Rob Ash

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Rob Ash
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1951-07-09) July 9, 1951 (age 67)
Des Moines, Iowa
Playing career
1970–1973 Cornell (IA)
Position(s) Quarterback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1976–1979 Cornell (IA) (assistant)
1980–1988 Juniata
1989–2006 Drake
2007–2015 Montana State
2016 Arkansas (offensive analyst) [1]
Head coaching record
Overall 247–137–5
Accomplishments and honors
Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award (2011)

Robert W. "Rob" Ash (born July 9, 1951) was a college football coach, formerly 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 was let go at the end of the 2015 season. Ash previously spent 18 seasons as the head football coach of the Drake University Bulldogs. He was born in Des Moines, Iowa.

Through the 2015 regular season, Ash's career FCS record is 171–84–1. In 34 years as a head coach, Ash's overall record is 234–126–5. His 234 victories rank in the Top 20 for active college football coaches. His Division III coaching record is 75–51–4.

Playing career[edit]

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.[2]

Early coaching career[edit]

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.[2]


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.[2]

Montana State[edit]

Ash was hired at Montana State on June 11, 2007, replacing former coach Mike Kramer. Ash was let go at the end of the 2015 season.[3]

Ash's Bobcats went 6–5 in his first season as coach. The Bobcats went 5-6 in Ash's final year.

In 2009 Ash was named second vice president of the American Football Coaches Association.[4] 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.


On June 2, 2016 Ash was hired by Arkansas to be the offensive analyst for head coach Bret Bielema. He served during the 2016 football season. [5] [6]

Championship Analytics, Inc[edit]

Rob Ash is employed as Director of Coaching Development. CAI is a company Coach Ash used while at Montana State during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. While still coaching at Montana State University Ash started pitching coaches about CAI after the 2014 season, he officially started working for CAI in January, 2017. [7][8][9]

Head coaching record[edit]

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 (NCAA Division III 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) (2007–2015)
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 1st L FCS Quarterfinal 7 7
2012 Montana State 11–2 7–1 T–1st L FCS Quarterfinal 5 5
2013 Montana State 7–5 5–3 T–4th 18 16
2014 Montana State 8–5 6–2 T–2nd L FCS First Round
2015 Montana State 5–6 3–5 T–8th
Montana State: 70–38 50–23
Total: 247–137–5
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth

See also[edit]