Central’s Ambrose clan making coaching a family tradition

Mark Ambrose starts as Central’s activities director this fall after many years of coaching.

And his time as a coach has made a definite impact–right within his own family.

“Everything kind of started with Dad.”

“I coached boys basketball, girls basketball, baseball. I was the head girls basketball coach for several years,” said Mark Ambrose.

Fall is when a busy Ambrose had a break from coaching, and he and his kids would take in a Central football game.

“It was something we all looked forward to every Friday night,” he recalled.

The allure of those Friday night lights called to sons Drew and Jerred when they hit high school.

“Two years [of Central football], my junior and senior year,” said Jerred.

“We won conference my sophomore year and then made it to Round 3 of the playoffs,” said Drew.

Drew is the older of the two, and he stuck around the game helping coach the Central freshman while he was at UWL studying economics.

“I just thought this is going to be something to pass the time while finishing up school,” he said. “And eventually getting a job working in finance, I realized that’s not the life I wanted to be a part of. I didn’t want to sit in an office and cubicle all day.”

So he took after dad, got a teaching license, and went into coaching. Now, he’s at powerhouse Franklin in the Milwaukee area, leading a high-octane offense with a quarterback committed to the Badgers.

At age 24, Jerred is about 10 years younger than Drew, but after watching his older brother climb the coaching ranks, he was hooked.

“I’ve always been around the football program,” Jerred said. “Then I decided this is where I wanted to be, and follow in his footsteps.”

Jerred’s hoping to follow Drew in terms of offensive scheme, learning the ins and outs of the spread Franklin runs to be able to bring a different flavor of football to the Coulee Region.

“Some stuff that people around here don’t see very often.”

“You watch a college game on Saturdays, that’s what you’ll see,” Drew said. “I think the kids see that and they want to be a part of it.”

The pandemic actually helped that process, because Franklin played their season last fall while Central waited until spring. So both brothers got to watch each other’s games, and now talk more than they have in years.

“Probably on a daily basis I’d say we’re texting or calling each other, talking football,” said Drew.

In the last week they even got to coach together for one of Central’s contact days–a surreal experience for what is now a family of coaches.

“Watching him play when I was a little kid, I never would’ve thought this would ever happen, us be on the same field coaching,” Jerred said. “This is awesome.”