Brock Relieved of Duties

Army athletic director Kevin Anderson announced Friday that he fired head football coach Stan Brock after two seasons on the job. According to Anderson, the decision came after the two disagreed on the direction of the football team. Media reports indicate that Brock, 6-18 in two years, refused to fire some of his assistants. A search for his replacement is already underway, according to Anderson.

The decision to fire Brock was welcomed by Army fans, but it once again puts the Black Knights in a familiar position – looking to once again for someone to turn around its football program. Army has not had a winning season since 1996, and according to Anderson, the mission of the new head coach is not to win "down the road" or tomorrow, but "to win now."

 

"I sat down with Coach Brock and we decided to do an evaluation. I made some recommendations to him," said Anderson. "I gave him some time to think about it. He came back and we basically had a difference of philosophy. At the end of the day, I made my decision and I have decided to go in another direction and relieve him of his duties."

 

Regardless of who takes the job, it will be a daunting task as Army recently showed in its showdown with Navy a week ago that it has a long way to go to be competitive with their archrival.

 

Although Anderson did not say it was a litmus test for hiring a coach, he did indicate that having someone with experience in coaching at a service academy would definitely be a quality that would be attractive to him.

 

"That would be the ideal situation and if I can find that I definitely will have that be one of the criteria that we look at in hiring the next football coach," said Anderson. "Is it the ultimate? Or are we going to find that someone doesn't and they are the right person to hire?  We are going to hire the right football coach who embraces what the Academy is all about and win football games."

 

And while some sort of military affiliation may not be a prerequisite, familiarity with running an option offense is. Anderson made it quite clear the next head coach at West Point will not be fiddling around with any type of offensive scheme that does not include the option. This probably includes the brand of option Brock had installed with very limited success this season.

 

Coaches said to be on Army's short list include Wake Forest's offensive coordinator, Steed Lobotzke; Kansas offensive coordinator Ed Warinner; and possibly even former Army head coach Bob Sutton, who is currently the defensive coordinator for the New York Jets.

 

Anderson said there was no time table for when the search would be concluded, but he did say that process had already begun.

 

"We have a search committee and will seek the advice and counsel of Academy leadership during the search process," said Anderson. "It is more important to find the right person to lead this football program, however time is of the essence and we will move as quickly as possible.

 

"I support the Athletic Director's decision," said Lt. Gen. Buster Hagenbeck, West Point Superintendent. "This was not a hasty or emotional decision, and Stan has been a great member of our community, but winning is particularly important to the military academy and to an Army at war. There is no substitute for victory."

 

"I'd like to thank Stan for his hard work and dedication to the Army football program the past five years and wish him and his family well in the future," Anderson said. "Stan and his family have been valued members of our athletic program and have made a significant impact in the West Point community."


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