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Rutgers Football to Rise with Ash

Rutgers Football to Rise with Ash

Today Rutgers Scarlet Knights football travel to Ann Arbor Michigan to face the #20 ranked Wolverines, noon kickoff available on BTN Network The head football coach Chris Ash has come under criticism early in this football season after falling to 1 & 2 on the young season with some fans and local media outlets calling for his ouster as head coach. These folks are 110-% wrong! Read to the end and allow me to share some football facts first.

Coach Ash, far left, leads the team into the SHI Stadium prior to the game against BC last week. Photo by Brian Hester
Coach Ash leads the team into the SHI Stadium prior to the game against BC last week. Photo by Brian Hester

Ash is in his fourth year as head coach at Rutgers, The Birthplace of College Football. He signed a 5 year contract back in 2015 and an extension this past summer for another 2 years. His record thus far is 8-31 overall and 3 -25 within the Big Ten Conference B1G So why I am telling people to stick with this coach? Telling them we will Rise with Ash #RiseWithAsh A few basic items to consider here;

1) While Rutgers is the Birthplace of College Football having hosted the first game 150 years ago we have not played at the level of a Big Ten Conference until 5 years ago. The power houses at that level have been powerhouses for decades. Have you ever been to Happy Valley on a Saturday Game Day? You literally will not see anyone 6 months to 96 years old NOT wearing a Penn State shirt within 150 miles of the Beaver Stadium. Michigan? The Big House? Ohio State? Hmmm some folks have theorized that The Scarlet Knights should give up in general and return to some lesser level of competition. This is also WRONG!.

2) Rome was NOT built in a day. and a successful Big Ten football program does not develop overnight.

This is the family. My wife and I both proud Rutgers Alumni, our daughter a recent Monmouth University graduate and our son a proud Penn State grad last summer at the Coliseum, in Rome, which much like a winning B1G football program was NOT built in a day.

That would be starting from a flat zero, Coach Ash started some what below that level.

Eventual Rutgers WILL win B1G games. And Titles. To compete at this, truly one of the highest level conferences in college football, requires many things, facilities, scholarships, recruiting, support, a top notch AD and Assistant AD and most of all patience. A house built on a weak foundation will not withstand a storm. To those thinking firing Ash at this point will somehow positively effect Rutgers long term plans, you are wrong.

My boy with me at Rutgers Game many years back before there was even an end zone student section.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that I may be a total optimist. I think it best to believe that your team can win any game prior to kickoff. No matter what. To that point my son, a very smart, well educated, and extremely football knowledgeable individual, actually gets mad when I tell him Rutgers can win today’s game at The Big House against Michigan. The Vegas line is Rutgers underdog by 26 & 1/2 points with over at 49. Yet, Yes, I think Rutgers can win today. Of course they Can!. But win or lose firing the head coach at this juncture would be a huge mistake. He has made incredible strides in his tenure and as someone that has witnessed the Rutgers football journey first hand for the past 25 seasons, I can assure this team is about to “Click”. And guess what Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh puts his pants on one leg at a time just like everyone else.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh stands on the sidelines at SHI Stadium during last years game against Rutgers. Photo by Brian Hester
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh stands on the sidelines at SHI Stadium during last years game against Rutgers. Photo by Brian Hester

So Yes I say 110% KEEP Ash He is progressing. He is building. Be patient people. We will Rise With Ash!! Even if the team doesn’t win any more games this season, (and they will), firing him would be a huge mistake. Athletic Director Pat Hobbs was correct in extending Coach Ash’s contract. AD Hobbs and Deputy Director of Athletics Sarah Baumgartner have crafted an environment of excellence for student athletes across all sports programs over the past several years with multiple recent National Champions. Sit back, Relax, This will happen. #RiseiWithAsh As far this Rutgers team being about ready to “Click” look at some of the flashes we have seen in recent weeks.

As far as the overall success of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights Football in recent years, the program has produced dozens of NFL players over the past 10 years and several Super Bowl Champions. Click here to see the current list of Knights in the NFL The Game Day Experience is second to none as well featuring an award winning Marching Band and National Champion Dance team and Spirit Squads.

Tickets are still available for remaining home games click here for ticket info

A sign commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the Class of 1919 Featuring Paul Robeson and a statement by a current student “I Live The Legacy By: Defying the Odds!” Photo by Brian Hester

Bottom line – take it from Brian Behind The Lens, aka Broadway Brian, Keep Ash. Upset versus Michigan today. You heard it here first!

For more go to Brianbehindthelens.

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Brian Hester is a New York City based freelance photographer covering any nature of event including but not limited to; breaking news, sports, entertainment, fashion, nature and whatever may catch his wandering eye. Since 2011 Brian, has been covering community events and high school sports for North Jersey Media Group and their successor Gannett USA Today. His clients include Rutgers University and Monmouth Athletics. ​You can see more of his work at

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