(8-26-19) In August of 2017 Ken DuBose was terminated as the Rockford (Ill) Jefferson Head Football Coach after two seasons. DuBose’s second season in 2016 he led the J-Hawks to a respectable 4-5 record, including wins over Harlem and Hononegah and in the process ending a 27 game losing streak. The program seemed headed into a positive rebuild after previous years of mediocrity. Then the RPS administration pulled the rug out from under DuBose in a very controversial move before the first day of football practice.
With that move Jefferson’s turmoil would continue and during the last two seasons since DuBose’s departure going just 1-17. This season they will have another new head coach in Jake Arnold who is replacing Tony Ambrogio who is taking over the Rockford Lutheran program after two seasons at Jefferson.
After his termination DuBose would continue coaching high school football at South Elgin, last season he was the defensive coordinator. In February (2019) he was hired to lead the Beloit Memorial football program. The Purple Knights program mirrored the Jefferson program in many ways…including the lack of ability to win games.
When he was hired he told the Rockford Register-Star:
“It’s very similar to the first movie I was in. It will be exciting to turn it around. We’re going to revive the football program here. It’s a great football job. And it’s the only one in the town. This is one community. I’m excited about that. There’s more talent here at the beginning of this deal than I had at Jefferson. And no matter how things turned out there, we were on the right path. As long as I stay with the same principles here, I see nothing but positives ahead.”
Friday night on the road in the opening game of the 2019 season DuBose showed why he was the right man for the job. The Purple Kinghts would beat Big 8 rival Janesville Craig 16-13 (first time since 2009). According to BDN’s Josh Flickinger it is the first opening night win since 1999 when they beat Madison East 42-0.
- Knights pick up landmark victory (Beloit Daily News)
So what does DuBose bring to the Beloit Memorial football?
After the win he told the Beloit Daily news:
“Culture is measured by consistency. I think we will come to compete and fight against anyone we play. If guys aren’t ready to do that, then they won’t be in the program. It’s a discipline thing. When you are in an urban community with undisciplined, athletic kids, if you can teach those kids discipline, you can have a program like East St. Louis. That’s why I came here. It takes time, but we could be dangerous.”
Proving the point that there is more then X’s and O’s in a successful football program.
The win also has elevated the excitement in Beloit:
For DuBose and the Purple Knights it is just one game and one win, but the future looks bright at Beloit Memorial.
Beloit Memorial faces Sun Prairie in another Big 8 match-up at home next Friday against Sun Prairie.