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Ford will return for Great Danes
UAlbany football coach is excited about 41st season
There was really never any doubt. Bob Ford was going to come back as the football coach at the University at Albany, a position he has held for the past 40 years.
The 75-year-old Ford said Friday that he will return for season No. 41, one that should be special for the Danes. UAlbany has moved up to the Colonial Athletic Association for this season and will also play in a new stadium, which is currently under construction.
The CAA is considered one of the strongest conferences in the Football Championship Subdivision.
“It has just been a great run for me, and I enjoy the kids tremendously,” Ford said by cellphone from Nashville, Tenn., where he is attending the America Football Coaches Association Convention. “I can’t wait for this.”
However, before committing to another season, Ford first said he wanted to get assurances from UAlbany athletic director Lee McElroy that the school was going to make a commitment to the jump to the new league.
The Danes are moving from the Northeast Conference, where they have won or shared the league championship six times. Last season, the Danes were 9-2 overall and 7-1 in the conference.
UAlbany and Wagner shared the NEC title, but the Seahawks earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament because of tiebreakers.
Overall, Ford has a 264-180-1 record in 44 years as a head coach. He also coached for four seasons at St. Lawrence.
Ford said that the other football teams in the CAA work with 63 scholarships. Ford said that the Danes will have 54 scholarships next season, up from 35 this past season.
He is also concerned about facing some of the toughest FCS programs in the country.
“Do you think we can beat those teams with freshmen? It’s not going to happen,” Ford said. “It is going to be a tough year. I just wanted to make sure that everyone was going into this with their eyes open.”
McElroy said he and Ford had a long talk about everything football related on Thursday. The two came to the conclusion that Ford would return.
“He is very excited to be back, and we are glad to have him back,” McElroy said. “I really mean this. I have worked with him for 12 years, and he is more energetic now than he was 12 years ago. I expect him to be here for some time.”
By Tim Wilkin, Times Union