Grant Rohach walked into his boss’ office and made a surprise announcement.
He was leaving.
He wanted to be a college football coach.
It couldn’t have been a complete surprise — Rohach was, after all, a former Division I quarterback — but it still marked a turning point in his life.
“I always knew I wanted to coach at some point,” said Rohach, a 26-year-old Iowa native.
That goal became reality three years ago when the former Iowa State University and University of Buffalo quarterback joined the coaching staff (for the 2017 season) as quarterbacks coach at Grand View University, an NAIA school in Des Moines, Iowa.
His head coach? Mike Woodley, a man who had built the Grand View football from scratch in 2008 and built into a national champion in 2013.
Three years later, the two have joined forces again.
Rohach, who spent last season as an offensive graduate assistant at Kansas State University, was recently hired as the offensive coordinator for the new football program at Mount Marty College — which is led by Woodley, the head coach.
“A big decision in coaching has to do with the people you know and are comfortable with, and he’s a guy I wanted to coach for again,” Rohach said Wednesday afternoon from the MMC coaches office.
Rohach is the latest addition to Woodley’s staff at Mount Marty, which continues recruiting for its inaugural 2020 class — the Lancers will make their debut in the 2021 season when they join the Great Plains Athletic Conference.
Just as it’s been a journey for Mount Marty to add football to its athletic lineup, it’s been quite a journey for Rohach.
He was born in Iowa but moved to Missouri at age two, and then lived in California. Rohach was recruited to play football at Iowa State, where he saw action in nine games (five starts) over his career (2012-15). After graduating in Ames, he moved to the University of Buffalo as a graduate transfer for the 2016 season.
Then came the opportunity to coach at Grand View — that same season (2017), Rohach also played for the Iowa Barnstormers with the Arena Football League.
While at Grand View, Rohach coached quarterback Jordan Knock, who was named the Heart of America Conference North Division Offensive Player of the Year (he passed for 3,169 yards and 28 touchdowns).
Rohach then served as quarterbacks coach at Simpson College, also in Iowa, for the 2018 season, and he coached Tanner Krueger who threw for 2,531 yards and 21 touchdowns.
His time as an offensive graduate assistant at Kansas State last season sparked an interest in Rohach to someday become an offensive coordinator; to have an opportunity to put together his own offensive system.
He’ll now have that chance with Woodley at Mount Marty.
“If it was another guy, I’d be more hesitant,” Rohach said. “You can see what he’s done at Grand View, and I was a small part of that.”
Just like Woodley and his staff did at Grand View, they’ll do the same thing at Mount Marty: Build a football program.
“I’m very excited to see what we can do,” Rohach said.
The obvious question for him has become: What kind of offense will he implement at Mount Marty?
To that, Rohach smiled — it’s far from the first time he’s been asked.
“We have some ideas, but what I tell recruits is that it’s going to be what our players can do,” he said.
“People might see me as a younger O.C. and think I want to be a guru or something, but it’ll be based on what our players are good at.”
While he also helps recruit players to Mount Marty’s new program, Rohach is also trying to acclimate himself to the Yankton community.
“I love the town so far,” he said. “It reminds me a lot of Indianola, Iowa, where Simpson College is. But Yankton feels bigger because it’s a tourist town.
“There’s just so much to do.”
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