Ross headed to Corvallis

Another coach associated with Oregon State football will be packing his bags, but this time he will be stuffing his bags and heading to Corvallis instead of away from the Mid Valley. But first he must exchange his unpleasant yellow and green for the glorious orange and black.

OSU head coach Mike Riley announced Wednesday that former Oregon special teams and linebackers coach Robin Ross has joined the Beavers football staff as the linebackers coach.

"I've known of Robin for almost 30 years, since he was at Washington State as a player," Riley said. "I've known him in the coaching business the rest of the time. Robin brings a ton of experience to our program."

That experience includes West Coast coaching ties that range up and down the coast and 28 years of teaching football at several universities around the nation, including two in the Pac-10.  Eleven of his 28 years have been spent as a defensive coordinator so he knows what it takes to build a strong defense.

Ross spent one year at Washington State (1996), his alma mater, as the defensive line coach and five years at Oregon. One year with the defensive line and four with the special teams and linebackers. The 50-year old also spent a short time in the NFL from 1999-2000 as Oakland's linebackers coach.
Ross' Coaching History - 29th year
2005 Oregon State - Linebackers
2001-04 Oregon - Special teams/tight ends
1999-2000 Oakland Raiders - Linebackers
1997-98 Oregon - Defensive line/linebackers
1996 Fresno State - Defensive coordinator/linebackers
1994-95 Western Washington - Defensive coordinator
1987-93 Iowa State - Defensive coordinator
1986 Washington State - Defensive line
1985 Cincinnati - Defensive coordinator
1979-86 Long Beach State - Defensive line
1978 Long Beach State -  Tight ends
1977 Long Beach State - Assistant Offensive line

In each of his last six coaching stops Ross has had a hand in improving special teams. While at Western Washington from 1994-95 he helped the Vikings lead the NAIA in punt returns. In 2001, he helped the Ducks led the Pac-10 in kickoff returns (25.8 avg) and place eighth in the nation in punt returns with a 14.4 average.

The following year the Ducks were the only team in the Pac-10 to rank in the top-20 nationally in kickoff (eigth, 23.8 avg) and punt returns (10th, 14.9 avg).

While he has the ability to improve special teams as a unit he can also develop individual players.  Riley calls Ross a "technician and a developer" and his track record at Oregon proves it. The California native worked with several talented tight-ends in Eugene where he helped Justin Peelle and George Wrighster improve their game and eventually get drafted into the National Football League.

Ross also worked with all-Pac-10 place-kicker Jared Seigel, punt returner Keenan Howry and kickoff returner Kenny Washington.

At Oregon State, Ross will have several talented players to work with as tight ends Joe Newton and Jason Vandiver have aspirations to play in the National Football League.   Punt returner Sammie Stroughter should blossom under good tutelage while place-kicker Alexis Serna and punter Sam Paulescu are on track for all-conference honors in 2005.

The Native American (Cherokee) will also have plenty of talent to work with at the linebacking spot as Trent Bray, Chaz Scott, and Keith Ellison all return seeking post season honors.


Notes on Ross:

  • In 2003, Oregon's kick return teams ranked 16th nationally in kickoff returns (23.1 avg.) and second in the Pacific- 10 in punt returns (10.3 avg.). Kickoff return specialist Kenny Washington received first team all-conference honors. Ross was also responsible for the emergence of tight end Tim Day, who caught only three passes in 2002 but followed it with a 23-catch, 318-yard, three-touchdown performance in 2003.
  • In 2002, Oregon's special teams were the only squads in the league to rank in the top 20 nationally in kickoff returns (eighth, 23.8 avg.) and punt returns (10th, 14.9 avg.), while Duck punters led the Pac-10 and ranked 10th nationally in net punting (37.6 avg.). Individually, sophomore placekicker Jared Siegel was one of three Lou Groza Award finalists, and Keenan Howry earned Pac-10 first-team punt returner honors and ranked 17th nationally (14.3 avg.).
  • In 2001, Oregon ranked seventh nationally and led the Pac -10 in kickoff returns (25.8 avg.) and was eighth nationally in punt returns (14.4 avg.) as a team. Individually, Howry ranked eighth nationally in punt returns (14.5 avg.) and was an all-Pac-10 first team member, while Allan Amundson was 13th nationally in kickoff returns (27.2 avg.). He also mentored all-Pac-10 tight end and 2002 NFL draft choice Justin Peelle and 2003 NFL draft choice George Wrightster.
  • While coaching linebackers in the NFL for a second year in 2000, the Raiders finished the regular season ninth in the AFC in total defense (328.1 avg.) and fourth against the run (96.9 avg.) for a team that advanced to the conference championship game before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
  • Ross originally joined Oregon's staff as linebackers coach prior to the 1997 campaign. He shifted to defensive line coach in 1998 as the Ducks climbed from ninth in scoring defense in the Pac-10 and 10th in total defense in 1997 to fourth and fifth, respectively, under his direction in 1998.
  • Also among Ross' special teams' accomplishments were leading the nation's NAIA ranks in punt returns at Western Washington in 1994-95. The Vikings were 17-4 during Ross' two seasons and were the NAIA's No. 1-ranked team for five weeks in 1995.
  • Ross was an All-Pac-8 honorable mention offensive tackle for Washington State in 1975 and played two seasons with the Cougars.
  • Ross started his college career at Rio Hondo Community College in Whittier, Calif., where he was an All-California lineman.
  • He was a 1976 10th-round NFL draft selection by the San Francisco 49ers and also saw action with the Seattle Seahawks.
  • Ross was born in Huntington Park, Calif. and graduated from El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera. He is married to Jean Ross.

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