- Jul 9, 2006
Following a brief introduction, Ellerson answered questions from local and national media detailing his ties to West Point, his first priorities in his new position, recruiting and his past successes as a coach before a photo session with Anderson.
“Today is a great day to be an Army Black Knight,” said Anderson. “We conducted a thorough search with a pool of tremendous candidates and there is no doubt we hired the best of the best.”
One of the nation’s true triple option experts, Ellerson comes to West Point with nearly 30 years of coaching experience with the last eight spent as head coach at Cal Poly.
With his wife, Dawn and son, Andrew in attendance, Ellerson passionately spoke about his dad and two brothers attending West Point and how important the football program at Army is.
“I am mindful of the privilege and mindful of the responsibility that goes with the leadership of Army football,” said Ellerson. “Nowhere in the world of higher education are athletics in general and football in particular more integral to the mission of the institution like it is here at West Point. To be given the opportunity to participate in the execution of that mission is the finest professional or personal compliment that I have or ever will receive.”
Under Ellerson’s leadership, Cal Poly has finished each of the last four years ranked in the Top 25 of national Football Championship Subdivision polls. The Mustangs have won at least seven games during each of the past six seasons and spent the majority of this past year ranked in the top 10 of both the FCS Coaches Top 25 Poll and The Sports Network Division I-AA Poll. The Mustangs were ranked No. 3 in the FCS Coaches Poll for the final seven weeks of the regular season before they were upset in the first round of the FCS playoffs by Weber State.
The NCAA Division I-AA Independents Coach of the Year in 2003, Ellerson was honored as the Great West Football Conference Coach of the Year as well as AFCA Region 5 Coach of the Year a year later.
Ellerson spoke of the importance of recruiting, completing his coaching staff and evaluating current players as he hits the ground running in his new position.
“Army football is something that I’ve followed my whole life so that has never been far from my mind,” said Ellerson. “It is a great challenge, and the fact that this is tough is appealing. More than any other place in America, this is an important job. This is the United States Military Academy. We’re playing football. We need to be good at this. We need to be. Everybody wants to win. We need to.”