Delaware hires Jared Ambrose as offensive coordinator, adds Bill Cubit to staff
Danny Rocco has filled out his offensive coaching staff with two names familiar to Delaware and CAA football.
Jared Ambrose, after spending the past 10 seasons at Towson, will be Delaware’s next offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, the team announced Thursday. Ambrose was a graduate assistant at Delaware in 2007 and 2008, prior to joining Towson where his younger brother, Rob Ambrose, is the head coach.
Bill Cubit, 65, will also join the staff as an assistant head coach and the running backs coach. Cubit played under Tubby Raymond in 1973 and 1974 as a wide receiver.
“We’re extremely excited to announce the hiring of both Jared Ambrose and Bill Cubit to our coaching staff,” Delaware Head Coach Danny Rocco said in a press release. “We recognized both of these coaches to be outstanding additions to our program. Both coaches met a long list of criteria that was put in place when we started our search.”
Delaware parted ways with its previous coordinator, Matt Simon, three days after its season ended with a loss against James Madison in the first round of the FCS playoffs. In Simon’s second season presiding over the offense, the passing game improved — from twelfth in the CAA in 2017 to eighth this year (195.1 passing yards per game) — behind first-year starter Pat Kehoe. But the running attack lost its edge — falling from second to eleventh in the league (105.3 rushing yards per game).
Delaware ranked seventh in the CAA in scoring offense, averaging 24.4 points per game, but recorded just 10 points per game across its final three contests, including the 20-6 loss at James Madison, where Delaware gained only 185 yards.
With Ambrose, 36, assuming quarterback coaching duties, current quarterbacks coach Alex Wood will move to wide receivers, a role vacated by Erik Campbell, who left Delaware earlier this offseason to join Bowling Green’s coaching staff. Cubit will lead the running backs, who had been coached by Simon.
Ambrose served as Towson’s offensive coordinator for the past seven seasons. In 2018, behind Tom Flacco, the younger brother of Delaware great Joe Flacco, Ambrose helped engineer the top scoring offense in the CAA (34.5 points per game). The Tigers featured a well-balanced attack, finishing first in passing offense (275.0 yards per game) and third in running offense (190.0 yards per game).
Delaware defeated Towson 40-36 on Oct. 27 at Delaware Stadium, in a game that went down to the final play. Towson ended the season 7-5, and like Delaware, was sent home in the first round of the FCS playoffs (the Tigers lost to Duquesne 31-10).
The playoff appearance snapped a playoff drought that dated back to 2013. In that season, Towson reached the national championship, averaging 36.6 points and 465.8 yards of total offense per game.
“Coming back to Delaware has always been a goal for my wife and I,” Ambrose said in a press release. “The first time we came here, we quickly understood that the community and fans bleed Delaware blue and gold.
“I can’t wait to help bring national titles back to Newark.”
Cubit once held the school records for catches in a season (47) and receiving yards (735). He began his coaching career immediately after his playing days ended as an assistant at Swarthmore College in 1975 and later served as the head coach at Widener (1992-1996) and Western Michigan (2005-2012). He was the offensive coordinator at multiple FBS programs including Missouri, Stanford and Illinois.
Cubit was thought to be a head coaching candidate in 2002 when Raymond retired, according to The News Journal. At the time, Cubit was serving as Rutgers’ offensive coordinator. Delaware instead hired K.C. Keeler, who led the team to the national title in 2003 and a title game appearance in 2007.
Delaware eventually hired a Rutgers offensive coordinator as its head coach, Dave Brock, though his coaching tenure proved far less successful.
Cubit’s most recent experience came as the head coach of Martin County High School in Stuart, Fla. in 2017. He did not coach in 2018 or the season before in 2016.
Cubit also coached at Illinois for three seasons from 2013-2015. After leading the offense and coaching quarterbacks for two seasons, Cubit was named interim head coach in 2015 after Illinois fired it’s head coach a week before the season began.
Illinois named Cubit as its permanent head coach before its season finale and awarded him a two-year contract, but his tenure proved to be short-lived. He was fired at the end of the season as the school changed athletic directors and decided to hire longtime NFL head coach Lovie Smith. Illinois finished 5-7 in Cubit’s year as head coach.
Delaware enters the offseason deeper than it’s ever been at quarterback under Rocco, with Kehoe returning alongside Nolan Henderson and Anthony Paoletti. But the Blue Hens will have to replace their three leading pass catchers, tight end Charles Scarff and wide receivers Joe Walker and Vinny Papale, and their top running back, Kani Kane.