American Football Database
Rob Ash
Current position
TitleHead coach
TeamMontana State
ConferenceBig Sky
Biographical details
Born (1951-07-09) July 9, 1951 (age 70)
Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.
Playing career
1970–1973Cornell (IA)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Cornell (IA) (assistant)
Montana State
Head coaching record
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award (2011)

Robert W. "Rob" Ash (born July 9, 1951) is a college football coach, currently the head coach at Montana State University, and a former president of the American Football Coaches Association.

Ash was hired at Montana State on June 11, 2007, replacing former coach Mike Kramer. Ash previously spent 18 seasons as the head football coach of the Drake University Bulldogs. He was born in Des Moines, Iowa.

Through the 2011 regular season, Ash's career FCS record is 150–68–1. In 31 years as a head coach, Ash's overall record is 226–121–5. His 226 victories rank in the Top 20 for active college football coaches. His Division III coaching record is 75–51–4.

Playing career

Ash was a quarterback at Cornell College of Iowa and earned Little All-America honors and First Team CoSIDA Academic All-America honors as a senior in 1972. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1973, earning an NCAA Top Five Award and an NCAA Post-Graduate scholarship.[1]

Early coaching career

After a four-year stint as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Ash was hired as head coach at Division III Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. After posting a 4–5 record in his first season in 1980, Juniata posted winning marks in six of the next eight campaigns. Ash finished with a 51–36–3 record as the Eagles head coach.[1]


Ash recorded a 125–63–2 record in 18 seasons at Drake, including four Pioneer Football League championships. He was named the Pioneer Football League's Coach of the Year in 2004, 1998 and 1995. Ash ended his tenure at Drake with five consecutive winning seasons.

Ash led the Bulldogs to 7–3 and 6–4 records in his first two seasons. After posting a 4–6 mark in 1991, Ash's Drake squads stood 30–8–2 over the next four years. His 125 wins stands as the most in school history.[1]

Montana State

Ash was hired in the wake of a scandal at Montana State that resulted in the firing of Kramer, who coached the Bobcats the previous seven seasons. Kramer's contract was terminated by MSU administrators in May 2007 due to off-the-field incidents that included drug and robbery charges involving current and former players.[2]

Ash's Bobcats went 6–5 in his first season as coach.

In 2009 Ash was named second vice president of the American Football Coaches Association.[3] Per AFCA tradition, Ash moved up to first vice president in 2010 and became president in 2011 before giving way to Harvard coach Tim Murphy the following year.

In 2010, Ash guided the Bobcats to a 9–2 regular season record, including a 7–1 mark in the Big Sky Conference. MSU defeated arch rival Montana 21–16 on the road to win the conference championship and an automatic berth to the FCS postseason. Ash was named the 2010 Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year.

In 2011, Ash guided the Cats to another share of the Big Sky Conference title, sharing with the University of Montana, and going to the NCAA playoffs. The Bobcats beat the University of New Hampshire by one in the second round before losing in the quarter finals to Sam Houston State. After the season, Ash was named the 2011 Liberty Mutual FCS Coach of the Year.

The 2012 season resulted in a one loss regular season for the Bobcats, and a share of the Big Sky Conference championship, their third in three seasons. Ash was named the Region 5 co-coach of the year for 2012 by the American Football Coaches Association.

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Juniata Eagles (Middle Atlantic Conference) (1980–1988)
1980 Juniata 4–5
1981 Juniata 6–2–1 T–1st
1982 Juniata 6–4
1983 Juniata 2–8
1984 Juniata 3–6–1
1985 Juniata 8–3
1986 Juniata 9–2
1987 Juniata 7–3
1988 Juniata 6–3–1
Juniata: 51–36–3
Drake Bulldogs (Independent) (1989–1992)
1989 Drake 7–3
1990 Drake 6–4
1991 Drake 4–6
1992 Drake 7–2–1
Drake Bulldogs (Pioneer Football League) (1993–2006)
1993 Drake 8–2 3–2 2nd
1994 Drake 7–3 3–2 3rd
1995 Drake 8–2–1 5–0 1st
1996 Drake 8–3 4–1 2nd
1997 Drake 8–3 2–3 3rd
1998 Drake 7–3 4–0 1st
1999 Drake 7–4 2–2 3rd
2000 Drake 8–4 3–1 T–1st
2001 Drake 5–5 1–3 T–4th (North)
2002 Drake 5–6 1–3 4th (North)
2003 Drake 6–6 1–3 T–4th (North)
2004 Drake 10–2 4–0 1st (North) 24 25
2005 Drake 6–4 2–2 3rd (North)
2006 Drake 9–3 6–1 2nd
Drake: 125–63–2 41–23
Montana State Bobcats (Big Sky Conference) (2007–present)
2007 Montana State 6–5 4–4 T–4th
2008 Montana State 7–5 5–3 T–3rd
2009 Montana State 7–4 5–3 4th
2010 Montana State 9–3 7–1 T–1st L FCS second round 7 11
2011 Montana State 10–3 7–1 T–1st L FCS quarterfinal 7 7
2012 Montana State[4] 11-2 7–1 T–1st L FCS quarterfinal 5 5
Montana State: 50–22 35–13
Total: 226–121–5
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.

See also


Template:Juniata Eagles football coach navbox

Template:Big Sky Conference football coach navbox