Give this man a raise

Having done yeoman work the past month, keeping the Football Complex on track and holding Alabama's recruiting efforts together, Randy Ross is in line for a promotion.

Promotions come for many reasons. Sometimes it's a matter of sticking around an organization so long that they have no choice but to move you up. Sometimes your boss leaves, and management needs someone to take over the job right away. Other times it's based simply who you know, as when a man gets promoted because his long-time friend makes the decision.

But Randy Ross, now in his 14th year working for The University, took a more direct--and deserved--route. As Director of High School Relations under the previous staff, Ross put his personality and extensive contacts with area high school coaches to excellent use. In that capacity Ross was the Tide's liaison with the crucial prep coaches, while also coordinating clinics and camps for the department.

When the previous staff left abruptly, giving essentially no notice, Alabama's recruiting could have fallen apart. But thanks to the tireless work of Coach Ross, Mary Spybey and other members of the Football Complex staff, that didn't happen. After Athletics Director Mal Moore asked him to take over, Ross stayed on the phone almost constantly, holding the class together and convincing uncommitted athletes to keep their options open until new Coach Mike Price came on board.

With only graduate assistants and department staffers to help, Ross handled duties and numerous administrative details normally the responsibility of nine assistant coaches, the Recruiting Coordinator and the Director of Football Operations.

After Coach Price was hired, Ross was the man that brought the new coaches up to speed on the current Tide players and Alabama's various prospects. While Price was on the West Coast preparing Washington State for the Rose Bowl, Ross talked with him several times a day on the phone, keeping him up to date and coordinating the calls that needed to be placed by coaches. Recognizing both his competence and character, Price immediately grew to rely on Ross' good judgement.

On the weekly radio show Hey, Coach! Monday night, Price referred to Ross as the "co-Recruiting Coordinator," and actually for this year at least that's probably an understatement. Given his extensive contacts throughout the state (and the fact that many new assistants are new to the Southeast), Ross is expected to continue to play a major role in recruiting as the new staff acclimates itself to Alabama.

No official announcement has been made yet--nor even have the exact responsibilities of the various staffers been decided. But the smart money is betting that Ross will end up with the title of Director of Football Operations and move into the office just across the hall from Price.

Ross played baseball for St. Bernard College before becoming an assistant high school coach for three years. He then served as head coach for nine years at Southside and Scotsboro High Schools respectively. He coached quarterbacks and handled recruiting for Vanderbilt for two years. In 1990, Gene Stallings added Ross to his staff to handle recruiting for the Tide--a job Ross held for the duration of Stallings' tenure.


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