After announcing in October that it would add varsity
football, Misericordia immediately embarked on an extensive
national search for a head coach.
As it turns out, three months later, the committee didn't have to look very far as Mark Ross of Athens, Pa., has been named the first head football coach at Misericordia.
“It is my pleasure to welcome Mark Ross to the Misericordia University community,” said David Martin, director of athletics. “We're excited to have Mark on board to develop and lead our football program.”
Ross has spent the last 10 seasons as an assistant coach at
Ithaca and has also coached at Division II East Stroudsburg.
“I'm excited about the opportunity to be a head coach and building a program at Misericordia.” said Ross. “I'm looking forward to implementing my own coaching philosophy and organizational ideas.”
Ross, who has served as the defensive coordinator/linebackers coach for the Bombers since 2007 and previously coached linebackers, defensive line and place-kickers is looking forward to being part of the Misericordia community. “In addition to recruiting, one of the first orders of business will be to get out and meet people on campus. I plan to build a program that will be an integral part of the campus.”
A graduate of Penn State with a degree in secondary education, Ross also spent four seasons as an assistant coach at East Stroudsburg where he earned a master's degree in sport management.
The 14th sport added since Misericordia joined the NCAA Division III in 1992, football brings MU's total number of varsity intercollegiate offerings to 23. Misericordia joins Albright as the only MAC institutions to offer each of the conference sponsored varsity sports.
“In an ongoing effort to meet the demands of our student-athletes, our athletics program has grown in proportion to the university over the last two decades,” said Martin. “The addition of football will have a significant impact on our entire operation.”
The decision also comes in conjunction with the on-going improvements to Misericordia's athletics facilities. “Our goal has always been to provide our student-athletes with a first-rate experience which includes quality facilities. Our fitness center has relocated to the upper level of the Anderson Center and more than doubled in size. The current fitness center will be converted into office space.”
Mangelsdorf Field, the current home for MU's soccer, field hockey and lacrosse teams, will also undergo a facelift. In addition to the 10-year-old turf being replaced, the complex will see increased seating capacity and a field house/press box. “These are major upgrades which will have a positive impact on a larger percentage of our student-athletes as well as visiting teams.”
Anderson Field, the previous varsity soccer field, will be converted to artificial grass and the baseball field will also be upgraded.