Phil Scherer | Reporter
Nov. 15, 2016; 1 p.m.
Lindenwood football coach Patrick Ross has been relieved of his coaching duties, the University announced Tuesday.
Ross leaves Lindenwood as the most successful coach in program history, compiling a 93-57 record in 13 seasons. However, the transition to the NCAA from the NAIA had been a tough adjustment to make. In four seasons since making the move to the higher level of competition, his teams went just 11-31.
In recent seasons, Lindenwood has been unable to match up against the top teams in the MIAA conference, winning no more than three games in any of the seasons.
This season, the team compiled a record of 3-8, and continued to struggle against the best in the conference. Against top-ranked Northwest Missouri State, the Lions fell 47-12, and against nationally-ranked Central Missouri, the team fell 35-7 to end the 2016 campaign.
In a statement released by Lindenwood, Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Brad Wachler thanked Ross for his commitment to the school, but also said a change was necessary.
“Patrick is a man of great character and cares deeply about the student-athletes that he has coached over the years,” Wachler said. “However, Lindenwood has not progressed like we expected at the NCAA level, and we feel that a change in leadership is needed in order to compete with the top level programs of the MIAA.”
In the statement, it was also revealed that Wachler would be leading a nationwide search to find Lindenwood’s next head football coach.
Prior to moving to the NCAA, Ross led Lindenwood to prominence at the NAIA level, leading the team to a perfect 11-0 record in his first season in charge in 2004.
He also experienced great success from 2007-2010, as his teams went 43-7 and wracked up two conference championships, as well as a trip to the national championship game in 2009.