Familiar face becomes Ashland football’s offensive coordinator

Nate Powalie, Sports Columnist

Reggie Gamble first came to Ashland as an offensive lineman in 2004. 16 years later, he now works with the offensive linemen who are trying to emulate him.

Gamble was one of the anchors of an offensive line that helped lead Ashland University to their third and fourth playoff appearances in 2007 and 2008, respectively. After graduating from AU, Gamble went out and started his coaching career at two community colleges in California, where he worked as the offensive line coach at West Hills College in Coalinga, and he also served as offensive line/tight ends coach at Santa Barbara City College.

In 2012, Gamble came back home to AU, and was immediately assigned to be the defensive line coach. But for the past few seasons, he has served as the offensive line and tight ends coach, with the notable player being Adam Shaheen, a current NFL tight end with the Miami Dolphins. 

His ability to design plays for an offense and his work with the offensive lineman and tight ends has made him a very knowledgeable guy to direct the offense. One tight end is excited to see what kind of new touches are going to be in the offense.

“We tend to run more of a pro-style offense, but we’re spreading the ball out more,” redshirt-senior tight end Austin Phillips said. “It’s exciting to see Coach Gamble’s touch on the offense.”

Having worked with Gamble, Phillips knows the ins and outs of the style for the new coordinator. Phillips also notes that Gamble has served as an academic mentor to him. 

“He’s very invested in success for our players both on and off the field,” Phillips said. 

Reaching back to the topic of success, Gamble has dealt with his fair share of success, as he was an honorable mention All-American in 2008 as part of the offensive line that helped lead Ashland to their fourth Division II playoff appearance. He also received All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors. 

His success can be attributed to his first head coach and now current coworker Lee Owens. After returning from his first coaching stints, Gamble was excited to return to the community he called home.

“It almost felt like a reunion each game after coming back from my first coaching stints with West Hills Community College and Santa Barbara City College,” Gamble said. 

With his experience coaching tight ends, fullbacks, and offensive line, he is beaming with pride for what his next step is with AU football. And Gamble also gives high praise for some of the key pieces of the offense.

“It’s an awesome feeling with the opportunity to win, and when I coach great kids like Brenner, Bolin, Gei’Vonni Washington, and others, it’s a great experience,” Gamble said. 

Touching back on the subject of the relationship between Gamble and Owens, once the former joined the fold in the 2004 season, he was instantly involved with the success of AU football. The feeling of family is mutual between the two. 

“Well, Coach Gamble and I have known each other for about a decade and a half,” Owens said. “He was an accomplished player, and he’s really been a part of the AU football family.” 

Having known Gamble, Owens feels like he really connected with the team. His confidence in what Gamble has displayed with the offense has gotten Owens excited for what’s in the fold. He’s interested in what the new coordinator has planned.

“I think he’s got a great style, and a great relationship with the players,” Owens said. “Our philosophy really isn’t going to change, but Coach really understands the identity of the team.” 

Gamble has become entangled in the Ashland community, and working for the team that he played for is almost like a dream come true to him. Reggie Gamble is excited for the new opportunity presented to him as the new football season gets ready to roll around.