|Emory and Henry athletics photo by Dave Grace|
Athletic director Abe Naff has announced the hiring of Rob Grande as head football coach at Ferrum. Grande (GRAND-ee) becomes the college's seventh head football coach. He succeeds Dave Harper, who resigned in November after five seasons at the helm of the program.
Grande comes to Ferrum from Emory & Henry, where he spent the past 11 seasons (2005-15) with the Wasps. He served the past six years as Associate Head Coach and the past eight as defensive coordinator.
"I want to thank all my former coaches for the opportunities each has provided me in pursuit of my vision of becoming a head college football coach, and that pursuit has come to pass here at Ferrum," said Grande. "In particular, Coach (Curt) Newsome, who came on board at Emory & Henry two years ago, requested that I continue as defensive coordinator, position coach and recruiting coordinator without knowing me. I truly wish Coach Newsome, his staff and the student-athletes success in the future.
"My sincere thanks and appreciation are extended to Coach Naff and the Ferrum selection committee for their confidence in me. It is a humbling feeling that you place the future of Ferrum Football in my hands. My family and I are very excited for this opportunity to come to the town of Ferrum here in southwest Virginia. Football tradition here at Ferrum is something that I respect and will work to bring that tradition forward in a most positive way."
"We're so pleased to have Rob join our coaching staff at Ferrum," said Naff. "His experience, leadership and drive should help jump-start our football program. I know the student-athletes will be pleased with what he brings to Ferrum."
Prior to his work at Emory & Henry, Grande spent four seasons (2000-03) with the Salisbury football coaching staff, where he served as head of football operations, recruiting coordinator, linebacker coach and special teams assistant. He also served with Salisbury from 1992-94 as a volunteer assistant coach and from 1995-98 as special teams coordinator.
Grande has been an active member of the American Football Coaches Association, annually attending the AFCA Convention and serving as AFCA Assistant Coaches Representative for the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.
Grande earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Salisbury in 1993, and his master's in education from Salisbury in 2003. Grande and his wife Penny have three boys; Sean, Nicholas and Matthew.