Q&A with Bob Ammann, Part II

After 18 years of dedicated service to Cal State Fullerton, former Titans goalkeeper and long-time assistant coach Bob Ammann was promoted to lead CSF's men's soccer program. TitanCentral.com recently sat down coach Ammann and here is part two of that interview.

TitanCentral.com: Obviously the Titans have not fared to well in the past five years under former head coach Al Mistri. Do you feel this was a talent issue or was it coaching?

Bob Ammann: It was both. I don't know because I am not near retirement but I think if you were to ask Al he would say, "You know what, I was done." I think he would probably say he hung on too long.

In college soccer, you need to have an entire staff working if you are going to be successful. You can't have splinters and fly-by-the-pants operations, which, in a way, has been like that the last few years. There was no recruiting. It was basically come to camp and pick up kids from there and you are not going to get quality players by doing that and the end results were a direct result from doing that.

TitanCentral.com: Let's switch gears a little bit. You stated earlier you had some other offers, what were they and were you close to taking any of them?

Bob Ammann: I was close. I was offered a chance to go to Watford, England to be an assistant. I was also offered the assistant job with the New York Metro Stars but they had just traded for my brother and Warner has a clause where relatives can not work for one another and kept me from joining them. There were some other offers within college soccer but I just felt it was going to happen.

[Mistri] keeps telling me he's going to go, it's getting close and ... to be honest I bleed Titan colors. Even when I was in Europe I would do everything I could to keep in contact with what was happening here. I just don't see myself wearing another shirt.

TitanCentral.com: Here’s a tough question: Eyebrows were raised last year when you only received a one year contract. What are your thoughts on the subject? Is that a problem when you’re talking to recruits?

Bob Ammann:To be honest I didn't even think twice because I have had a one-year contract since I've been here. So for me [laughs], I didn't even think of the one-year contract, here's my opportunity, I am the head coach, here we go, how do we move forward. There was never a, "oh my gosh, this is different than I had before..."

It's more, "It's time to get to work." I'm not worried about me, the notoriety, the press. I don't care me, it's about getting the players, getting the program back, all that other stuff will come later.

TitanCentral.com: Have you and athletic director Brian Quinn sat down and discussed what it will take to get an extension?

Bob Ammann: Yes and no and it's not necessarily based on how many wins and how many losses. Obviously when the recruiting was as lax as it was and there was a huge revolving door. Players coming in, players going out. That has a tremendous negative effect on, not only the soccer team, but the athletic program.

So it's obviously getting players that you want, that want to be here, that are going to stay here and go through the program so that you don't have this turnover.

A lot of the academic stuff, just because there is so much publicity now. Look at Santa Barbara for example. They have done exceptionally well the last few years in soccer but they were one of only four NCAA soccer programs to have scholarships taken away because of their academics.

So obviously there is a huge, huge emphasis on getting kids, putting them through school. Yes, we want to do as well as we can as far as wins and losses. It's difficult for me because I am extremely competitive and I want the program to be successful but not at any cost so you really have to balance kids who are students who are also very good soccer players.