Canadian Football League

Friday, December 26, 2008

Former Canadian football League Coach Named New Head Coach Of Army

Army names Ellerson new football coach

West Point, NY (Sports Network) - Army has tabbed Rich Ellerson as its new head football coach, the program announced Friday.

Ellerson makes the jump to Army from the Football Championship Subdivision ranks, having coached at Cal Poly since 2001. Ellerson's teams there went 56-34 in eight seasons, during which time they won three Great West Conference championships and had two FCS playoff berths.

This past season, employing Ellerson's triple-option offense, Cal Poly went 8-3 and ranked first nationally among FCS teams in total offense (487.45) and scoring offense (44.36), before losing in the first round of the FCS playoffs.

As a result of Cal Poly's success in 2008, Ellerson finished second in balloting for the Eddie Robinson Award, presented annually by The Sports Network to the coach of the year in the FCS. He was also nominated for the award in 2005.

Ellerson, the son of a career U.S. Army officer, becomes Army's 36th head football coach, replacing Stan Brock -- who compiled a 6-18 record for the Cadets in only two years on the job.

"I will never receive, nor have I ever received a finer compliment professionally or personally than to be entrusted with the Army football program at this point in its history," Ellerson said. "I grew up with Army football. I was part of a typical Army family. When I was a kid, I was watching those guys at West Point, my father was a West Point graduate and we were living on Army posts all over the world. I just grew up thinking that West Point was the center of the university. It's a little bit of a catharsis."

Ellerson brings to Army almost 30 years of collegiate coaching experience, having had stints at Arizona (1992-1995, 1997-2000), Southern Utah (1996), Hawaii (1977, 1981-83, 1987-1991), Cal State Fullerton (1980), Idaho (1979), Arizona Western College (1978).

He has held a variety of positions, including a graduate assistantship at Hawaii in 1977, his first coaching job. Ellerson has been the coach of multiple units of the defense throughout his coaching career, and been defensive coordinator at numerous stops.

Apart from collegiate coaching, he made stops at Calgary (1986) and British Columbia (1984-85) of the Canadian Football League.

"We are extremely excited to be in position to name Rich Ellerson as our head football coach today," said Army athletic director Kevin Anderson. "I have long admired his work with the triple option at Cal Poly. He has done some amazing things in building that program into a national power...One of our primary goals of the search was to find someone capable of turning around our program immediately and we are confident Rich is the perfect individual to accomplish that."

A formal press conference to introduce Ellerson as head coach will be held on Tuesday.