Head Coach, Fresno State Bulldogs
In just two seasons as the head coach at Fresno State, Tim DeRuyter has elevated the program back to heights not seen in over a decade and led a resurgence in the Bulldogs who are the pride of the San Joaquin Valley.
DeRuyter (pronounced da-ROOT-er) took over a team that went 4-9 the year before he arrived and turned the tables by leading Fresno State to back-to-back Mountain West championships, back into the top 25 rankings in 2013 and to a 20-6 record over the 2012 and 2013 seasons - the most wins by any Bulldog coach in his first two seasons. Before the DeRuyter era launched, Fresno State had not won a conference championship since 1999 - a drought of 13 years - and now the Bulldogs have won back-to-back conference titles for the first time since 1992 and 1993.
From the day he was hired as Fresno State's 17th head coach in program history on Dec. 14, 2011, DeRuyter proclaimed two things; winning conference championships would be the team's No.1 goal and his squads would embody the mantra "fast, physical and fanatical," an up-tempo and exciting style of play that could captivate the Red Wave, Fresno State's loyal fan base.
DeRuyter has delivered on his promise and in return, Fresno State made him the highest paid coach in the Mountain West and extended his contract all the way through the 2018 season.
The reward of the contract extension from the University came after he led the Bulldogs back into the national spotlight in 2013. Fresno State went 11-2, won the inaugural Mountain West Championship game and earned a berth in the 2013 Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl. DeRuyter's 2013 Bulldog squad matched the school record for wins in a season, were ranked as high as No. 14 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and closed out the Bowl Championship Series era ranked No. 20 in the final BCS Standings, the highest of any non-BCS team.
Fresno State, who started the 2013 season 10-0, led the Mountain West in attendance in 2013. The Bulldogs also set records for merchandise sold, as DeRuyter's success and futuristic vision of the program more than satisfied the cravings of the Red Wave.
The momentum DeRuyter carried over in his second year was set up by the successes of his first season when he laid the foundation for the program.
Fresno State went 9-4 in 2012 and 7-1 in the Mountain West to share the league title with San Diego State and Boise State to gain a berth in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl.
The Bulldogs have gone 14-2 in two seasons in Mountain West play to be the head of the class in the conference.
With a background rooted on the defensive side of the ball - he was a defensive coordinator for 16 years before coming to Fresno State - DeRuyter changed the philosophy of how the 'Dogs played on both sides of the ball.
Offensively, the Bulldogs went to an up-tempo spread offense in 2012 and finished in the top 20 nationally in scoring, passing and total offense. In 2013, the 'Dogs saw greater success, ranking in the top six of all three of those categories while leading the nation in passing behind quarterback Derek Carr. Carr went on to receive the 2013 Sammy Baugh Award as the nation's top passer.
Defensively, Fresno State's most momentous change came in the turnover department. Fresno State had ranked 111th or worse in turnovers gained in the six previous seasons before DeRuyter's arrival and tied for dead last in the nation in 2011 with only nine take-aways. In one season in DeRuyter's 3-4 defense, now run by defensive coordinator Nick Toth, Fresno State had 35 take-aways in 2012 to rank fifth nationally.
The Bulldogs became the first team since the turn of the century to have fewer than 10 take-aways one season, but over 30 the next. Additionally, the difference in turnovers from 2011 to 2012 - an improvement of 26 turnovers gained - is the largest by any FBS team this century.
DeRuyter came to Fresno State with 22 years of coaching experience. He took over the Bulldog program after serving the previous two seasons as the assistant head coach/defensive coordinator at Texas A&M. There, he also served as the interim head coach for the Aggies in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas against Northwestern on Dec. 31, 2011, leading A&M to a 33-22 victory.
DeRuyter hails from a pair of Hall of Fame coaches, as he was mentored by Fisher DeBerry at Air Force and by Chris Ault at Nevada. DeRuyter was a 2010 nominee for the Broyles Award that honors the nation's top assistant coach, when he was working under former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Sherman.
In DeRuyter's two seasons with Texas A&M, he did what he has consistently accomplished throughout his career - developed defensive units that are among the best in the nation.
DeRuyter made an immediate impact during his first season in Aggieland as the 2010 squad improved fifty spots in the national rankings for total defense, rising to No. 55 in the country as the resurrected Wrecking Crew helped lead A&M to the Cotton Bowl.
Highlighting a long list of players who excelled under DeRuyter's scheme was Von Miller, who in addition to earning All-American honors was awarded the 2010 Butkus Award given annually to the nation's most outstanding linebacker. Miller went on to become the second overall pick of the Denver Broncos in the 2011 NFL draft.
In 2011, Texas A&M led the nation with 51 sacks and the Aggies were second in the Big 12 by only allowing 106.0 rushing yards per game.
Before coaching the Aggie defense, DeRuyter spent three years as the defensive coordinator and safeties coach at his alma mater, Air Force. He also held the title of associate coach in 2008 and 2009.
His last year at Air Force saw the Falcons sport one of the top defense's in the country. Air Force ranked 11th in the NCAA in total defense in 2009, allowing just 288.3 yards per game. The secondary, under his watch, ranked fifth in the country by giving up just 154.3 passing yards per game and its 20 interceptions were the seventh-most in the FBS. For the season, Air Force created 34 turnovers to rank No. 5 nationally and the Falcon defense also ranked high nationally in fewest first down's allowed (No. 4 at 14.62 per game), scoring defense (No. 10 at 15.69 points per game) and third-down efficiency (No. 13 at 30.86 percent).
His transformation of the Falcon defense was evident in the fact that the year before he took over, Air Force ranked 70th nationally in turnovers gained, 78th in both total and scoring defense, and dead last in third-down defense.
From 2005-06, DeRuyter was the co-defensive coordinator at Nevada while also holding the coaching responsibilities for the safeties and pass defense. At Nevada, the Wolf Pack defense was ranked 79th the year before he took over, but after his final season (2006), the defense was ranked 48th in the NCAA.
DeRuyter served two different stints as the defensive coordinator/secondary coach at Ohio, first from 1995-98 and then again from 2002-04. Sandwiched in between is a three-year stop at Navy coaching its secondary.
Ohio had dropped off into a defense that ranked 99th in the country in 2001 without him, but by DeRuyter's final season with the Bobcats (2004), Ohio's defense was ranked 22nd in the nation in total defense.
The 50-year old coach got his start in the business in 1991, where he served as the JV coach and varsity assistant at Air Force.
DeRuyter has coached in 14 bowl games in his career, including one in each of the past eight seasons. Also, as an outside linebacker at Air Force in the early `80s, he led the Falcons to three-straight bowl victories.
A native of Long Beach, Calif., DeRuyter was born on Jan. 3, 1963 and graduated from St. John Bosco High School (Bellflower, Calif.) in 1981. He holds a bachelor's degree in management from Air Force (1985) and a MBA in market strategy from Regis University (1992).
Upon his graduation from the Air Force Academy, he served seven-and-a-half years of active duty in the Air Force.
DeRuyter and his wife, Kara, have a son, Jake, a sophomore at the Air Force Academy, and a daughter, Christina, a freshman at Texas A&M.