Cal hires former CU coach Ambrose as DB coach

January 4, 2011, 9:45 pm
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Jan. 4, 2011

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(BERKELEY) Ashley Ambrose has been named the defensive backs coach at Cal, head coach Jeff Tedford announced Tuesday. The 13-year NFL veteran and 1996 AFC Defensive Back of the Year has spent the last three seasons on the Colorado football staff, including the 2010 campaign as the defensive backs coach after serving as the receivers coach in 2009 and as a defensive technical intern in 2008.Ashley is a bright young and upcoming coach with a tremendous amount of football experience that were excited is joining the Cal football program, said Tedford. I strongly believe he will effectively communicate the knowledge he has gained both as a player at the highest level, and now at the beginning of a promising coaching career, to our players and his colleagues on our staff.Im excited about the opportunity to work with Jeff Tedford and his staff, said Ambrose. Hes a proven coach with a winning program and a great staff that knows how to recruit and coach. Im going to focus on discipline and doing everything I can to help our student-athletes graduate from school, experience success on the football field at Cal, and teach them what it takes to be able to have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams of playing at the next level.During his lone season working with the Buffaloes defensive backs in 2010, he coached senior Jimmy Smith to first-team All-Big 12 honors as the senior cornerback recorded a career-high 70 tackles, including a team-best 52 solo stops. Smith, who also co-led the team with five pass breakups, improved his status the year before Ambrose coached him from an honorable mention All-Big 12 choice and a 2010 third-team All-Big 12 preseason selection according to Athlon Sports and Phil Steele. Smith was the only Colorado defensive player named to the All-Big 12 first or second team. Another 2010 Ambrose pupil, senior cornerback Jalil Brown, was an honorable mention selection for the second consecutive season.Ambrose brought a wealth of professional football experience to a coaching career that began in 2006 as an intern coach with the Atlanta Falcons. After being selected by Indianapolis in the second round (29th pick overall) of the 1992 NFL Draft, he went on to play 13 seasons in the league, four with the Colts (1992-95), three with Cincinnati (1996-98), three with New Orleans (1999, 2003-04) and three with Atlanta (2000-02). He earned All-Pro honors with the Bengals in 1996, when he was also the AFC Defensive Back of the Year. During his career, he had 42 interceptions, returning three for touchdowns, and also posted 178 pass deflections to go with 514 tackles (464 solo).After 192 games and 141 starts, he retired from professional football following the 2004 season.Ambrose earned his bachelors degree in Industrial Technology in 1992 from Mississippi Valley State, where he lettered four years at cornerback. He had 17 interceptions, 40 pass deflections and 110 tackles, as well as seven kick returns for touchdowns (four punt, three kickoff) during his college playing career.He has long been active in community service, as he developed the "Ashley Ambrose All-A's Club" that rewarded high school football players who excelled academically. He also participated in VH-1's Save the Music program and in the NFL United Way Hometown Huddle campaign among the many things he did as a professional, which included donating hundreds of tickets to scholar-athletes.A native of New Orleans, Ambrose graduated from Alcee Fortier High School in 1988, where he lettered in football, basketball, and track and field. He is the father of two children, Aisha (12) and A.J. (9).After playing the last 88 seasons and every home game at Memorial Stadium since the facility opened for the 1923 Big Game, Cal will host its 2011 home contests at San Franciscos AT&T Park while Memorial Stadium undergoes an extensive renovation and retrofit. The Bears will return to Memorial Stadium for their 2012 home schedule.Cal opens its 2011 season with a neutral-site non-conference game against Fresno State at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on Saturday, Sept. 3. The contest is not part of the recently announced 2011 season ticket package for five home games at AT&T Park. Fans will have the opportunity to purchase tickets for Cal vs. Fresno State at a later date.Visit CalFootballSF.com for more information on 2011 Cal football at AT&T Park and stadium.berkeley.edu for updates on the progress of the renovation and retrofit of Memorial Stadium.Courtesy of Cal media services.