class ever compiled by current BCS teams. Some have criticized this as "panicking" to get good players, while others have praised Prince's moves, pointing out his predecessor Bill Snyder's success with using junior college players.
At the beginning of Prince's third season, on August 7, 2008, Ron Prince agreed to a new contract through the 2012 season. The deal was retroactive to January 1, 2008, and ran through December 31, 2012, replacing the original contract signed in December 2005. Prince's base salary for 2008 was $143,000 with a total guaranteed package of $1.1 million, which also included payments from endorsements such as television, radio, internet, personal appearances and apparel. Prince could have earned up to an additional $950,000 per year in performance-based incentives.
Before coaching at Kansas State University, Prince served for three seasons as offensive coordinator under Al Groh at the University of Virginia, and for a total of five years as the Cavaliers' offensive line coach. Prior to first stint at Virginia, Prince also served as an assistant coach at South Carolina State, James Madison and Cornell.
On May 20, 2009, Kansas State University and its athletic corporation filed suit to have an allegedly secret agreement between Prince and former athletic director Bob Krause declared invalid. Krause negotiated the agreement in 2008 with Prince's attorney, Ohio sports agent Neil Cornrich. The agreement required Kansas State to pay a total of $3.2 million in three deferred payments to a corporation called In Pursuit of Perfection, LLC, if the school terminated Prince before December 31, 2008. The payments were scheduled to be made in 2015, 2016, and 2020.
The agreement was entered into separately by Krause on the same day that Prince signed a five-year contract extension, on August 7, 2008. The agreement was allegedly discovered on May 11, 2009, as the university responded to "routine informational requests" for a lawsuit involving former coach Tim Tibesar. University president Jon Wefald denied any prior knowledge of this agreement and immediately called for Krause to resign, which he did, effective May 20, 2009.
In a subsequent release, interim Kansas State athletic director Jim Epps stated: "On May 11, 2009, I learned of a secret deferred compensation agreement that Bob Krause apparently negotiated with Ron Prince's attorney. This alleged deal was made without the knowledge of anyone else in the athletics department, including its attorney. This deal was apparently constructed as a further supplement to the buyout provision contained in Prince's employment contract. I do not know why any additional supplement was justified, or why Bob Krause concealed this agreement from everyone until it was inadvertently discovered last week."
On August 10, 2009, attorneys for Prince filed a counterclaim against Kansas State Athletics seeking $3 million in punitive damages. The filings claim that Wefald and other high-ranking members of the athletic department were aware at all times of the agreement. The claim also contended that Krause directed the department's attorney to reword the public contract to allow for a supplemental buyout.
Kansas State University announced on May 6, 2011 that an agreement for settlement between Prince and K-State Athletics, Inc. and the University had been reached. K-State Athletics, Inc. will pay one lump sum of $1.65 million to Prince's company, In Pursuit of Perfection, LLC, on or before May 25, 2011. This is in addition to the $1.2 million Prince had already received per his employment contract, for a total buyout payment of $2.85 million. K-State President Kirk Schulz stated: "We are pleased to have this matter resolved. We appreciate the work that our University counsel has provided during this process and can now maintain focus on moving forward as a University community." K-State Athletics, Inc. reported paying $395,000 in external legal fees during the dispute. The University made the agreement public as a news release and was bound to provide this statement: "Neither the University nor K-State Athletics contends or believes that in negotiating his employment agreement or the MOU, Coach Prince engaged in any wrongful or unethical conduct. Discovery has demonstrated that this situation was not of Coach Prince’s making."
Return to college coaching - Rutgers University
Prince was hired as offensive coordinator of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on February 19, 2013.
On January 18, 2014, Prince was hired as the assistant head coach and tight ends coach of the Detroit Lions. New Lions head coach Jim Caldwell had previously worked with Prince on the staff of the Indianapolis Colts.
Prince attended Junction City High School, where he graduated in 1988. He began his college football career at Dodge City Community College, then transferred to Appalachian State University, where he graduated and played on the offensive line under coach Jerry Moore.
Head coaching record
|Kansas State Wildcats (Big 12 Conference) (2006–2008)|
|2006||Kansas State||7–6||4–4||T–2nd (North)||L Texas|
|2007||Kansas State||5–7||3–5||4th (North)|
|2008||Kansas State||5–7||2–6||T–4th (North)|
- "Lions hire Ron Prince as assistant head coach/tight ends coach".
- Evans, Thayer (July 23, 2008). "Kansas State Sees Players Where Some See Panic". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- "How desperate is K-State's Ron Prince this year?".
- "The pros and cons of raiding the junior colleges for players".
- "Playboy envisions breakthrough year for K-State".
- "Juco-heavy Wildcats take a risk".
- Prince signs new contract
- Details of Prince's contract
- Prince won't return as Kansas State's football coach in 2009
- "Fired Ron Prince: 'I do believe we ran out of time'".
- Rejoined UVA staff
- "K-State files suit asking court to declare secret agreement invalid".
- Prince seeking $3 million
- "K-State settles with Ron Prince for $1.65 million".
- "K-State settles lawsuit with Ron Prince".
- Colts hire Prince