Ronnie Vinklarek
Ronnie  Vinklarek

Offensive Line

Seventh Year:
Southwest Texas-1981


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Ronnie Vinklarek enters his seventh season of coaching the Rice offensive line, having joined the Owls' football staff on February 28, 2009.

Vinklarek faces a rebuilding effort in 2015 after seeing three seniors who started all 13 games in 2014 graduate, but his efforts will be anchored by seniors Caleb Williams (39 career starts) and consensus preseason All C-USA pick Andrew Reue (26 starts). Sophomore Peter Godber is slated to step into one starting spot at guard after playing in 12 games as a reserve as a redshirt freshman. Junior Spencer Stanley emerged from the spring as the leading contender to replace Matt Simonette at center, while redshirt freshman Calvin Anderson head the depth chart at left tackle.


Two of Vinklarek's three graduating 2014 seniors, Ian Gray (Bears) and Nico Carlson (Cowboys), found their way into NFL rookie camps this past spring.

Vinklarek is no stranger to the Houston area or Conference USA. He coached the linemen at the University of Houston from 1988-93 and at SMU from 2004-07. He also coached at the high school level in Houston, coaching the defensive line at Spring Branch High School in 1983 and was the offensive coordinator at Clear Lake High School 1994 in a district championship season and at Conroe High School in 1996.

While at Houston, he mentored the offensive line that protected Andre Ware during his Heisman Trophy winning season (1989) and was selected to coach in the 1990 Blue-Gray Game after helping UH to a 10-1 season. He originally came to Houston as a graduate assistant under former Houston Oilers and Washington Redskins head coach Jack Pardee and was promoted to full-time assistant in 1990.

Vinklarek coached in the NFL for three seasons. He broke into the league in 2000 with the Tennessee Titans as their defensive quality control, linebackers and special teams coach. He moved on to the Buffalo Bills in 2001 and coached their offensive line for two seasons. In 2002 the Bills offensive line paved the way for a 4,359-yard passer in Drew Bledsoe, a 1,439-yard rusher in Travis Henry and two 1,200-yard-plus receivers in Eric Moulds and Peerless Price.

Prior to joining the Owls, he coached the offensive line for the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL. He broke into the coaching ranks as the seventh and eighth grade coach at Hill Country Middle School after graduating from Southwest Texas in 1981. From 1983 to 1984, was the defensive line coach for Spring Branch High School in Houston before becoming the defensive coordinator at Marble Falls (Texas) High School from 1984-86.

He also served as offensive line coach at Oklahoma State (1998 & 1999), Valdosta State (1997), Middle Tennessee State (2003) as well as with the CFL's Birmingham Barracudas (1995).

A Flatonia, Texas, native, Vinklarek is married to the former Marianne Britz. The couple has two sons, Trevor and Trent.


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