RMU football coaching candidate: Former Montana head coach Bob Stitt

With the recent resignation of RMU football head coach John Banaszak, RMU Sentry Media examines the candidates who could be the third head coach in the program’s history


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Samuel Anthony

If the Robert Morris coaching search truly is a national search, then the team needs to consider recently let go Montana head coach Bob Stitt.

Stitt was brought in as the third head coach in six seasons for the Grizzlies. He was brought in to revive a program that back in 2009 was competing for national championships but has recently fallen into tougher times as a program.

In his first year with the team, Stitt led his squad to an FCS playoff appearance with an 8-5 record where they were knocked off in the second round after a 24-17 victory over South Dakota State in the first round.

Beyond his playoff success, Stitt also coached the upset victory over the four-time defending national champion and number one ranked North Dakota State Bison 38-35 during that successful 2015 season. And keep note that this North Dakota State team was led by current Eagles quarterback and second overall draft pick Carson Wentz. Showing that Stitt has experience competing against some truly elite talent through the FCS.

And while his final two seasons with the Grizzlies did not result in playoff berths, the team was in the playoff hunt until the final game of the season. In both cases, Stitt saw his team fall to hated rival Montana State.

His failure to make the playoffs and to defeat MSU were the reasons that the University ultimately made the controversial decision to find another head coach for the 2018 season.

But for the Robert Morris Colonials, there is a lot to like about Bob Stitt.

In his three seasons at Montana, Stitt posted a 21-14 career record, and more importantly a winning record, in each of his three seasons.

And for a team like Robert Morris, which has not had a winning season since 2010, it is definitely something to take note of.

Stitt also coached the FCS defensive player of the year in Tyrone Holmes during his first season at the helm. It is clear Stitt knows what to do with defensive talent, something that the Colonials are stocked full of.

Beyond his experience with Montana, Stitt had spent the previous 14 seasons coaching the Division II Colorado School of Mines Orediggers. Stitt finished his time in Colorado with a 108-62 record and three conference championships during his tenure. Proving that Stitt also has plenty of experience coaching with proven success in the past.

In terms of why Stitt should be headed to Moon, he would provide great help for the team’s greatest weakness, offense.

Stitt coached Montana to the 10th-best passing offense in the nation this season, averaging 305 passing yards per game while also rushing for another 149 yards per game, which come together to produce the 10th-best offense in all of the FCS.

And for a team that produced one of the worst offenses in the nation, this is something to take note of.

Pair Stitt with an already successful defense alongside and budding senior quarterback Jimmy Walker, and one could see an immediate impact right out of the gate for the Colonials.

Stitt has faced some of the nation’s toughest opponents in the Big Sky Conference and has FCS playoff experience.

For a coach looking to continue coaching in Division I and for perhaps a long-term position like he had in Colorado, Robert Morris could check off all of the boxes.