For anyone who grew up as a fan of Tecmo Bowl in the late 80s, Rosenbach was not the quarterback du jour. However, the scouting report for Rosenbach was not indicative of his true performance either as the starting quarterback for Washington State from 1987 to 1988 or the Phoenix (now Arizona) Cardinals. And mercifully, Tecmo Bowl isn't around to rate his performance as WSU's new quarterbacks coach - - or they might get that wrong as well.
In 1988 Rosenbach threw for 3,097 yards and 24 touchdowns, leading the Cougars to a victory over top-ranked UCLA and capped his career off with a 24-22 win over Houston in the Aloha Bowl. His success continued in the NFL where he was a first round draft pick with the Cardinals and still ranks 10th all-time for most passing yards in one season (3,098, 1990) and ninth for total completions in one season (437, ‘90) with the organization.
"Coach Rosenbach really brings a quarterbacks perspective," sophomore quarterback Chris Hurd said. "Coach (Aaron) Price was a great guy and he was great at breaking down film, but he was a kicker in college so he was always like the guy on the outside looking in."
Rosenbach wasn't a hard choice for head coach Bill Doba. As the offensive coordinator for Eastern Washington, the Eagles led NCAA Division I-AA in total offense at 514.5 yards per game and 41.9 points per game in 2001. Last season the school ranked sixth in offense.
"I like the ideas he brings to the offense," Doba said. "He's a true competitor."
As for Rosenbach, when Washington State came calling there wasn't much hesitation in his decision.
"Unbelievable," he said of being asked to take the coaching job. "When Coach Doba called I was pumped, I can't even describe the feeling I had. As a coach you don't expect to have many opportunities to get back to where you played."
To congratulate Rosenbach on his new job he has been given the duty of solving the great quarterback mystery that has everyone wondering where quarterbacks, Hurd, senior Matt Kegel and freshman Josh Swogger will land when the season begins.
"The young quarterbacks both want to be the first ones to answer a question when I ask it," Rosenbach said. "I'm just trying to get them to settle down and develop each one of them."
It's only the second day of practice but Rosenbach has already been able to pinpoint areas of praise and work for each of the young quarterbacks.
"Chris is every coach's dream," Rosenbach said. "He's always on the field and loves to study the game. He's got a lot of zip on his ball but he needs to learn how to take some off. You can get a lot of wobble on the ball like that. With Swoggs we're trying to work on some things to get him to move his feet better so he can be more mobile. He's coming along but Rome wasn't built in a day you know."
The impact Rosenbach has made in his short time at Washington State is already obvious in the way the quarterbacks talk about him. Both Kegel and Hurd talked about the difference Rosenbach has made as opposed to former quarterbacks coach, Price.
"It's really not comparable," Hurd said. "I could not ask for a better quarterback coach. He's really energetic and I wonder what kind of tricks him and (offensive coordinator Mike Levenseller) Levy have up their sleeves. It's Levy's show now."
And as far as that Tecmo Bowl performance goes, Rosenbach still can't live the legacy down.
"Some of the guys were bagging on me about (Tecmo Bowl)," Rosenbach said. "They were saying I couldn't run or throw. But now that I think back they were pretty accurate. I thought about suing Nintendo for defamation of character."