Tucker names Hudson as Buccaneers' offensive line coach

Tucker names Hudson as Buccaneers' offensive line coach

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern head football coach Mark Tucker has named Ron Hudson as the Buccaneers' new offensive line coach on Thursday afternoon.

Hudson comes to CSU after spending the spring of 2017 at Alabama State working with the Hornets' offensive line. Prior to that, he served as an offensive analyst and consultant at Penn State for the 2016 season.

"I feel very good about the man and the mentor that Ron Hudson will be to the young men up front in our program," Tucker said. "He brings a good mentality and work ethic to the program. He's a technician and stresses the fundamentals and will work our players hard. He brings a great deal to the table having been an offensive coordinator at the FBS level and we're going to do nothing but improve with him being here."

Hudson takes over a group that has been among the nation's best in rushing the football that culminated in alum Erik Austell earning All-America honors and an invitation to the NFL Combine this past spring. The Bucs' offensive line has been pivotal in Charleston Southern's ability to pile up 35 wins, two Big South Conference championships and two FCS playoff bids over the last four years.

The Bucs led the Big South in yards per rush (6.0) while ranking sixth nationally in rushing offense (266.5). CSU piled up six outings of 30+ points and four performances of 500+ yards of offense.

 "Coach (Mark) Tucker and I both worked together at The Citadel and we have both have mutual respect for each other throughout the years," Hudson said. "I really love the Charleston area and have wanted to come back this way. Being here at Charleston Southern with the success the program has had is something I have wanted to be a part of."

Hudson is looking forward to continuing the success of the CSU Gold Rush offense this fall.

"I've had a lot of success and that has allowed me to move on to a few other spots where I've been able to coach," Hudson commented. "I went to Nevada for three years where we went to two bowl games, and then went on to Penn State this past year as an analyst which really helped me round out my philosophies in the run and pass game. It's going to be fun to blend all of those different experiences and work together with Coach Tucker to put something pretty good on the field this year."

Hudson made an immediate impact during his coaching tenure at Nevada, spending three seasons with the Wolfpack. One of the first hires to third-year head coach Brian Polian's staff prior to the 2013 season; Hudson brought experience from 12 collegiate programs to Reno.

A passionate coach and leader to the Union, Hudson's impact was immediate for Nevada. Hudson helped develop Joel Bitonio cement his legacy as one of the top linemen in program history in his first season in Reno. Bitonio went on to earn First Team All-Mountain West honors in 2013, become the second-highest NFL draft pick in program history and start all 16 games for the Cleveland Browns in his rookie season.

Hudson's offensive line allowed Nevada to average over 200 yards rushing per game in 2014, marking the seventh time in the past nine seasons the Union reached that milestone. Hudson's line was young in 2014, but it undoubtedly improved as the season went on, culminating with a 408-yard rushing game against UNLV to close the regular season. Hudson helped Nevada post a 7-6 record in 2014 and reach a bowl game for the ninth time in the past 10 seasons with a trip to the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.

The Pack ranked fifth in the Mountain West and 38th in the nation in rushing last season, averaging over 205 yards per game. The Union only allowed Cody Fajardo to be sacked 20 times, which was the third-fewest sacks allowed in the conference. Hudson helped mentor senior center Matt Galas, who started in every game and earned second team All-MW accolades, and senior Kyle Roberts, who was selected as an undrafted free agent with the Broncos after the season.

Hudson came to Nevada after one season as the run game coordinator and offensive line coach at Massachusetts. Prior to that, he served in the same capacity at Nevada's Mountain West foe, New Mexico. Hudson spent six seasons at Louisiana-Lafayette, serving as assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach during his tenure with the Cajuns. Under Hudson, the Cajuns produced one of the nation's most dominating running games as ULL finished in the top 15 in the nation in rushing offense four times, ranking seventh in 2005 and 2007. The Cajuns were also in the top 15 three different times in fewest sacks allowed.

During the 2005 Sun Belt championship season, Hudson tutored an offensive line that paved the way for a school-record 2,797 rushing yards and 34 rushing touchdowns. UL allowed just nine sacks on the season. The rushing mark was broken two years later as ULL topped the 3,000-yard mark in 2007 (the first Sun Belt team to ever do so) with a pair of 1,000-yard rushers.

A national finalist for 2008 offensive line coach of the year, Hudson tutored seven All-Sun Belt performers from 2006-08, including three-time All-SBC tackle Jesse Newman. Hudson came to UL after serving as the offensive line coach at Texas A&M-Kingsville. He coached three all-conference players, including Roy Stroud, who was a Division II All-American.

Prior to that, Hudson spent three seasons at UTEP. He was tight ends coach in 2001-02 and promoted to defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator in 2003. While at UTEP, he worked with former Nevada assistant coach James Spady.

Hudson began his coaching career in 1991, with the first of a two-year stint as a graduate assistant at Louisville. He coached tight ends at Illinois State in 1993 before spending the 1994 season as the offensive coordinator at Urbana University in Ohio.

He coached tight ends at The Citadel in 1995 and was the offensive line coach at Lenoir-Rhyne College in 1996 before becoming the special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Kent State in 1997. He moved on to two seasons as the offensive line coach at Southeast Missouri State in 1998-99 before spending one season at Bowling Green in 2000 before landing the job at UTEP.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Hudson was a four-year starter at center at Muskingum College from 1983-86.

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