Any college football coach would probably tell you that it is a tough profession, rife with uncertainty. There is pressure, instability and the near-impossible task of managing the expectations of fans.

The latest to experience the dark side of football coaching is Montana State University's Rob Ash, who was dismissed as the Bobcats' head coach after 9 years on the job. There were conflicting reports about the assistant coaches' futures. One report said they were all let go as well. Another indicated that the new head coach could retain some or all of them. That is not likely to happen.

Ash had a respectable career at Montana State. But the team's first losing season in over a decade (5-6), a very poor showing in the Big Sky Conference standings, and of course, another loss to the Montana Grizzlies Saturday (54-35) spelled doom. Ash only won two of 9 games against the Griz, none at home.

A nationwide search has begun and MSU says they hope to have a replacement named in the next couple of weeks.       DB

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