Cal Poly’s Rich Ellerson was hired as Army’s football coach Friday, joining a team that hasn’t had a winning record since 1996.


Cal Poly’s Rich Ellerson was hired as Army’s football coach Friday, joining a team that hasn’t had a winning record since 1996.

He replaces Stan Brock, who was fired Dec. 12 after a pair of 3-9 seasons. This season concluded with a 34-0 loss to Navy.

Under Ellerson, Cal Poly made it to the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs four times and was ranked as high as No. 3 this season. He was 56-34 in his eight years at Cal Poly.

Ellerson was defensive coordinator at Arizona from 1997 to 2000. His nearly 30 years of college coaching includes a stint as head coach at Southern Utah.

“I will never receive, nor have I ever received a finer compliment professionally or personally than to be entrusted with the Army football program at this point in its history,” Ellerson said in a statement.

Ellerson grew up with Army football — his father and two brothers were West Point graduates. His brother John was captain of the 1962 team that went 6-4.

“Rich has the experience we need,” West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Franklin Hagenbeck said. “An award and title-winning head coach who runs the option, Rich also has extensive ties to West Point and the Army.”

Athletic director Kevin Anderson said he’s long admired Ellerson’s work with the triple option at Cal Poly.

“One of our primary goals of the search was to find someone capable of turning around our program immediately and we are confident Rich is the perfect individual to accomplish that,” he said.

Brock was fired days after the Black Knights were routed by Navy. Brock, a former New Orleans Saints offensive lineman, was Army’s offensive line coach for three years before replacing Bobby Ross in early 2007.