HAMPTON — Donovan Rose is confident Hampton University's football program has improved in his three seasons as head coach.
He'll get a chance to continue that progression in Year 4.
Rose, 18-15 in his three-year tenure after his Pirates went 7-4 this past season, will return to the HU sideline in 2012.
"Coach Rose will definitely be back next year," Hampton athletic director Keshia Campbell said Tuesday. "I feel confident that he'll take the program in the right direction."
Rose will once again work on a one-year contract.
"At this point, there haven't been any further discussions regarding any extensions," Campbell said.
Rose, an 18-year Pirates assistant who was promoted to head coach in 2009, went 5-6 in his first season, 6-5 in his second and 7-4 in 2011.
"The past few years, I think we've showed growth," Rose said. "We are gradually getting the program back, but there's a lot of things that need to be done. I'm glad they have confidence in me to continue to do that."
Rose's 2011 record included a controversial 35-31 loss at Bethune-Cookman, when a booth review overturned the on-field ruling of touchdown on an apparent 12-yard completion from David Legree to Isiah Thomas on the last play of the game. The review determined Thomas did not maintain possession as he hit the ground, though video seems to indicate Thomas took a step with the ball.
"I consider his record to be 8-3," said Campbell, who attended the game in Daytona Beach, Fla. "That's the Bethune-Cookman contest. I still hold my guns on that and that being a win for Hampton and not a loss. I'm not saying anything negative about any officiating; however, I just don't agree with the outcome of that decision."
Rose praised his players for keeping their focus after that game. He also takes encouragement for 2012 from the Pirates' 17 returning starters and a coaching staff that, for the first time in four seasons, should remain largely intact.
Rose, who replaced Jerry Holmes after Holmes' lone season in 2008, has changed offensive coordinators in each of the previous two years. That won't happen this offseason, after first-year coordinator Willie Snead directed a unit that averaged 28.4 points in 2011 — 11 points better than the season before.
"I'm pleased with Coach Snead and the offensive staff," Rose said. "That's one big thing. Now we've got some kind of continuity going. Next year, you don't have to worry about having a new offense to learn. Guys will be able to work hard, and we'll be able to pick up where we left off."
Rose's assistant coaches are on the recruiting road searching for a dual-threat quarterback — in the mold of graduating senior David Legree — to run Snead's spread attack, along with offensive linemen to protect him.
"There's a lot of guys out there, especially in the 757, that can fill a lot of voids," Rose said. "The more the merrier, but I want to make sure the guys that we get fit our philosophy and what we're trying to do. Character is going to be a big part of it."
Rose's own days are filled with film study as he seeks ways to get HU even closer to its first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title since 2006.
"This past three years, we're steadily climbing," Rose said. "We should be in a situation where we're definitely competing next year for the crown. … Each year we're taking a step up. I think we're going to improve (next year). I'm looking forward to it."Copyright © 2015, CT Now