Calling the evaluation proces "encouraging," Hampton University athletic director Novelle Dickenson announced that Donovan Rose will remain the Pirates' head football coach.
"I was encouraged by the discussions that we had," Dickenson said Tuesday afternoon. "I was encouraged by the plans he has to implement qualitative changes throughout the program."
Rose, who just completed his fourth season as head coach at his alma mater, said that he received a one-year extension.
"I'm humbled that I've been given the opportunity to finish this," Rose said. "We had a lot of young guys and a lot of them got valuable experience. Now we need to point them in the right direction and make sure that we take advantage of the experience and clean up a little bit. We showed signs. We were our own worst enemy at times. We've just got to clean up a little bit and get going in the right direction."
The Pirates finished 3-7 overall, 3-5 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. It was the program's worst record since it became a Division I program in 1995. Hampton is 21-22 in four years under Rose and 16-16 in the MEAC.
Rose has been at Hampton for 23 years, as an assistant under former head coach Joe Taylor and then Jerry Holmes. He was promoted to head coach in early 2009, when Holmes was dismissed after one season.
Rose, a 1979 Hampton graduate, said that he was "fine" with the one-year extension and said that's enough time to demonstrate sufficient progress that will allow him to keep the position.
"I've been here 23 years, and I've got a little stock in this program," he said. "The biggest thing is that we can turn this thing around. Whether I'm given a year or a multi-year (extension), it doesn't matter to me. I'm concentrating on taking the program further."
Dickenson said that he understands a coach with only a one-year extension can be detrimental in recruiting, "but you have to convince parents and prospective athletes of the quality of the school and the program."
A strong program, athletically and academically, Dickenson said, will take care of any questions about a coach's tenure.
Dickenson would not discuss Rose's financial package -- Hampton is a private school and not required to disclose salaries. He declined to say if Rose's financial package is competitive with other MEAC programs.
Dickenson said that no performance benchmarks were placed on Rose for next season.
"We wanted to make sure that we have qualitative changes in place," he said, "in terms of strong academic students and a skill set that will allow them to succeed in college. If those things are in place, it will work out."
Dickenson also said that Rose wasn't required to make staff changes, that the coaching staff falls under his purview.
"It's his ship, so to speak," Dickenson said, "and it's up to him to steer it."
The program was saddled with NCAA penalties related to chronic underperformance on Academic Progress Ratings (APR). The Pirates were ineligible for postseason and docked one day of practice per week, and required to do academic work. The MEAC followed suit and ruled that Hampton was ineligible to compete for the conference title.
Rose is confident that Hampton will avoid further penalties related to the APR.
He also believes that structure is in place to return the program to the top of the MEAC. The Pirates won three consecutive conference titles and NCAA playoff berths from 2004-06. Eight times the Pirates won at least nine games under Taylor. But the program hasn't won a league title since 2006.
"Now, it's getting all the players and coaches to be accountable," Rose said. "I want us to concentrate on the teaching aspect. I've still got to drive myself and make sure that I'm more accountable. There's no excuses. At the end of the day, I've been given an opportunity and this is a great university, and we want to get back to where we're accustomed to being. I feel that's just around the corner, if we can tweak a couple of things. I'm excited and humble to begin that opportunity."
Rose said that he has not decided on possible staff changes. HU's assistant coaches have been on the road recruiting since the season concluded and are due back in town this week. He said he needed to learn his status before evaluating staff.
"Three-and-seven is nowhere near acceptable, and as far as where we stood in the conference is not acceptable," Rose said. "Everything happens for a reason, and I think this season is going to make our guys stronger and more accountable and ready to get back to where we need to be, a dynasty with this program."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun