Ex-Charger Harmon joins Western Illinois

MACOMB, Ill.— Former University of Iowa and San Diego Chargers standout Ronnie Harmon has accepted a position as a Western Illinois University assistant football coach, replacing Larry Holton. Harmon assumes responsibility for the Leatherneck running backs and fullbacks immediately, joining the Leatherneck coaching staff after a successful career in the NFL.

"I'm convinced after talking extensively with Ronnie that he has the same commitment to becoming a great college coach that he had for becoming a great player," said Western Illinois head coach Don Patterson. "I have no doubt he will serve as an ideal mentor to his players."

Under Patterson, who was as assistant coach at Iowa during Harmon's career, the Queens, N.Y., native earned first-team all-Big Ten and first-team all-America honors, and was twice named Most Valuable Player while leading the Hawkeyes to four consecutive bowl games from 1982-85. As a senior, he led Iowa to a No. 1 national ranking for five consecutive weeks and a berth in the Rose Bowl as Big Ten champions. He set a Hawkeye record with 11 receptions in the 1986 Rose Bowl, and ended his career with 2,442 rushing yards, 2,045 receiving yards and 32 total touchdowns.

Harmon's success in the professional ranks spans twelve seasons. After being selected sixteenth overall in the 1986 NFL Draft by the Bills and playing four years in Buffalo, Harmon spent six seasons with the San Diego Chargers. He was voted team MVP in both 1991 and 1992, and earned Pro Bowl status in 1992. Harmon was instrumental in the Chargers' drive to the Super Bowl in 1994, and went on to finish his career in 1997 as one of the most productive backs to ever play in the NFL. His 582 career receptions leave him fourth among all running backs in NFL history, behind only Marcus Allen, Roger Craig and Keith Byars. He also accumulated 6,065 receiving yards and 2,774 rushing yards.

After his retirement from the NFL following the 1997 season, Harmon began his coaching career as an assistant in the high school ranks, working with running backs in San Diego (Horizon) and New York City (Holy Cross).

Holton recently became the running backs coach at Eastern Michigan.

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