Coaching Search – University of Colorado


December 5th

Mel Tucker named CU head coach 

Related … “Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker to take over as Colorado’s next head coach” … from CBS Sports

Press release from …  Mel Tucker, who has spent the last three years as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at the University of Georgia, has been named the 26th full-time head football coach at the University of Colorado, athletic director Rick George announced Wednesday.

George has proposed that CU’s Board of Regents approve a five-year deal for Tucker worth $14.75 million of which the first-year salary would be $2.4 million and then increase by $275,000 annually, not including additional pay if any of several incentives in the contract are met.  The Regents must approve Tucker’s contract, which campus leaders hope to present for their consideration at their Dec. 12 special meeting in Denver.

Tucker will begin work immediately and will not coach Georgia in the Sugar Bowl against Texas on New Year’s Day.

“Colorado has always been a place that I thought should be relevant in the national championship conversation year-in and year-out, because of its tradition and a seemingly endless list of what the school has to offer,” Tucker said.  “What we have to offer are some of the best facilities in the country, strong academics, and an amazing environment as a whole.  Colorado should be a ‘no excuse’ program.  There’s absolutely no reason we can’t achieve success at an extremely high level.

“I can remember when Colorado was dominant with players like Kordell Stewart, Rashaan Salaam, Chris Hudson, Darian Hagan, Alfred Williams and others,” Tucker continued.  “Colorado always had difference makers and was very dynamic on both sides of the ball.  That’s the imprint instilled in my mind when it came to CU.  My plan is to continue to restore that tradition and make sure that Colorado once again becomes an elite national program.  There’s not a better place in America to live, to coach and go to school.”

Tucker, 46, replaces Mike MacIntyre, who was dismissed as CU’s head coach on Nov. 18 with one game remaining in the season; quarterback coach Kurt Roper was named interim head coach for the finale at Cal, and the Buffaloes went on to finish the 2018 season with a 5-7 record.

“If you go back last month when I talked about what I wanted in our next head coach, you’ll find that Mel checks all those boxes,” George said.  “He has great experience and a terrific pedigree; I like the way he coaches football, his toughness and accountability.  Those are the things we were looking for.

“We didn’t say we were looking for a specific name or sitting head coach,” George continued, confirming that he approached Tucker to first gauge his interest in the position, which was immediate.  “He’s a great recruiter, just look at the No. 1 draft picks he’s recruited and signed.  That’s important.  Mel is someone who will relate to the players and is a well-organized, strong administrator.  He played the game, he went to Wisconsin and was an accomplished player who had a shot to go to the NFL.

“Nick Saban hired him three times for a reason; the guy’s really good.  People will love him.  He’s a family guy and integrity is really important to him.”

            Tucker is not the first to be hired at Colorado with no previous collegiate head coaching experience, though he does have five games in the National Football League as an interim head coach.  In the modern era (post-World War II), he joins an impressive list in Dal Ward (1948), Sonny Grandelius (1959), Eddie Crowder (1963), Bill McCartney(1982), Rick Neuheisel (1995) and Jon Embree (2011) as full-time coaches who were previously assistants.  McCartney, of course, went on to become CU’s all-time winningest coach with a 93-55-5 record over 13 seasons, and all but Embree had winning records.

Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano, who also serves on the board of directors for the NCAA (Division I) and the Pac-12 Conference, praised George for finding such a dynamic head coach to lead the Buffs.

“I want to thank Rick George for his outstanding work and leadership in our athletics program,” DiStefano said.  “I also want to thank the student-athletes in the football program for the way they have handled this transition.  I have no doubt Coach Tucker will have an immediate positive impact on our football program and our university.  Together as Buffs, we will continue to build our football program on the field and in the classroom.”

Tucker enjoyed a tremendous run at Georgia, where he was instrumental in the Bulldogs compiling a 32-9 record along with winning the school’s first Southeastern Conference championship in 12 years when UGA defeated Auburn in the league’s 2017 title game.  One of the staff’s top recruiters, ranked him as the No. 14 recruiter in the nation based off the class he helped UGA sign ahead of the 2018 season.

Georgia’s defense is currently ranked in the top 25 in several key categories, most notably in total defense (13th, 311.2 yards allowed per game), passing defense (15th, 180.5 per game) and scoring defense (15th, 18.5 points per outing).

            In last Saturday’s SEC Championship game in which Alabama rallied to win, 35-28, his Bulldog defense held the Crimson Tide scoreless in the first quarter for the first time all season, forced a UA season-high four three-and-outs (in 12 possessions) and held its Heisman Trophy candidate, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, to a season-worst 92.3 rating.  His defenses were dialed in on third down, as the Tide was 8-of-25 in the last two games against UGA, dating back to the 2018 national championship game which Alabama also rallied to win, 26-23, in overtime.

In 2017, Tucker was part of the UGA staff that led the Bulldogs to a school record-tying 13 victories, along with the school’s first SEC championship since 2005 and first appearances in the College Football Playoff (and victory, which was over Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl/CFP semifinal game) and in the College Football Playoff Championship game.  Georgia’s defense finished second in the SEC and sixth nationally in both scoring defense (16.4 ppg) and in total defense (294.9 ypg), while also finishing second in the conference in rushing defense.  One of his players, Roquan Smith, won the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker.

In his first year at UGA, Tucker guided a Bulldog defense that ranked among the nation’s top 20 units in total defense, passing defense, turnovers gained and first down defense.

