The times they are a changin'...
So Bobby Ross has retired from coaching. That’s a big blow. While Bobby didn’t post a big win/loss record while at Army, he did put the program back on track after total and complete decimation from the Todd Berry/Rich Greenspan reign. Ross showed the cadets what it felt like to win again. All inside and outside reports I’ve got over the last couple of days confirm that the 70 year old coach just ran out of gas. Coach Jim Young, Black Knights coach who took the cadets to multiple winning seasons and bowl games in the 80's including a victory over Auburn in the Peach Bowl, said during his resignation press conference that winning at Army requires a coach, his staff, and the team to be at 150% ALL the time. I think Bobby found this to be very true in the three years he was at West Point. Nonetheless, I laud Bobby Ross for coming out of retirement to put the program back on it’s feet. All the alumni, fans, and current staff understood that his motivation was largely driven by his desire to serve his country's interests in the best way he could. You surely can’t knock a guy for that at all, especially a 70 year old winner like Bobby Ross.
Army has given the job to Stan Brock who appears to have been a well respected assistant to Ross for the last three years. Here’s the meat and potatoes from the press release:
Brock played 13 seasons with the NFL's New Orleans Saints (1980-92) as an offensive tackle after he was selected in the first round of the 1980 NFL Draft as the 12th overall selection. He was an All-Rookie choice in 1980 and went on to play in 186 games for New Orleans (No. 4 all-time in Saints history). At one point, Brock made 67 consecutive starts and was part of an offensive line that allowed a league-low 15 sacks in 1992. During his last six years in New Orleans (1987-92), the Saints compiled an overall record of 66-32 (.673). Brock was inducted into the Saints' Hall of Fame in 1998.
For long time Army football fans, the real question that immediately comes to mind is: Will the new coach follow in Jim Young’s footsteps and change the offensive scheme from a pro-set to a hybrid option? As the legend goes, after posting a dismal first season record and getting the crap kicked out of them at the Army/Navy game out at The Rose Bowl in California Jim Young was talking to his staff during the lonely plane ride back and just completely conceded that the cadet’s would NEVER run a passing dominated offense with any real success and perhaps he ought to take a look at some of the old option offenses many of his predecessors had run going all the way back to the leather helmet days. From that day on, the wishbone offense was what Army ran and did they ever run it! The cadets went down and tied big ole Tennessee once and BEAT them the next! Bowl games and winning seasons. Man, those were the days. Many other smaller teams have run the option to great success including Air Force, Navy, and Wake Forest. It’s time for Army to go back to The Bone. It may be boring to watch, but all you have to do is watch those big fat defensive linebackers get all winded chasing our little guys back and forth from the long side to the short side to know that it is Army's key to competing in the world of college football factories that is Div. 1A.
Interestingly enough, Stan Brock has announced that he will NOT retain Kevin Ross, Bobby’s son, as offensive coordinator citing the need to, “take the team in another direction”. Maybe this is a sign that the option is coming back West Point. I hope so. Bold move firing the son of the guy who recommended you for the job.
I wish Stan Brock the best of luck and hope that he can take the team to the next level.
Go Army! Beat Navy!
My father, USMA class of 1962, loves crunching data. He's an Army sports loving math geek to the bone and he put this matrix together. It tells the story fairly clearly: