David Ross, former head coach at Blue Springs South and William Chrisman, has been named as an assistant coach to the University of Texas-San Antonio football program under Larry Coker.

David Ross, former head coach at Blue Springs South and William Chrisman, has been named as an assistant coach to the University of Texas-San Antonio football program under Larry Coker.
Ross, who was the first coach of the Blue Springs South Jaguar football team, is excited about the opportunity to coach at an NCAA Division I program.
“I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “It’s unbelievable. I still pinch myself.”
Ross was previously employed as the defensive coordinator at Illinois State before Coker contacted him.
“At the time, I was unemployed,” Ross said. “At my age, I don’t think I’m old. But at 49, you start to wonder if you’ll get the chance again.”
Although he accepted Coker’s offer, Ross had another, familiar offer on the table.
“I was offered a job to start a program at a new high school in Tampa (Fla.), George Steinbrenner High School; I can’t seem to get away from this kind of thing,” he joked. “It sounded sexy.
“But [the UTSA job] was looming. People say there’s a football god, and when you’re fired, you always end up with something better. San Antonio is just tremendous.”
Ross began his coaching career at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College as the defensive line coach in 1982, spending three years there before working as a graduate assistant under Coker at Oklahoma State from 1984-1986.
“We’ve been associated ever since,” Ross said of Coker, who went on to lead the University of Miami to the national title in 2001. “We’ve remained very close. … It’s been a career goal to work with him again.”
Ross was then hired as the defensive coordinator at his alma mater, Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo.
Ross then took over as head coach of William Chrisman High School, where he was an all-conference and all-area quarterback in his high school days.
“We were 0-30 when I took the job,” Ross remembers. “I remember watching games when I was 7 (years old) and looking at the coaches. I didn’t really pay attention to the games; I was just focused on the coaches. I decided that’s what I want to be.”
Ross worked at his alma mater from 1988-92 before becoming head coach at newly opened Blue Springs South High School.
Despite a tough inaugural season in which the Jaguars went 1-9, Ross led South to back-to-back conference and district titles in the next two years, going 8-3 in 1993 with a Class 4A state sectional appearance and 11-1 in ‘94, including a monumental upset of Blue Springs in the first-ever game of the heated crosstown rivalry.
“It’s a story I tell a lot,” Ross said.
The Jaguars fell to Oak Park after a quick week in the Class 5A state quarterfinals, a game Ross acknowledges South should’ve won.
“I learned a lot from my time at Blue Springs South,” he said. “I let the job overwhelm me. There was a lot of pressure. I’ve learned to enjoy the experience and let it work itself out. Everything is not going to go perfectly. I’m on a much grander stage.
“Coaching at the high school level was the best time of my life. But my heart has always been in college.”
Ross resigned from Blue Springs South following the 1994 season.
Ross earned his master’s degree in public school administration in 1995 before “overhauling” a football program that had not seen a winning season in 20 years at Kemper Military Junior College in Boonville. In his five seasons there, the program produced 42 Division I athletes and seven NFL players, including current San Diego Chargers starting nose tackle Jamal Williams.
Ross then worked as head coach and athletic director at Bacone College in Muskogee, Okla., as the NAIA school’s first football coach in 43 years (the program was on hiatus before being reinstated in 2001). He worked there until 2006 before being hired at Illinois State.
“I’ve been coaching for 27 years. Since 1995 to 2006, I’ve been rebuilding or starting programs,” Ross said. “People ask me, ‘Why do you keep doing this?’ It’s exciting. I love being able to influence the kids and coach.
“I think I’ll be able to finish my career as a Division I coach, which nowadays is pretty tough to do. I’m just an Independence man that made it good.”
Ross is, in fact, one of only two Independence coaches to make it to the Division I level, and the only coach from William Chrisman to coach in D-I.
Coker told Ross it was his experience that intrigued him.
“David brings an enormous amount of experience to UTSA. More importantly, he is a high-character person who carries that hard-hat, lunch-pail mentality to work with him every day and that is important as we begin our recruiting processes,” Coker said in a UTSA Athletics press release.
Ross was hired along with former SMU assistant coach Eric Roark and Mike Menefee, whom Ross worked with at Illinois State. Ross stated that they will add six more coaches to the staff next February or March.
At Texas-San Antonio, the sixth-largest school in the state, Ross is a “swing guy,” handling scheduling, equipment, team camps, recruiting and “whatever his skills fit.” Ross spent the last four weeks recruiting players, and although under NCAA sanctions he cannot name the players, he claims the first two as his prospects.
The Roadrunners, who will play their games in the Alamo Dome, will not play their first game until the fall of 2011, but already the city and state are gaining in anticipation for the program.
“The school has over 30,000 students, and football is making it a legit school,” Ross said. “All the coaches have embraced the idea, our camps are blowing up; we’re on fire right now.
“It has success written all over it.”