Meet Stan Brock

Talk to people that know new Army football coach Stan Brock, played with him, sweated with him in the trenches, and one word always seems to be mentioned. Tough. That word can also be used to describe Brock's challenge at rebuilding the slumping Black Knights. Sure, Bobby Ross did lift Army from the fallout of an 0-13 season, but we all figured him to stay around longer.

We all figured the once-proud program would be in better shape.

Army finished 3-9 last season and lost its final six games of the year. Things don't look any better this fall with a hellacious schedule on tap next year.

That leads us to Stan Brock.

How is he going to pull this off?

Brock faces a lot of question marks. And don't think they didn't play a part in Ross bolting the barracks. Brock said he will keep Ross' offense in intact (ouch!) and its unclear if Ross' son, Kevin, Army's offensive coordinator, will remain on staff.

Now, Back to Brock.

He's served as Army's offensive coordinator the last three years and has never been a head coach on the Division I-A level.

His only head coaching experience came in the Arena Football League. Brock went 12-24 (.333) with the Portland Forest Dragons (1997-99) and 8-20 (.286) with the Los Angeles Avengers (2000-01).

A lot of Army fans ain't impressed with his dossier and don't think he's the answer. But we have to support the guy, right? And we have to hold on to some sort of hope.

Give Brock this, he's tough, knows how to play the game and is 22 years younger than Ross. Let's hope he can handle the pressure. He sure did in the NFL trenches, helping the San Diego Chargers to the Super Bowl in 1995 under Ross. Brock sacrificed his body every Sunday from 1980-95. His jersey was often bloodied, his knuckles torn to shreds. Whatever it took to protect the quarterback.

In Brock's world, each play is like a six-second street fight. To win this trench war, you must fight, all the way down field. He hopes Army can run the neighborhood.

Some of his best work didn't come on the field. Brock kept a black book with the names of every referee and umpire in the league. He learned their names, the names of their wives and children, even where the kids went to school. Before every game, Brock made sure to address each official by first name. He asked how the family was doing, how Johnny was doing at college. All designed to get him the benefit of the doubt on holding penalties.

He'll need those types of tricks and a whole lot more at Army.

Good luck, coach. Go, Army!


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