Purdue's Kugler draws on wealth of family ties
College Football Videos
When Robert Kugler told his father that he was moving from tight end to offensive line, Sean Kugler was understandably excited.
“He was able to coach me up a little more,” Robert Kugler said. “Plus, whenever I went home, he didn't have to throw me the ball anymore.”
Kugler's days as an eligible receiver are indeed over, and Saturday the redshirt freshman will make his third consecutive start at right guard when Purdue tries to snap a four-game losing streak against visiting Penn State.
Kugler has settled in on the line, and he has added 35 pounds since moving last spring. The extra weight allows him to take on 300-plus pound defensive linemen, and the 6-3, 285-pounder still has the speed to pull effectively as well as get to the next level.
“I think he's a very athletic guy,” Penn State defensive line coach Larry Johnson said of Kugler. “He's one of those players that we've got to find a way to get around.”
The Kuglers know a thing or two about that.
Sean played on the offensive line at UTEP, where his position coach was a guy named Andy Reid. He is in his third season as the Steelers' offensive line coach.
Patrick Kugler is an offensive tackle at North Allegheny and the Michigan-commit is one of the top line prospects in the country.
Robert Kugler benefits from each as he can work with and against Patrick — the brothers are as competitive as they are tight — and receive feedback from his father.
Sean Kugler has achieved a healthy balance as a coaching father while still staying involved with his sons' development.
“He doesn't try to outcoach the coaches,” said Robert Kugler, the 2010 state Class AAAA Player of the Year. “He's more, ‘Did you finish hard every play?' It's like a double-film session. He'll critique me.”
When asked to critique his son, the elder Kugler said, “No question there's technique things he's got to work on, and there's a lack of experience. He competes hard, as he always has, and as a player I know his coaches can help him improve. He can pull and get out in space, and he needs to use that.”
Father and son shared a special moment a couple of weeks ago that neither will forget. Robert Kugler made his first career start at Ohio State, and his father and brother were at Ohio Stadium for the game.
The Steelers happened to be playing the Bengals the following day, and coach Mike Tomlin told Kugler to leave early Saturday and meet the team in Cincinnati after the Ohio State game.
“As a dad, that was really a proud moment,” Kugler said. “I'm proud of him as a player, and I'm proud of him as a student.”
The younger Kugler still has considerable room for growth, and his offseason plans include putting even more distance between his future and his days as a tight end.
“I want to put on 10 pounds by next year because 285 in the Big Ten isn't very big,” Kugler said. “I feel like I can develop a lot more in that aspect.”
Scott Brown is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McKeesport fatal shooting under investigation
- Rossi: Harrison can lead by talking about past
- Pirates defeat Braves to clinch NL playoff spot for 2nd consecutive season
- Wings coach Babcock does not hide affection for Penguins’ Crosby
- Aging natural gaslines pose hidden threat across U.S.
- CMU researchers track devices that keep healthy lifestyles in reach
- Penguins blanked at Columbus, 2-0
- Family inspires designers for Pittsburgh Fashion Week’s 2nd night
- Steelers’ Taylor recovering from forearm surgery
- Steelers’ Tomlin says practice will determine OLB Harrison’s role
- Experts: Corbett showing strong, Wolf stayed the course