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.
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
- 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
- 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
- Ross started his college career at Rio Hondo
Community College in Whittier, Calif., where he was an
- 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.