Robert Rodriguez (gridiron football)

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Robert Rodriguez
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Linebackers coach
Team UTEP
Conference C-USA
Biographical details
Born (1981-12-25) December 25, 1981 (age 36)
El Paso, Texas
Alma mater UTEP
Playing career
2001–2004 UTEP
2006 Cologne Centurions
2006–2007 Calgary Stampeders
Position(s) Linebacker
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
2008–2009 UTEP (assistant)
2010–present UTEP (LB)
Accomplishments and honors
Awards
Second team All-WAC (2003)
First team All-WAC (2004)
WAC Defensive Player of the Year (2004)

Robert J. Rodriguez (born December 25, 1981) is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the linebackers coach for the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) football team, a position he has held since 2010. Rodriguez is a graduate of UTEP, where he played linebacker during the early 2000s.

Early years and playing career[edit]

Rodriguez attended Montwood High School in El Paso, Texas and lettered in both football and basketball. He was a standout running back for Montwood and was the El Paso Times Offensive Player of the Year as well as All City first team for the 1999 season. He signed a football scholarship with UTEP, choosing to continue his playing career in his hometown.

Rodriguez ranks fifth on the all-time UTEP tackle chart with 443 tackles, including 33 for losses.[1] He led the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in tackles in three of his four seasons at UTEP (2001, 2003, 2004).[2] Rodriguez was named the WAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 after being credited with 121 tackles, including 16 tackles for losses.[3] He was the defensive captain of the 2004 UTEP team that was ranked in the AP Top 25 for multiple weeks during the 2004 season and that played the University of Colorado in the EV1.net Houston Bowl.

After his final game with UTEP, Rodriguez was invited to play in the East West Shrine Game, one of the most prestigious college all-star games at the time. The game was played at AT&T Park in San Francisco.[4]

Rodriguez signed with the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League in April 2005 as an undrafted free agent. He played in all four pre-season games before being released by the team on the final cut prior to the regular season. He was signed by the Carolina Panthers practice squad in early January 2006. The Panthers advanced to the 2006 NFC Championship game, where they lost to the Seattle Seahawks. Rodriguez was released following the season. Subsequently, he signed as a free agent with the Cologne Centurions of NFL Europe for the 2006 season. He signed with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League in the summer of 2006 and played with the Stampeders through 2007.

Coaching career[edit]

Rodriguez returned to his alma mater, UTEP, as the defensive program coordinator for the 2008 and 2009 seasons. He was elevated to the position of linebackers coach in 2010. In his first season as linebackers coach in 2010, Rodriguez coached four of the Miners' top seven tacklers. Those four combined to lead the team in tackles seven times in 13 games.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Rodriguez is married to the former Holly Taylor, who played soccer for UTEP from 2000–2004 and now practices law in El Paso.[1] The couple currently resides in El Paso.

He has remained a popular figure in the El Paso area and was voted El Paso's Favorite Athlete in the El Paso Times "Best of the Border" Reader Poll in 2007.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Robert Rodriguez Bio". Retrieved 2011-07-30. 
  2. ^ "Western Athletic Conference Statistics Archive". Retrieved 2005-10-20. 
  3. ^ "Ten Miners Earn All-WAC Honors". Retrieved 2004-11-30. 
  4. ^ "East West Shrine Past Rosters". Retrieved 2011-07-30. 
  5. ^ Aguilar, Matthew (2007-11-08). "Hometown hero: Robert Rodriguez". El Paso Times. Retrieved 2005-10-20.