Craig: Rosburg took the long road for a Super Bowl ring

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 5, 2013 - 11:09 PM

Ravens assistant Jerry Rosburg, a Fairmont, Minn., native, took the long route to the top of the hill in the NFL.

hide

Baltimore Ravens assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg.

Photo: Patrick Semansky, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

MVP quarterbacks, retiring future Hall of Fame linebackers and the oldest son of Jack and Jackie Harbaugh aren't the only ones who will be wearing Super Bowl XLVII championship rings.

Unlike Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis and John Harbaugh, Jerry Rosburg is a name you probably never heard of before or during the Baltimore Ravens' 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Unless, of course, you're a Ravens fan or an old buddy still living in Rosburg's native Fairmont, Minn.

But that doesn't mean Rosburg is any less deserving of the bling that will be decorating his right ring finger.

"As a coach, you always hope that all your hard work will lead you to the ultimate game," said Rosburg, the Ravens' special teams coordinator/assistant head coach. "And this definitely is the ultimate game."

Rosburg is 57 years old. He's been working since long before he knew coaching was the biggest love next to his family.

"I was probably in third grade when I started delivering the Minneapolis Tribune," Rosburg said. "I had that route forever. You know, delivering a newspaper as a kid is good training for the real world. You got to get up early every morning and go to work. And if you don't do that seven days a week, a lot of people who depend on you are going to be very upset."

Rosburg has spent the past 34 years coaching football. In 1977, he was a Division II All-America linebacker and conference MVP under Jim Wacker at North Dakota State. A year later, he was an assistant coach at Fargo (N.D.) Shanley High School.

"I still keep in touch with some of those kids," Rosburg said. "My first semester there, I taught seven classes with six different preparations. I had to take care of all that before it was time to hit the football field.

"That also was a great training ground. I learned that you better be prepared before you walk in front of your class or you're going to get embarrassed. It's the same thing now when I go before my players. You better have a game plan and present it well."

When Jim Driscoll, one of Rosburg's coaches at North Dakota State, went to Northern Michigan, he invited the young Rosburg to come help with a summer football camp in Marquette, Mich. That's when he got to talk football long into the night with longtime successful coaches such as Hank Bullough, who was with the Cincinnati Bengals at the time, Chuck McBride from Nebraska and Buck Nystrom from Michigan State.

"Marquette is right there on Lake Superior, so a lot of coaches would use this camp as a summer vacation for their families," Rosburg said. "Coach football in the morning, fish in the afternoon. That's when I really got the coaching bug. I'm sitting here talking to Hank Bullough, the father of the zone blitz. All these great coaches and I'm looking at them and thinking, 'These guys get to coach football fulltime. How cool is that?'"

Rosburg ended up at Northern Michigan with Driscoll as a graduate assistant in 1981-82. He stayed as a paid assistant through 1986.

At Northern, Rosburg got to know a young assistant at Western Michigan. His name: John Harbaugh, son of then-Western Michigan head coach Jack Harbaugh.

Rosburg ended up at Western Michigan from 1987 to 1991, but not with the Harbaughs. Instead, he coached under another native Minnesotan, Al Molde.

Rosburg's coaching trail continued to the University of Cincinnati (1992 to 1995), where he coached with John Harbaugh; the University of Minnesota under Wacker (1996); Boston College (1997 to 1998) and Notre Dame (1999 to 2000).

"My memories of the University of Minnesota?" Rosburg asked. "I wasn't there long enough to have many good football memories. Jim Wacker hired me to coach the secondary. But we got fired after my first year. But it was nice to be close to home."

In 2001, he made the leap to the NFL as special teams coach with the Cleveland Browns. He was there for six seasons before taking the same job in Atlanta (2007) and finally in Baltimore when John Harbaugh, a longtime special teams coach with the Philadelphia Eagles, became head coach in 2008.

"It's been a great ride," Rosburg said. "I haven't taken any shortcuts to get here. I've seen the scenery along the way. But I'm glad I didn't take any shortcuts. I would have missed a lot of great scenery."

Mark Craig • mcraig@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - LP: B. Wilson 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Grimm 8
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 2
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 3 FINAL
Oakland - LP: D. Otero 0
Toronto - WP: M. Stroman 6 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: C. Capuano 3
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 1 FINAL
Colorado - WP: E. Butler 5
Boston - LP: R. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman 7
Milwaukee - WP: Z. Duke 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: M. Melancon 0
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: J. Cosart 2
NY Mets - WP: J. Niese 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 2
Chicago WSox - LP: H. Noesi 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: C. Archer 3
Cleveland - WP: T. House 7 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: T. May 3
Seattle - LP: C. Young 1 FINAL
Houston - WP: D. Keuchel 10
Cincinnati - LP: M. Leake 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: J. Motte 8
San Francisco - LP: Y. Petit 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 3
Texas 5 Top 9th Inning
LA Angels 8
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(13) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(11) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(21) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
(18) Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
Miss State 34 FINAL
(8) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 16 3rd Qtr 0:30
Toledo 27
(14) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(24) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
(22) Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 28 3rd Qtr 12:56
Arizona 6
San Diego St 7 3rd Qtr
Oregon State 14
(2) Oregon 21 2nd Qtr 0:59
Washington St 21
Louisiana 3 2nd Qtr 1:42
Boise State 21
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Vancouver FC 0 FINAL
Portland 3
Houston 0 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
New England 0 FINAL
Columbus 1
San Jose 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
Seattle 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 4
D.C. 3 FINAL
Chicago 3
FC Dallas 1 2nd Half 25:00
Los Angeles 1
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL 0:00
Hamilton 25
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters
Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon
 
Close