Jan. 18, 2001
Charlottesville, Va. -
Head football coach Al Groh announced Thursday the hiring of Bob Price, Ron Prince, Dan Rocco and Kevin Ross as assistant coaches on his staff. This announcement follows closely the announcement of the hiring of Corwin Brown, Mike Groh, Mike London and Bill Musgrave on Jan. 12.
Price, a member of former head coach George Welsh's staff the last four seasons, continues as the secondary coach. Price came to UVa as running backs coach following six seasons in the Canadian Football League, including one (1996) as head coach of the Montreal Alouettes. Prior to becoming head coach of the Alouettes, he was the defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Stallions from 1994-95. He also coached the linebackers and defensive backs with the Stallions. Price was the defensive coordinator and secondary coach of the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders from 1992-93 and was the secondary coach with the Ottawa Roughriders in 1991.
He coached several years of college football in the United States before moving to the professional ranks in Canada. He was the secondary coach at California in 1990, and the defensive coordinator, secondary coach and special teams coordinator at UNLV from 1986-89. He was the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at Nevada-Reno from 1984-85 and was the head coach at the College of Eastern Utah in 1983. Price was also the defensive coordinator there from 1981-82 before taking the head coaching position. His first collegiate assignment was as a graduate assistant coach at Idaho State from 1979-80. Price is a 1978 graduate of California Polytechnic University-Pomona.
Prince, 31, has been tabbed to coach the team's offensive linemen. Coming from Cornell, where he worked the three previous seasons as the running game coordinator and offensive line coach, he is no stranger to working at a school with an impressive academic reputation.
He is also very familiar with the state of Virginia, having served as the offensive line coach at James Madison University from 1995-97. During his time in Harrisonburg he helped the Dukes to an NCAA I-AA playoff berth and two consecutive top-25 rankings.
Prince began his coaching career shortly after graduating from Appalachian State in 1992. In 1993 he was an assistant at Alabama A&M and saw two of his players selected in the NFL draft--Joe Patton and Fred Lester. From there he moved to South Carolina State for the 1994 season and coached an offense that ranked among the national leaders in total offense, rushing offense and scoring offense.
Prince has been exposed to the game at the highest level, serving as an NFL Minority Fellowship Intern with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1996, the Washington Redskins in 1997, the Atlanta Falcons in 1999 and the Super Bowl-bound New York Giants in 2000.
Rocco, who brings a nearly 20-year relationship with Groh to Charlottesville, will serve as UVa's assistant head coach, linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator. The 40-year old graduate of Wake Forest (1984), transferred from Penn State to Wake Forest while Groh was the Demon Deacons' head coach. He was a two-year starting linebacker and a team captain in 1983.
Part of a football coaching family, his father, Frank, is an assistant athletic director at Penn State and was a successful high school coach in western Pennsylvania before joining Joe Paterno's staff in 1982. His brother, Frank, Jr., was a quarterback at Penn State and is currently the athletic director and head football coach at Pittsburgh Shaler High School. His younger brother, David, is an assistant coach at Pine Crest High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Rocco began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater from 1984-85 before being named the defensive line coach there in 1986. He served as the inside linebackers coach at Colorado in 1987 and spent 1988-90 at Tulsa where he coached the outside linebackers and strong safeties.
He served under current Jacksonville Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin as the defensive line coach at Boston College from 1991-93. While there he helped the Golden Eagles to back-to-back bowl appearances. From BC, he joined the staff at Texas, coaching the outside linebackers his first three seasons (1994-96) before becoming defensive ends coach and special teams coordinator in 1997. The Longhorns won the Big 12 championship in 1996 and played in three bowl games during his tenure in Austin. Rocco's most recent college stint was as the outside linebackers coach at Maryland from 1998-99.
After spending 15 seasons coaching in the collegiate ranks, Rocco moved to the NFL this past season as a member of Groh's staff with the New York Jets. His responsibilities included coaching the linebackers and serving as a defensive quality control assistant.
Ross, 35, the son of former San Diego Chargers and Detroit Lions coach Bobby Ross, has been named the running backs coach by Groh. He served the two previous seasons as the wide receivers coach at The Citadel. He was a graduate assistant coach, working with the defense, at Georgia Tech in 1998 and was on the staff at Southwest Texas State the season before that.
In addition, he has worked at minicamps and training camps with the Chargers and Lions and worked with 1,000-yard rushers Barry Sanders and Natrone Means.
Ross was a full-time competitive cyclist for three years before getting into college coaching. He finished as the top amateur in the individual team trial at the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials and turned pro in 1997.
A veteran of Desert Storm, Ross served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1988-94 as a light armored reconnaissance company commander, infantry platoon commander and aviation logistics supervisor. He earned his bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1988. He captained the track team as a senior at Navy.