FOOTBALL: Rob Ambrose Comes Home As Tigers' New Coach
Courtesy: TBD  
Release: 01/06/2009
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Towson University President Dr. Robert Caret, Head Football Coach Rob Ambrose,...

    Transcript of Rob Ambrose Press Conference on January 6, 2009

TOWSON, Md.For the Towson University football team, Homecoming is at least nine months away. However, Rob Ambrose, a 1993 Towson graduate, celebrated Homecoming on Tuesday, January 6 when he was introduced as the Tigers’ new Head Football Coach at a press conference in a very crowded Minnegan Room in the Field House at Johnny Unitas® Stadium.

“Although I’ve never been a fan of Bear Bryant’s, I agree with him on one topic,” said Ambrose. “In 1958, Bear Bryant was asked why he left his coaching job at Texas A&M to become the coach at Alabama. He responded, ‘my school called me. Mama called. When Mama calls, then you have to just come running.’ That’s how I feel about Towson. ”

A member of the staff at the University of Connecticut for the last seven years and a veteran of 17 years of college coaching, Ambrose is only the fourth head coach in the 40-year history of Tiger football.

“It’s very humbling for me to follow three men who are the founding fathers of this football program and they need to be acknowledged,” Ambrose remarked. “Carl Runk was the first coach and he got all of this started. There would be no football program without him. Then, there was Phil Albert who took this program to places nobody ever thought it would reach. He’s the man who recruited me to come to Towson and I can never thank him enough for all that he has done for me. He was followed by Gordy Combs. Without Gordy, I don’t think I would have become a football coach. When my football playing career ended before my senior year, Gordy was there for me and offered me a spot as a Student Assistant Coach and I’ll never forget that. We were together for nine years and he taught me so much.

 “Those men deserve all our respect and we will never forget what they did for Tiger football,” he added. “Without the past, there can’t be any future.”

Addressing a room crowded with alumni, media, fans and former players, Ambrose said, “It touches my soul to see this kind of support for the Tiger football program. This is very personal for me and there is no other I-AA (NCAA FCS) head coaching job that I would taken other than this one. But, I know there is a strong commitment to this football program from the administration and I’m excited to be part of it.”

Ambrose, who helped UConn win 49 games and made three bowl game appearances in seven seasons, also paid tribute to Randy Edsall, the head coach at the University of Connecticut.

“I cannot say enough good things about Coach Edsall,” he added. “What you read in the newspapers about him is all true – his background, his organization, how he built something from the ground up and how he took something that no one believed in and made it a national contender. He is amazing and I was honored to be part of his staff. I feel very lucky to be mentioned in the same breath with Randy Edsall.”

Ambrose, a native of Middletown, Md. who was a three-sport standout at Middletown High School, also talked about the future of Tiger football.

He said, “We are moving toward a bright future because of a great vision from our administration and a tremendous path. I am grateful to be a part of it and that I have the opportunity to follow Carl Runk, Phil Albert and Gordy Combs, men who have done so much for this school. It is with great humility that I take on this role as the leader of the future.”

He added, “With that being said, this is for everyone in the room and everyone watching and everyone that is going to read about this in the newspaper. This is not about me – not at all. It’s about the players in this room and it’s about all of you. It’s about all of the people outside this room – the community and the faculty and the fans and the students and the rest of the state that hasn’t figured it out yet. It’s our job to take this program and make it the program that we know it can be and know that it is supposed to be and it’s about time. So, tell your friends and your neighbors and your buddies. Call them all up. They’re invited. They’re all invited to this beautiful new house (Johnny Unitas® Stadium) and let’s turn this thing around and win some ball games.”

Ambrose, who was named as the Tigers’ coach on December 27, was selected from an impressive pool of candidates, according to Director of Athletics Mike Hermann.

Some outstanding coaches were interested in this job,” said Hermann. “It’s an attractive job. It’s a credit to our University in terms of what Towson University has become. That’s one of the main reasons and that credit belongs to our administration and to our faculty. It’s a credit to the coaches who have been here before and the great foundation they have laid over the last 40 years.

“It’s a credit to this outstanding facility, Doc Minnegan Field at Johnny Unitas® Stadium, the best game day facility in the Colonial Athletic Association,” he added. “And speaking of the CAA, it’s a credit to our league. We play in the best FCS conference in the country and we’re in a great location. I talked to coach after coach and they called it a gold mine, a sleeping giant because of this great recruiting location that we’re in. Every candidate mentioned that.”

Hermann added, “When we looked at all of the candidates, Rob Ambrose’s name came to the top of the list for three primary reasons. First, he’s a Maryland guy, a state of Maryland guy and the son of a Hall of Fame high school coach (Tim Ambrose). He’s recruited this state for Towson and the University of Connecticut.

“Second, he’s a proven leader. You know that from the first time he was here at Towson. He moved up the ranks - a student coach, a full-time position coach, a passing game coordinator, an offensive coordinator, and Associate Head Coach before he left Towson. He became a head coach at another institution and then, at UConn, he moved up the ranks again from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator. So, that’s the second reason – a proven leader.

“And the third reason and probably the biggest reason is that he has a great passion for Towson. He has a great vision for Towson. He has a great plan for where this Towson football program can go. It became clear the more I talked to Rob that he has thought about this opportunity not just in the last few weeks or the last few months, but he has been thinking about this job for a long time. He has a focus and a vision and a plan to take Towson to the top of the CAA. And if you’re at the top of the CAA, you’re at the top of the nation.”

“Rob Ambrose is not our choice because he’s a Towson guy, but we’re proud that he is. He’s our choice to be head coach of our football program because he’s the best man to lead the program into this new era.”

Coach Ambrose said that he hoped to complete his coaching staff within the next two weeks.

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