March 29, 2005
Junior defensive end Willie Jones, an intern in the FSU Sports Information Office this spring, sat down with Ron Dugans for a question and answer session. Dugans, who was a member of the 1999 national championship team before moving on to the NFL, is now a member of the staff as an assistant strength and conditioning coach.
How does it feel to be back home at Florida State?
“I’ve got so many friends and family here in Tallahassee, it feels great to be back home not only at Florida State but Tallahassee as well.”
As a member of the 1999 national championship team, what will it take for Florida State to win a third national title?
“The main thing is that everyone needs to be on the same page. The discipline level isn’t there like it used to be back when I was here. I feel that there’s a lot of talent but not a lot of leadership and without leadership it’s hard to have a great football team.”
What brought you back home?
“I felt like my NFL career wasn’t completed but I felt like my best wasn’t good enough. I felt as if I can also do other things like coaching and doing real estate while I’m here in Tallahassee.”
Is there a chance that you might want to coach here?
“Yes, that’s one of the reasons why I’m back here.”
What would you tell the players about what it takes to make it in the National Football League?
“It takes a lot of hard work. If there’s one thing that I try to tell players now is that there’s always someone trying to work harder then you at all times so make sure that you are never satisfied with what your doing.”
What moment stands out to you about the 1999 championship season?
“The week of preparation leading up to the Sugar Bowl. Just the year before we lost to Tennessee so we all had it in our heads that we would not let that happen again. The whole trip to New Orleans was a great experience for me. Seeing the team chemistry was great to be around and being around a group of guys that had a lot of fun with each other.”
After growing up in Tallahassee, what made you stay here and play football?
“My grandmother didn’t want me to leave town and plus by going to FAMU High most people thought that I couldn’t play at a higher level college like FSU. I wanted to prove everybody wrong. I thought about leaving but I felt like this was where I needed to be.”
What are you duties with your new position as assistant strength and conditioning coach?
“As of right now my duties are to monitor players in the weight room and hopefully as time passes my duties will be more involved.”
Will you have any football responsibilities besides in the weight room this year?
“I am helping out in the weight room and hopefully as time passes I’ll have more involved duties. Basically I am working with Jon Jost on strength and conditioning programs that will help our players when the season begins.”
What was the main difference between the National Football League and college?
“To me the game speed and how intense everyone is in the NFL. It’s like every week you have to produce and if not, there’s always someone waiting to take your place. In college, the game speed isn’t as fast and you can really have fun and enjoy yourself.”
What was it like playing with Peter Warrick in college and in the National Football League?
“It’s kind of unexplainable, it was like a once in a life time experience. By me and him being on the same college team and the same NFL team I really grew a close relationship with Peter. That’s an experience I’ll never forget.”