David Ross begins his third season on the Illinois State staff, all working with the Redbird cornerbacks, but 2008 will be his first as the defensive coordinator. Ross takes over a defense that ranked No. 102 nationally in total defense last seasonwith 427.9 yards allowed per game.
Last season, Ross mentored one of the Missouri Valley Football Conference's top newcomers in Kelvyn Hemphill.
In 2006, Ross' corners contributed to ISU's 17 interceptions on the season, the highest Redbird team total since 1989.
In the five seasons before coming to Illinois State, Ross served as the head football coach and athletic director at Bacone College in Muskogee, Okla. He was the Warriors' first head coach since the program's reinstatement, after a 43-year hiatus. During that time, he immediately established an NAIA program that was nationally-ranked.
Ross started his coaching career at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Miami, Okla., in the fall of 1982, coaching the defensive line. With the Golden Norsemen, Ross and the team reeled off a pair of 10-1 seasons.
In 1983, Ross accepted a graduate assistantship at Oklahoma State under then-OSU head coach Jimmy Johnson. Ross worked with the quarterbacks under offensive coordinator Larry Coker. Once Johnson left the Oklahoma State post, Ross worked on the defensive side of the ball under new head coach Pat Jones.
In 1986, Ross returned to his alma mater, Central Methodist in Fayette, Mo., as the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator. In 1988, he was named the head football coach at his high school alma mater, William Chrisman, in Independence, Mo., at the age of 28.
After four years, Ross was named the head coach at Blue Springs South High School, a start-up program. In his second season, the Jaguars finished with an 8-3 record, before posting an undefeated regular season and an 11-1 overall record in 1994.
The success as a prep head coach vaulted Ross back into the collegiate ranks. He was named head football coach at Kemper Military Junior College in Boonville, Mo., in 1995. During his five years at Kemper, Ross produced 42 Division I players and a 33-19 record. However, in 1999, Kemper decided to drop its football program.
He received his bachelor's degree in 1982 from Central Methodist in the area of physical education, and received his master's degree in sports administration from the United States Sports Academy in 2005. Ross has four children, Zac (22), Hayden (17), Darce (9) and Brogan (7).