by Jamaar Hawkis, i64sports
After a successful two-year stint at Virginia University of Lynchburg, former Granby standout Bobby Rome will take over as head coach at Central State University, a Division II football program located in Wilberforce, Ohio. Rome travel to Central State on Sunday in preparation for Monday’s official announcement.
“I am honored to be selected to lead the football program at Central State University,” Rome said in a statement Monday. “CSU has a tremendous history and provides a great opportunity for student-athletes to develop and achieve their aspirations. Our staff is going to do everything we can to prepare our students to become successful individuals on and off the field. Our goal is to produce young men that the CSU community can be proud of.”
Rome coached well above his win-loss record during his time at VUL, which included ending the program’s 44-game losing streak. The Dragons also posted wins over Fort Valley State and Louisburg College during Rome’s initial campaign last season. Many of Rome’s biggest wins took place off the football field, including the tragic death of a VUL player during the final weeks of the 2019 season.
“As a head coach you want to be a leader and at the same you want to make sure you stay strong for these young men. I felt like we did that as coaches. Our motto was always, “We want growth”. Whatever that may look like. The death of Trent was unfortunate, but it was something we learned from and grew from. Trent will always have a special place in our hearts. When you think about his Grandmother who trusted us after having a hard time finding him a school. She was able to trust with him,” Rome noted.
Rome has also coached in the prestigious National Bowl, a postseason event featuring top Division II players in the nation. The event has produced over 60 NFL players since 2015.
“VUL was definitely a great place for me to grow as a person, as a coach, as a father and as a man of God. IT really made me stronger as a Coach. I had to come up with some creative ideas for things that we didn’t have. I think VUL gave me everything that they could. I would say this, the sky is the limit for VUL. They’re going to be a growing program.”
Central State posted a 3-7 record (2-4 in SIAC play) in 2019, losing four of its final five contests including the regular season finale to Kentucky State. The Marauders will also have to replace 10 seniors from last year’s team. Rome will become the school’s fifth head coach since reinstating the football program in 2005.
“Fans and opponents can expect a team that is well-disciplined mentally prepared and physically conditioned each and every week,” Rome added. “Our players will demonstrate a level of work ethic that is unquestionable as we establish a culture of healthy competition and high standards.”