Monday, January 29, 2007


Bobby Ross has retired as coach of Army. At one point in time -- say, back when Bobby Ross was only 178 years old -- that would have been big college football news. Now, it's ... interesting. Sort of.

The relevant particulars:

The former NFL coach, who had a 9-25 record at Army, will be succeeded by offensive line coach Stan Brock.
"I think there's a point in time when you feel like it's your time to retire, and I think I've reached that time," the 70-year-old Ross said in a statement. "I think there is an issue of having a certain degree of energy, which I feel is very important for anyone leading a college football program. I feel that I was lacking in that area."

Funny, that doesn't seem to stop Joe Pa.

The picture of youthful vigor.

The 48-year-old Brock, who played for Ross on the 1995 San Diego Chargers team that reached the Super Bowl, said he was surprised, even though he and Ross had talked about the future.
"He knew it was my ultimate goal, but the timing was a shock," said Brock, who has never been a head coach at the Division I level but had five years of head coaching experience in the Arena Football League before coming to West Point with Ross. "I thought coach was going to be here."

Two points: First of all, this guy sounds incredibly "Aw, shucks" for Army. You almost expect him to say, "They will play hard and they will play happy."

Second of all, C&F would submit that coaching in the Arena Football League has little to do with your ability coach football. With the exception, of course, of AFL football.

Still, there have been signs of progress. Army won seven of its last 17 games under Ross, and nine of the last 16 losses have been by 14 points or less. In the three seasons (2001-03) that preceded Ross's arrival, Army was 4-32, suffering those 32 losses by an average of 21.6 points.

When this is your "sign of progress" -- "Hey, we're just getting our butt viciously kicked, instead of getting it stomped into the dirt" -- it probably is time to go.

Now, if they can just get that guy running toward the line of scrimmage rule in CFB, Army might be set.

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