Outgoing ASU coach Steve Roberts: I poured my heart and soul into this program""
JONESBORO (11/29/10) - Arkansas State Director of Athletics Dr. Dean Lee announced Monday that Steve Roberts has resigned as head football coach and will not return for his 10th season in 2011.
Steve Roberts' teams won 73 percent
of the time (32-12) at ASU Stadium.
ASU posted a 4-8 overall record in 2010 and is tied for fourth place in the Sun Belt Conference with a 4-4 record under Roberts, who was named ASU's 26th head football coach on December 21, 2001.
"We are thankful to Coach Roberts for his nine years of service to Arkansas State University and its athletic department," Dr. Lee said. "He led our football program to a number of accomplishments, and he has been a great ambassador for our program and this university."
Roberts, the 2005 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year, ends his tenure as ASU's head football coach with the fifth most victories in school history (45). He led ASU?to the 2005 New Orleans Bowl, ASU's first bowl appearance as an NCAA FBS member.
"I am very thankful to the Jonesboro community for their support throughout the years and want you to know that I poured my heart and soul into this program and these kids to give us the best opportunity to succeed," Roberts said. "For the community's support, my family and I are grateful."
Roberts led ASU to bowl eligible seasons in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2008 while guiding ASU?to its most victories over a nine-year span since 1985-93. Under Roberts, the Red Wolves had 70 All-Sun Belt Conference selections, a Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year, an SBC Offensive Player of the Year, two SBC?Defensive Players of the Year and an SBC?Newcomer of the Year.
Under Roberts' guidance, ASU picked up notable non-conference victories over teams such as Tulsa, Army, SMU, Memphis and Texas A&M. The 2008 victory over the Aggies was ASU's first over a team from a BCS automatic qualifying conference since it joined the FBS.
Roberts directed ASU?to a 32-12 record at ASU?Stadium for a .727 winning percentage. The Red Wolves had five players drafted and 12 others sign a free agent contract with a NFL?franchise during Roberts tenure.
A-State excelled academically under Roberts, winning seven Sun Belt Conference Team Academic Awards. The Red Wolves regularly placed a large number of football players on the ASU?Athletic Director's Honor Roll, had three players named Academic?All-District, one named Academic All-America and one receive the NCAA postgraduate scholarship.
"I am certainly proud of a lot of positive things that have occurred over the last nine years," Roberts said. "From a competitive and academic standpoint to the retention of kids and the development of relationships, we made tremendous strides in a lot of areas that I'm very proud of.
"We set major attendance records, had some big wins and some disappointing losses," Roberts added. "Obviously, we did some great things academically. We've had a lot of kids who have come through our program who are going to be extremely successful because of their participation in football at Arkansas State."
Arkansas State will begin an immediate national search for its head football coach position.
STEVE ROBERTS QUOTES (Q & A):
Q: How do you feel about where the program is now compared to when you arrived?
A: "I am certainly proud of a lot of positive things that have occurred over the last nine years. From a competitive and academic standpoint to the retention of kids and the development of relationships, we made tremendous strides in a lot of areas that I'm very proud of."
Q: What are some of the major accomplishments you feel were made with the football program during your tenure?
A: "Just really from returning the program to a competitive level and raising expectations. We set major attendance records, had some big wins and some disappointing losses. Obviously, we did some great things academically. We've had a lot of kids that have come through our program who are going to be extremely successful because of their participation in football at Arkansas State."
Q: Have you had an opportunity to visit with the coaching staff and the players, and what was your message to them?
A: "My message to players and coaches was that I'm extremely grateful for the effort they put forth helping this program achieve. Continue to believe and give great effort in the classroom, present yourself in a way that leads to a positive image, prepare to win in all aspects of life and good things will happen."
Q: What is the next step for you personally and professionally?
A: "That will obviously be something that we will pray about as a family - wait on God's direction for our family and move on from there."