Ferrum College Director of Athletics John Sutyak has announced the resignation of Head Football Coach Rob Grande, who has accepted a position with Iowa State University’s football program. Grande’s new title with the Cyclones will be Executive Offensive Analyst.
Grande served the past four seasons as Ferrum’s head coach, compiling a 23-17 record, including a 6-9 mark in Ferrum’s first two seasons of Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) play. In 2018, Ferrum was the only team in the league to defeat ODAC champion and NCAA participant Randolph-Macon College, beating the Yellow Jackets in Ashland, Virginia.
“Coach Grande has been an extraordinary member of our coaching staff and of the Ferrum College community,” stated Ferrum College President, Dr. David Johns. “During his four years at the College, he has been a great mentor to his players, an active participant in campus life, was involved in the national search for our new athletic director, and he led us into our first two seasons in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. He is a respected leader among his peers at the College. We hate to see him leave, but wish him the very best with this new opportunity.”
Under Grande’s guidance, Ferrum has had an All-American in three of his four years as the head of the Panther program: defensive lineman Montel Lee in 2017, running back Brian Mann in 2018 and offensive lineman Jordan Patti in 2019. Mann is Ferrum’s first-ever student-athlete to earn both All-America and Academic All-America honors.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to be the head football coach at Ferrum,” said Grande. “The history, tradition, alumni, staff, and players have made this a great four years for me and my family. We look forward to a new chapter in our lives at Iowa State University and will always root for the Black Hats.”
Ferrum had 13 All-Conference selections in the ODAC in the past two seasons. In Grande’s first two seasons as head coach, Ferrum competed in the USA South Athletic Conference, earning 17 All-Conference honors and four Player of the Year awards, two each on offense and defense.
“I am extremely happy for Rob, and his family, for this tremendous professional opportunity,” said Sutyak. “Although I have only worked with Rob for a short time, I have appreciated his leadership and guidance within this department. Getting to know him during his time on the athletic director search committee and through the last month and a half in my time on campus, it is clear that Rob has had a profound impact on Ferrum football, his student-athletes and the entire athletic department. We’ve been fortunate to have him here and wish the whole family continued success.”
Ferrum Defensive Coordinator Marshall Doss has been named Interim Head Football Coach while the College conducts a national search. Sutyak and the College intend to move quickly in naming Grande’s permanent replacement.