TOWSON, Md. (December 26, 2008) -- Rob Ambrose, the offensive coordinator at the University of Connecticut, has been named as the head football coach at Towson University, it has been announced by Director of Athletics Mike Hermann.
A member of Coach Randy Edsall’s staff at UConn for the last seven years, Coach Ambrose is a 1993 Towson graduate. A native of Middletown, Md., Ambrose spent nine seasons as a member of the coaching staff at Towson, starting his coaching career before he even graduated. When he suffered a career-ending injury prior to his senior season, he joined the coaching staff as a Student Assistant Coach and coached the Wide Receivers.
He will coach with the Huskies on January 3 as they play Buffalo in the International Bowl.
After rising to the position of Offensive Coordinator in 1998, he was named as the Tigers’ Associate Head Coach for the 2000 season. In 2001, he was the Head Football Coach at Catholic University. After one season with the Cardinals, he joined the staff at the University of Connecticut. The fourth head coach in the 40-year history of Towson football, Coach Ambrose was signed to a five-year contract.
“Rob was on our list from the very beginning,” says Hermann. “But I felt it was important to conduct a thorough national search to ensure that we found the very best coach for Towson University. We had an outstanding field and discussed this opportunity with many well-respected coaches. At the end, it became clear that Rob Ambrose was the best choice to lead our program. Not only is he ready and willing to be the head coach of a college football program, he's ready and willing to do the job at Towson.
“His preparation for this position began long before our search process did,” added Hermann. “He admits he's been planning for this day since he left Towson as an assistant coach eight years ago. He has a passion for Towson and I'm confident that his passion will become evident to our student-athletes, to our alumni and to our community. It's great to welcome Rob home and I am confident that our football program will have an exciting future under his leadership.”
In his seven seasons at the University of Connecticut, Ambrose has played an integral role in the growth of the Huskies’ program from its status as an NCAA Division I-AA team to a nationally-ranked program that is a top contender for the BIG EAST Conference championship on an annual basis.
Ambrose joined the Huskies’ staff in 2002 and served as the Huskies Quarterbacks Coach. During that time, he worked with record-setting quarterback Dan Orlovsky, currently the starting quarterback for the Detroit Lions. In 2002, the Huskies compiled a 6-6 record before improving to 9-3 in the 2003 season. In 2004, the Huskies made their BIG EAST Conference debut and posted an 8-4 record which included a 39-10 win over Toledo in the Motor City Bowl. It was the Huskies’ first appearance in a bowl game.
In its BIG EAST debut, the Huskies were second in the conference in passing offense. Orlovsky, who was selected in the fifth round by Detroit in the 2005 NFL draft, finished his college career by setting school records for pass completions (916), passing yardage (10,421) and touchdown passes (84).
Coach Ambrose was promoted to Offensive Coordinator in 2005. In his third season as the Huskies’ Offensive Coordinator, he helped UConn win a share of the 2007 Big East Conference championship and make an appearance in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. UConn finished the 2007 season with a 9-4 record.
This past season, Coach Ambrose’s UConn offense was led by junior running back Donald Brown, the Big East Offensive Player of the Year. A first team All-American selection, Brown has rushed for 1,822 yards and scored 17 touchdowns. He has been the NCAA rushing leader for most of the season. With a 7-5 record, the Huskies will face Buffalo in the International Bowl in Toronto on January 3. In his seven seasons at UConn, Ambrose helped the Huskies post a 48-36 record.
“I think that Towson University has made an outstanding choice in selecting Rob Ambrose as its head football coach,” says Coach Edsall, the Huskies’ tenth-year head coach. “He is an outstanding leader and an excellent football coach. Rob has all the ingredients to help student-athletes grow and develop. I know he will have a tremendous amount of success at Towson.
“Rob did a great job for us here at UConn,” Coach Edsall added. “He helped us grow as a football program and he was a tremendous mentor for Dan Orlovsky. A few years ago, we promoted him to Offensive Coordinator and he made a very smooth transition. Rob also did an excellent job in recruiting the Maryland, D.C., Virginia area for us and I’m sure that will serve him well as the head coach at Towson.”
