Ambrose Named Defensive Backs Coach
Jan. 19, 2016

Boise State football announced the addition of former NFL All-Pro defensive back Ashley Ambrose as secondary coach Tuesday.

"For our staff we are always looking for smart and driven coaches, and Ashley brings each of those things to our program,” said Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin. “Anyone that plays 13 years in the NFL is in a very unique fraternity and has to be ultra-competitive, driven and know the ins and outs of playing at a high level.

"All you need is about five minutes with Ashley and you discover his passion for the game. It's why he decided to go into coaching when his playing career ended--it was an opportunity to mentor and teach the game of football and be a positive influence on young players. His fit within our staff is perfect and we're excited to have him as part of the Bronco family."

Ambrose comes to Boise after serving as cornerbacks coach at Texas State in 2015. He has previously served as the cornerbacks coach at Idaho (2014) and secondary coach at California (2011-12), while serving three seasons in three different roles on the staff at Colorado (2008-10), culminating in being the secondary coach in 2010. He spent the 2013 season with the New Orleans Saints as a minority intern.

"Boise State is one of those programs you are immediately attracted to as a coach because of the long-term success and a culture of excellence. I can't thank Coach Harsin and his staff enough for this opportunity, and I am excited to get going right now,” Ambrose said.

"After retiring from the NFL it didn't take me long to realize how much I still wanted to be a part of the game, and that drove me into coaching. I want to give back to young players so much of what this game taught me both on the field and off. That desire to compete and to work hard every day to get better is my mentality and I can't wait to share that with our Bronco players."

Ambrose has had six defensive backs earn all-conference honors during his coaching career. At Colorado, he coached a pair of cornerbacks that earned All-Big 12 honors and were selected in the 2011 NFL Draft. Jimmy Smith, named to the All-Big 12 First Team, was taken 27th overall by the Baltimore Ravens, while Jalil Brown was named All-Big 12 honorable mention and was tabbed in the fourth round by the Kansas City Chiefs.

At California, defensive backs D.J. Campbell and Sean Cattouse were each named All-Pac-12 honorable mention in 2011, while Josh Hill and Steve Williams, Jr., each claimed the accolade in 2012. Campbell and Cattouse each went on to play two seasons in the NFL, with Campbell, a seventh-round draft pick of the Carolina Panthers in the 2012 NFL Draft, playing for the Panthers (2012-13) and Miami Dolphins (2013), and Cattouse playing for the San Diego Chargers (2012) and Chicago Bears (2013).

In each of his seasons in Berkeley, Ambrose’s secondary recorded double-digit figures in interceptions, with the 2011 squad nabbing 10 of the Golden Bears’ 12 picks, and the 2012 secondary accounting for 12 of the team’s 14 thefts.

Ambrose played 13 seasons in the NFL (1992-2004) with the Indianapolis Colts (1992-95), Cincinnati Bengals (1996-98), Atlanta Falcons (2000-02) and New Orleans Saints (1999, 2003-04).

He was named an All-Pro and AFC Defensive Back of the Year in 1996 after recording a career-best eight interceptions (second-most in the league) with the Bengals.

Over 192 games played (of which he started 141), Ambrose grabbed 42 interceptions, three of which he returned for touchdowns, 35 pass breakups and and 514 tackles (464 solo).

Ambrose began his coaching career two seasons later (2006) as an intern with the Falcons.

A native of New Orleans, he played four seasons at Mississippi Valley State (1988-91), intercepting 17 passes and recording 110 tackles. Ambrose was also a dangerous return man, taking three kicks and four punts for touchdowns. He went on to graduate in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology.

Ambrose and his wife, Melanie Zaharias-Ambrose, were married on May 25, 2012. He is the father of three children, Aisha, A. J. and Konner.


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