Vying for Victory


Sitting in his Brick Breeden fieldhouse office, MSU Football Head Coach Rob Ash explained he has always been around football. In both high school and college, Ash played football and earned the title of Academic All-American quarterback at Cornell College in Iowa. As a major in history with a minor in religion, Ash always thought he would be a professor. Now nominated as the Liberty Mutual FCS Coach of the Year for the third consecutive time, Rob Ash never imagined he would be the winningest coach in Bobcat football history.

“When I was working on my doctorate in history in Michigan, I realized I really missed football,” he said. He then finished his master’s degree and pursued coaching as a career option instead. Ash received a job as head coach for the football team at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

“After 18 years at Drake, I wanted to coach a playoff team,” he said. It is this attitude that led him to apply at MSU for the football head coach position. “I always wanted to be a head coach,” Ash laughed, “I don’t like taking direction from other people.”

“I never imagined I’d end up in Montana.” Ash said, “When I saw the position, I had to take it. It wasn’t just the school or the job that drew me in, though; it was the mountains.
[pullquote align=”right”]“It wasn’t just the school or the job that drew me in, though; it was the mountains.” — Head Coach Rob Ash[/pullquote]

Not only does Coach Ash enjoy working with the football players on their game, he also likes seeing them mature. “We recruit guys right out of high school, not so much from junior colleges or transfers,” Ash explained. “We like to get them young to see the whole spectrum of their lives from freshman year leaving their parents to seniors making their careers and lives.”

With the Brawl of the Wild closing in quickly at MSU, Ash noted choosing a side in this rivalry as a “life choice,” you are either a Bobcat or a Grizzly. Lighthearted and optimistic, Ash sees the game this weekend as a second shot at playoff victory. With year-long bragging rights, Ash described the annual Cat/Griz football as important to all of Montana and this is what makes this game really special.

“Bobcat football has come a long way,” Ash said, “It’s this team of people that make me blessed.”