-- Retirement hasn't changed Bobby Ross much.

He's waiting for the same pre-game goose bumps he always felt in his years of coaching college and pro football. He's reverted to his old coaching habits and is relishing the time spent with his new players, starting at 5:45 a.m. and often putting in 16- or 17-hour days.

"I'm approaching things pretty much the same," Ross said. "My wife said, 'You have to learn to pace yourself.' And I'm not doing that. I'm not that smart. I need to work hard and I try to be real detail-conscious."

Ross was lured out of retirement last December to try to revive an Army team that set an NCAA record for futility last year in losing all of its 13 games. The academy fired Todd Berry in October with the team at 5-35 in his four seasons. John Mumford acted as interim coach, going 0-7 after replacing Berry.

Ross hasn't coached since 2000, when he quit the Detroit Lions after nine games. His Chargers lost their only Super Bowl appearance, 49-26, to the San Francisco 49ers. His NFL record was 77-68.

Ross, 67, spent 15 years as a college coach, including stints with The Citadel (1973-77), Maryland (1982-86) and Georgia Tech (1987-91). His national champion Georgia Tech team went 11-0-1 in 1990, sharing the title with Colorado. His college record was 94-76-2.

Ross says he has missed the competition and camaraderie of football, as well as the chance to help young players develop, on and off the field.

"I'm enjoying it here and I'm enjoying these players," he said. "The wild-eyed excitement they show is fun to me. And they really do care."