Hamilton Tiger Cats

Timm Rosenbach - Quarterback - 1994 - Washington State


 QUAD-CITY TIMES - Don Doxsie - 31-08-1999

Timm Rosenbach played five years in the National Football League.

In only his second season, he took every snap at quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals he was pulling in more than $1 million a year. He owned a 10-acre horse ranch near Gilbert, Ariz. He bought and operated his own charter fishing business in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

This was all just a few years ago. The guy was living a dream. He was on top of the world.

What do you suppose Rosenbach, now 32, is doing these days?

He's coaching the quarterbacks at St. Ambrose University.

Don't feel too sorry for him. He's doing what he wants to do.

"I enjoy getting around and seeing things and living different places ..." Rosenbach says. "It was time to get a new start and get out of Arizona, and get things going."

Jody Sears, one of Rosenbach's receivers during his college days at Washington State, is St. Ambrose's defensive coordinator. When Rosenbach got the urge to coach last winter after a few years of dabbling in private business, Sears put him in touch with Bees head coach Todd Sturdy and the school had a new assistant coach.

Rosenbach is one of those calm, look-you-in-the-eye, down-to-earth, give-it-to-you-straight kind of guys.

But it wasn't that long ago that he was pretty mixed up.

He came out of Washington State in 1989 and made an immediate impact with the Cardinals. In 1990, the club didn't use another quarterback all season. It didn't need to. Rosenbach was sensational. He passed for 3,098 yards and 16 touchdowns, rushed for more yardage than any other QB except Randall Cunningham, and played with a cocksure panache reminiscent of Jim McMahon.

But that reckless style got him in trouble. He sat out the 1991 season after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery. Then, in the opening game of the '92 season, he was leveled by Tampa Bay's Santana Dotson. When he regained consciousness, he was in a hospital X-ray room.

It was an eye-opening experience in more ways than one.

The next week, he suffered a separated shoulder and the injuries began to pile up. At the end of the season, he stunned observers by retiring from football. He didn't even tell the Cardinals he was leaving. There was just a quick call from his agent. He ducked all inquiries from the team and the media.

"I was banged up and I wasn't into it mentally," Rosenbach says. "I needed to get away from the game and reflect on it, see how I felt about it. I had to get a new attitude is what I needed to do ...

"I was in a situation where I was battling my head and I didn't feel comfortable with what was going on with the Cardinals and I made a decision. I don't know if I'd make the same decision today or not. But I can't really look back on it like that. I've just got to learn from what I've done."

It didn't even matter at the time that he had a year remaining on a five-year, $5.3-million contract.

"It cost me some money," he says. "But the bottom line is that if you can't play for the love of the game, you shouldn't be playing."

He says his abrupt retirement wasn't motivated completely by injuries. When he finally did do a few interviews in 1993, he referred to football as "dehumanizing." He told New York Times columnist Ira Berkow that he sensed he was turning into "an animal."

"I didn't like the pro game," he says, looking back at those confused days "The pro game takes away from the game when you're involved in it to a certain point. I was young. I was maturing but I hadn't reached my full maturity."

Rosenbach went into semi-seclusion. He married Carrie Serrano in a cowboy style wedding on his ranch. He re-enrolled at Washington State with the idea of finishing his degree.

But he couldn't get football out of his system.

Within two years, he was back playing with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. The team was terrible and its financial situation was worse. When Rosenbach didn't get paid, he left.

He caught on with the New Orleans Saints and whipped himself into the best shape of his life. But another injury, this time to his back, finally ended his playing career.

In the ensuing years, Rosenbach operated his fishing business in Mexico, got divorced (he lost the ranch in the settlement), and found himself yearning to become involved in football in some capacity.

His father had coached at the high school, junior college and Division I-AA levels, but Rosenbach never thought he'd end up in the profession. It took some time and soul-searching to discover this is what he wanted to do.

"It's in my blood, I guess," he says.

So here he is, in Davenport, Iowa. He's taking courses through Western Illinois University to complete that bachelor's degree while he's teaching kids how to play a game he once denounced.

"It's a violent sport and I've come to grips with that," he says. "I understand that. But coaching the quarterback position is so much more than just coaching football. It's a cerebral thing and it's a lot of fun."

He has been here since March and hasn't been through a full-scale Midwest winter yet, but he likes the Quad-Cities so far.

"I'm back to real people now," he says. "These people are genuine out here and I enjoy that."


July 9, 1994 Hamilton 11 @ Edmonton 26

QB Timm Rosenbach was inconsistent under constant pressure from the Edmonton defence and completed only 9 of 21 passes for 101 and 1 interception.

 July 28, 1994 Ottawa 53 @ Hamilton 25

QB Timm Rosenbach threw his first CFL TD when he hit Ken Evraire on a 43 yard pass ad run play.


excerpt Toronto Star - Sept 20, 1994 - Rick Matsumoto

A meagre crowd of 11,248 showed up for Saturday's game at Ivor Wynne Stadium, which the Ticats ended up losing 38-21 to the Blue Bombers.

On the heels of that loss, the Ticats released quarterback Timm Rosenbach yesterday a move that will probably save them more than $115,000 of his 1994 salary of $300,000 and the $1 million they would have had to pay him had he returned next season.

"All I was told was our playoff chances looked dim, the money wasn't there and it was a struggle to make payroll," said Rosenbach, who formerly played in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals. "When you make cutbacks, (high salaries) is where you go.

"I really didn't expect it because I thought that time (for being released) had passed" Rosenbach said. "It's a little difficult to take because I've never been handed something like this before."

-- statistics --



Timm Rosenbach     Washington State
Yr Team Att Cmp Yds Pct. TD Int Lg
1994 Ham 294 155 2,083 52.7 10 10 69
Total 1 294 155 2,083 52.7 10 10 69


Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
1994 Ham 28 160 5.7 21 3
Total 1 28 160 5.7 21 3


-- NFL --



Yr Team Att Cmp Yds Pct. TD Int Lg
1989 Pho 22 9 95 40.9 0 1 24
1990 Pho 437 237 3,098 54.2 16 17 68
1992 Pho 92 49 483 53.3 0 6 45
Total 3 551 295 3,676 53.5 16 24 68


Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
1989 Pho 6 26 4.3 8 0
1990 Pho 86 470 5.5 25 3
1992 Pho 9 11 1.2 10 0
Total 3 101 507 5.0 84 3