After Steve Broussard left for Arizona State to re-join his former mentor Dennis Erickson, Wazzu head football coach Paul Wulff was faced with the challenge of getting a qualified special teams coach with Pac-10 experience who was also a good recruiter. Wulff's choice for Broussard's spot is Elon College [North Carolina] coach Dave Ungerer, who also has Pac-10 coaching experience at Oregon State and California.
"We are very fortunate to have Dave join our staff," Wulff said. "He has a tremendous knowledge of the game, is a great communicator and motivator, and his reputation as a special teams coach is second to none. He will make a huge impact on our special teams play as well as our running game."
Last season Elon posted a 9-3 record, advancing to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. Ungerer's special teams units ranked among the top 50 in four categories, including fifth in kickoff coverage as Elon surrendered just 17.06 yards per return.
From 2007-08 Ungerer served as the special teams coach at Oregon State University. In his first season he worked with All-Pacific-10 Conference placekicker Alexis Serna, who ended his career as the Beavers' all-time leading scorer and the Pac-10 record-holder with 144 consecutive extra point conversions. The Beaver kickoff coverage team ranked first in the Pac-10 and fifth nationally, allowing a meager 17.8 yard average. Kickoff return specialist Gerard Lawson earned a spot on the All-Pac-10 team and spent the 2008 season on the Cleveland Browns' roster.
In 2008 he coached All-Pac-10 First Team punt returner Sammie Stroughter and second team kick returner James Rodgers. As a unit overall, the Beavers ranked first in the conference in kickoff coverage (18.7 yards) and third in kickoff returns (23.4 yards).
Prior to his stint at Oregon State, Ungerer spent four seasons at the University of Alabama as the special teams and tight ends coach, working alongside WSU's current assistant head coach/co-defensive coordinator Chris Ball. During his tenure the Crimson Tide blocked 13 kicks and returned five punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns. He also coached All-Southeastern Conference punt returners Javier Arenas and Tyrone Prothro, punter P.J. Fitzgerald and placekicker Brian Bostick.
Ungerer's first stint in the Pac-10 came in 2002 when he spent one season as the special teams/tight ends coach at the University of California. In his lone season, kickoff returner LaShaun Ward ranked third in the nation in average returns, while Mike McGrath and placekicker Mark Jenkins earned All-Pac-10 honors. In addition, Cal's kickoff return team was third in the nation and first in the Pac-10.
Ungerer arrived at California after two years at Lehigh, where he assisted the program in finishing in the top 10 in the nation both years. Ungerer also spent five years at the University of Maryland, where he coached 1993 honorable mention All-American and first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference punter Scott Milanovich. He began his Maryland career as the strength coach before becoming special teams coordinator/running backs coach, a position he held for three years. Ungerer was on staff at Holy Cross from 1988-91, where the program won three-straight Patriot League crowns and compiled a record of 39-4-1, including a perfect 11-0 ledger in 1991.
Ungerer has also coached at Davidson College (1986-87), Northeastern University (1985) and served as a graduate assistant at Rutgers University (1983-84).
The Edison, N.J., native is a 1980 graduate of Southern Connecticut State University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in physical education and health.
Washington State sports information contributed to this article.
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