OSU's Ross named head coach at W. Washington

Updated: December 3, 2005, 3:42 PM ET
Associated Press

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Robin Ross, linebackers coach at Oregon State University, has been named head football coach at Western Washington University, the school's athletic department announced Saturday.

Ross, 51, replaces longtime coach Rob Smith, who resigned early last month at the end of a 4-6 season for the Vikings. Western had a 109-62-1 record during Smith's 17-year tenure.

Ross was the Vikings' defensive coordinator in 1994 and 1995. The team led Division II in scoring defense in 1994, and went 9-0 the following year for the first undefeated regular season in nearly six decades.

"The most enjoyable years I've had coaching were at Western," Ross said in a statement released by the school. "I love to teach and I found that it's a lot truer form of coaching here. A lot more of the players at this level are here because they love football."

Ross, who has a home in the Bellingham area, also has coached in the NFL. He was Oakland's linebackers coach for two years, including the 2000 season, when the Raiders were 12-4 and reached the AFC championship.

Athletic Director Lynda Goodrich called Ross "a perfect fit" for Western's football program.

"He has extensive experience," she said. "He has recruiting background in the areas we need to draw student-athletes, and he is a person of impeccable character and integrity."

Western opens its 2006 season Sept. 2 at Humboldt State.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press