Ambrose extended through 2020
Towson Head Coach Rob Ambrose said after the Football Championship Subdivision Championship game loss that his team was on its way to being national power, but “[they’re] not there yet.”
The University wants Ambrose to stick around to see that happen, so much so that it offered him a seven-year extension that extends to 2020. Ambrose accepted that deal Wednesday, as it was announced by Athletic Director Tim Leonard via Twitter.
Although the specific figures of the contract were not released, Leonard said that the contract will be “top heavy,” meaning that much of the money Ambrose will earn will come in the early years of the contract. It also includes a large buyout option, forcing schools to pay Towson if they want to hire Ambrose and take his contract.
Under Ambrose’s previous contract, he was making $250,000 per year, according to The Baltimore Sun’s database of state employee salaries.
“He genuinely cares about the kids and I don’t worry about his ethics when it comes to recruiting, how he treats people and academics. He takes that stuff very seriously,” Leonard said. “We want to win, but it’s not a win at all costs. . . He does things the right way.”
It has been a whirlwind few days for Ambrose, who lost the National Championship Saturday, began recruiting for 2014 on Sunday and watched junior running back Terrance West declare for the NFL Draft Monday.
However, Leonard said that the decision to attempt to extend Ambrose’s contract was made early in the season, when the team began 6-0.
“Obviously, we got out to a hot start. We knew that Rob was going to be a hot commodity and you always know there’s going to be a carousel at the end of the year,” Leonard said. “I just wanted to let Rob know that we wanted to keep him and that he was important to the institution. We had the architect for our program now, so why do we want to try to get someone to replace him?
The football team only had one win with Ambrose as coach in 2010, but has since turned the team around. The success that Ambrose saw at Towson led to speculation that larger, Football Bowl Subdivision schools would be after his services.
After beginning 3-19 at for the Tigers, Ambrose led the team to a 9-3 record, clinching the team’s first Colonial Athletic Association title and a berth in the FCS Playoffs for the first time. The Tigers missed out on the playoffs in 2012, but rebounded with a 14-3 record in 2013.
The 1993 graduate of Towson played wide receiver before an injury ended his career in his senior year. Ambrose was an assistant coach for Towson until 2000, when he accepted the Head Coach position at Catholic University.
Randy Edsall and the UConn staff grabbed Ambrose from Catholic University after just one year. He served as Quarterbacks Coach and Offensive Coordinator during his eight-year term at UConn, but Towson made him its fourth-ever Head Coach before the 2009 season.
Looking ahead, the Tigers will have lofty expectations going into the 2014 season and beyond. However, Leonard feels that he has coach that can get the Tigers to the pinnacle of FCS football.
“We’ve had three straight years as a winning program and we want to continue that,” Leonard said. “Winning a national championship is a tough thing to do, but I think we can do that with Rob. We’re still at the front of this thing, and we’re only going to get better.”