Pflugrad New Receivers Coach

EUGENE – Robin Pflugrad, who has spent the past five years coaching tight ends and serving as recruiting coordinator at Washington State, has been named wide receivers coach at the University of Oregon, the Ducks head football coach Mike Bellotti announced Friday.

Pflugrad replaces Dan Ferrigno, who vacated the post to assume the same position at the University of California.

The 47-year-old Eugene native, who was elevated to the Cougars' assistant head coaching position in 2003, brings with him 26 years of coaching experience -- 25 of those at the collegiate level. The 1976 North Eugene High School graduate returns to his hometown in a professional capacity for the first time since 1981 but this will mark his first association with the University of Oregon.

While at Washington State, Pflugrad was responsible for coordinating the recruiting efforts of its 2004 class which was considered its most decorated in school history. Among his many successful pupils was the Pacific-10 Conference's second-team all-league tight end from a year ago, Troy Bienemann. During his tenure, the Cougars paced the league in passing offense in 2001.

Throughout his career, he has played a role in the development of seven quarterbacks or receivers who have claimed All-America acclaim, 27 all-conference honorees, 152 academic all-conference student-athletes and 12 academic All-Americans. He coached with two schools (Arizona State in 1996; Washington State in 2002) that represented the Pac-10 in the Rose Bowl.

"Robin has done a tremendous job as a coach in the Pac-10 and brings with him a wealth of experience on the field," Bellotti emphasized. "But he's also done a tremendous job of the other things like heading up academics and as a recruiting coordinator. He's very innovative, he's a great recruiter and will add to the chemistry of our staff.

"He's been involved with great offenses, he's recruited great athletes and is just a positive addition to our program."

He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Portland State in 1980 before spending one year as a receivers and secondary coach at South Eugene High School in 1981. Pflugrad returned to Portland State for a four year-stint in 1982, first as a part-time assistant coach and director of football promotions and later as a full-time assistant working with wide receivers and tight ends.

From there he migrated to the University of Montana (1986-94) to work with the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers, and was promoted to assistant head coach in 1991. Among his standouts was Dave Dickenson, who won the Walter Payton Award, broke 25 school records and three national marks, and came close to helping the Grizzlies beat the Ducks in Eugene in 1993. (Oregon won, 35-30.)

He helped lay much of the foundation for the 1994 Montana team which claimed the NCAA I-AA national championship.

Pflugrad moved to Arizona State (1995-2000) as recruiting coordinator and receivers coach, tutoring the likes of two-time first-team all-conference standouts Keith Poole and Todd Heap as well, as the school's single-season receiving leader, Shaun McDonald. The Sun Devils led the Pac-10 in rushing offense in 1996 and ‘97; total offense and scoring in 1996; and passing offense in 2000.

He spent the spring of 2001 as offensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Northern Arizona before receiving his opportunity at Washington State prior to the 2001 season.

"The tremendous program that Coach Bellotti has built at Oregon and the foundation of the entire football program has long been of great interest to me," Pflugrad said. "I have great respect for the entire football staff at Oregon. It always seems like they've been able to win the close games and unfortunately I've been on the other side of a quite a few of those. They've done a tremendous job of being able to finish what they've started.

"Coming back to Eugene is a complete positive for myself as well as my family. I think I've applied at the University of Oregon on five different occassions -- two under Rich Brooks and three under Coach Bellotti. My parents aren't getting any younger and have always been great supporters of athletics of all the schools I've been involved in, as have my in-laws. That was a great draw for me."

The 1980 Portland State graduate in business administration earned All-America honors as a wide receiver and team captain as a senior in 1979. Pflugrad (11-29-58) and his wife, Marlene, are the parents of one daughter (Amanda, 9-24-87) and one son (Aaron, 9-24-88).

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