Hampton University

faculty q&a

Don Rose Takes Over as Head Football Coach

Coach Rose

Don Rose

Hampton University needed a new head coach for the 2009 season and who better to fill the position than Donovan Rose? Coach Rose has a rich legacy at HU. He was a former student, athlete, and coach. For 19 years, Rose has been a part of the HU Pirate Football Program. He served as defensive back coach, defensive coordinator, and assistant head coach. HU is the only place he has coached.

Rose is well experienced in his craft, and he is definitely experienced with HU football. With his self-described laid-back coaching style, he hopes to bring new energy and a will to win with him as he takes his place at the helm of this team. He is confident that he is well prepared for the task ahead of him and that “doing things the right way” will make his team successful.

Q. Do you feel like becoming head coach of the Hampton Pirates “ices the cake” on a long and successful career in football?

A. It’s not “the icing,” but it is a step in the right direction. I believe in hard work and doing things right. I am well prepared for the job.

Q. What made you the best man for the head coaching position?

A. Having a face for the program, my background at Hampton and being able to relate to people. Treating the job more like a CEO position being able to cooperate with the players, administration, boosters, and HU alumni.

Q. What are the biggest obstacles for a team with a new head coach?

A. Unfamiliarity. I have seven new coaches and different philosophies on football, getting the team to believe in the new coaching style.

Q. What new qualities will you bring to the team in your first year at the helm?

A. Integrity, again, doing things right, working hard, commitment, putting academics first. If a player is doing his work in the classroom I know that this is someone I can depend on when its third down and one yard to go.

Q. How would you describe your coaching style?

A. Laid back, but don’t confuse my kindness for weakness. I am a teacher and a motivator. I want to make the team more disciplined, clean up our penalty problem. My team will be fast-paced, exciting to watch, and physical.

Q. What are three changes to look for in the team this season?


  1. More discipline
  2. Better physical condition
  3. Playing smarter football

Q. How does it feel to become the head coach of your college alma mater football team? Was this always one of your goals?

A. It feels good to be a part of something where you started. Yes, I’ve seen changes and transformation in the programs but by exercising patience and diligence things have taken care of themselves. It is definitely an honor even to be considered for the position.

-Juston Washington