Ambrose is the fourth Edsall assistant coach to be named as a college head coach in the last seven years.
“Being named as the fourth head coach in Towson football history is a tremendous honor for me,” says Coach Ambrose. “All three of my predecessors are legends and men that I admire. It’s with great humility that I follow in their footsteps. I am so thankful to be part of this program’s past and I am grateful to be part of the future. I can’t wait to come back home and get started.”
As the Tigers’ fourth head coach, Ambrose follows Carl Runk (1969-71), Phil Albert (1972-1991) and Gordy Combs (1992-2008). He was a player for Coach Albert and served as an Assistant Coach for Coach Combs for nine years.
During his previous stint at Towson, he helped the Tigers establish an explosive offense. In 1993, he contributed to the sixth-ranked scoring offense in NCAA Division I-AA as Towson finished the season with an 8-2 record. The Tigers were ranked 24th in the nation at the end of the season. In 1993, the Tiger offense was led by All-American Tony Vinson, who led the nation in rushing yardage and touchdowns. In 1994, the Tigers had the eighth-ranked scoring offense and the ninth-ranked passing offense as they finished the season with another 8-2 record and were ranked 26th in the nation. In 1999, Ambrose was the Tigers’ Offensive Coordinator when Towson had the number one-ranked passing game in the nation and ranked fourth in total offense. The Tigers were 7-4 on the season. In the 2000 season, he was the Tigers’ Associate Head Coach when they posted another 7-4 mark. In his nine years as a Tiger assistant coach, Towson had a 55-38 record and had only two losing seasons.
What They’re Saying About Rob Ambrose
Dr. Robert Caret, President, Towson University: “I am very excited that Rob Ambrose is returning ‘home’ to Towson University. He made it clear that his return is a very personal decision - this is his school. I also know that he wants to help take Towson several giant steps down its path of maturation and growth. For Rob, winning will not be an option. It is a personal necessity and it is one I know he can deliver on.”
Jason Corle, ’99, Tigers’ All-Time Rushing Leader: “Having Rob Ambrose return to Towson as the head football coach is a great thing for the program. When I heard Towson was looking for a new coach, Rob was the first name that came to my mind. He was the offensive coordinator when I played at Towson and he made the offense very easy to understand. Rob is a hard worker and he knows his stuff. Offensively, he taught us so well that we played at a higher level. Hopefully, Rob will be able to restore the Tiger football program to the level where we would 7 or 8 games every year.”
Jeff Hathaway, Director of Athletics, University of Connecticut: “Rob Ambrose is an outstanding selection as head football coach at Towson University. His passion for his alma mater has always been evident and his desire to lead that football program is unsurpassed. Rob has been a very valuable part of the UConn football program as we moved into the BIG EAST Conference and participated in the first three bowl games in the history of the University of Connecticut.
“Rob’s leadership abilities, his football knowledge, his coaching abilities, his interaction with student-athletes and his recruiting ability all represent qualities that will make him very successful at Towson. He has been an important part of the Division of Athletics at UConn as well as the University community. He understands the importance of the players succeeding athletically and academically as well as the need for players to participate in community service. He has done a tremendous job preparing young people for life after college.”
Mike Locksley, ’92, Head Football Coach, University of New Mexico: “Naming Rob Ambrose as the head coach at Towson is a great move by the Towson administration. Rob offers Towson the best of both worlds. He understands the great tradition of Towson football. Plus, he brings new energy and new insights from his years at Connecticut. Rob Ambrose brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Towson and it’s great that he’s a Towson guy.”
Dan Orlovsky, NFL Quarterback, Detroit Lions: “It’s awesome that Rob Ambrose is the new coach at Towson. He’s been an unbelievable coach for me and he’s been a great friend. I will always remember the things he taught me that helped me grow as a quarterback and as a person. Some of the things that he taught me are laminated and hanging in my locker. One of the best things he has done is challenge me to get better – and he does it in the right way. Rob is going to be a great addition to the Towson staff and he will do a great job.”