Tucker was named UGA defensive coordinator and secondary coach in January 2016, just days after winning a national championship with Alabama (which defeated Clemson 45-40 in the CFP title game).  He spent that 2015 season serving as assistant head coach and defensive backs coach for the Crimson Tide, the third time he was hired by Nick Saban.

Saban gave Tucker his start in the coaching profession in 1997 when he hired him as a graduate assistant at Michigan State.  He spent two seasons there, working with the defensive backs directly under another highly successful collegiate head coach in Mark Dantonio, who eventually would be named the Spartans’ head coach.

Tucker spent the 1999 season as defensive backs coach at Miami (Ohio) under Coach Terry Hoeppner.  In 2000, Tucker returned to work with Saban at Louisiana State for one season before joining Jim Tressel’s staff at Ohio State for the next four years (2001-04).  While in Columbus, the Buckeyes went 14-0 in 2002 and won the BCS National Championship in a thrilling overtime win over Miami, Fla.  In his last season there, Tucker was elevated to co-defensive coordinator.  At Ohio State, he recruited four players who would eventually be first round NFL Draft selections and the 2006 Heisman Trophy winner, quarterback Troy Smith.

In 2005, an opportunity emerged for him to coach in the National Football League with his hometown Cleveland Browns.  The team’s new head coach, Romeo Crennel, had come over from his duties as New England’s defensive coordinator and hired Tucker to coach the secondary.  After three seasons tutoring the Browns’ defensive backs, he was promoted to defensive coordinator.  In that 2008 season, the Browns were second in the NFL with 23 interceptions and ranked 16th in scoring defense (21.9 points per game).  For his four seasons overall with Cleveland, the Browns ranked fifth in the league with 73 interceptions, seventh in passing yards allowed and gave up the fourth-fewest completions of 25-plus yards.

Tucker moved on to the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2009, when Jack Del Rio hired him as his defensive coordinator and secondary coach; the following two years, he strictly coordinated the defense while consulting at all positions (called “walk arounds”).  Near the end of his third year with the Jaguars, he was promoted to interim head coach for the final five games in 2011 after Del Rio was dismissed; he coached Jacksonville to 2-3 record to end the season.  Despite the team owning an overall 5-11 record, the Jags were sixth in the league in total defense that season, surrendering just 313 yards per game.  He would return as the Jaguars assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the 2012 season under Mike Mularkey.

He was hired by Chicago Bear head coach Marc Trestman in 2013, where he would spend his last two seasons in the pro ranks.  In all, he worked 10 years in the NFL, including seven as a defensive coordinator.

A 1995 graduate of the University of Wisconsin with his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business Management, he was a member of the first recruiting class for Coach Barry Alvarez.  He lettered three times at both cornerback and safety from 1990-94 and was on the Badgers’ 1993 Big Ten champion team that defeated UCLA in the Rose Bowl, 21-16.  As a sophomore, he made a game-saving hit in the end zone with time running out that preserved a 19-16 win at Minnesota; as a senior, he played the Buffaloes in Boulder, though UW left town with a 55-17 loss to a CU team that would finish No. 3 in the nation.  He had 47 tackles and four pass deflections in his career (he his junior season after breaking a leg in fall camp).

Tucker was a member of Alvarez’ first recruiting class at Wisconsin, and remains close to this day with several teammates who have gone on to make their marks in college athletics, including Troy Vincent (the NFL executive vice president for football operations), Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts general manager), Darrell Bevell (longtime NFL offensive coordinator with Minnesota and Seattle), Joe Rudolph (Wisconsin’s associate head coach and offensive coordinator) and Duer Sharp (former commissioner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference).

“All of Mel’s experience as a player and coach will serve him well in Boulder,” George said.  “We want to consistently compete for and win championships.  There’s no learning curve with Mel.  He’s been in the business.  We want to consistently win, graduate our student-athletes and help them make that next step in their lives.  We brought him in because we have a great freshman and sophomore class, and another solid recruiting class in the works.  We brought him here to win now, and I truly believe Mel will make us a winner next year.”

“When I think about Colorado, I distinctly remember when I was on the sideline with Wisconsin and saw Ralphie run out and in front of our sideline,” Tucker recalled.  “The excitement and passion of the crowd in the stadium is something that has always remained with me.

“I’m excited, my family is excited and we’ve been associated with some very good programs, winning national championships at Ohio State and Alabama with a lot of success elsewhere along the way.  There’s no reason we can’t experience the same at Colorado.  It is a sleeping giant.”

He was born Melvin Tucker II on Jan. 4, 1972 in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from Cleveland Heights High School, where he was an all-state performer in football and an all-conference basketball player (the Cleveland Plain Dealer twice named him to its all-scholastic team).  He is married to the former JoEllyn Haynesworth, who earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois and her law degree from Rutgers University.   The couple has two sons born on the same day (Feb. 18) two years apart, Joseph (16) and Christian (14).

AT-A-GLANCE—He has coached in 130 Division I-A (FBS) games as a full-time coach, his teams owning a record of 101-29 which include 10 bowl games (2000 Peach, 2002 Outback, 2003 Fiesta/BCS National Championship, 2004 Fiesta, 2004 Alamo, 2015 Cotton/CFP Semifinal, 2016 CFP title game, 2016 Liberty, 2018 Rose/CFP Semifinal, 2018 CFP/National Championship).  He coached 160 games in the National Football League (64 with Cleveland, 64 with Jacksonville, 32 with Chicago).

NFL FIRST ROUNDERS—Tucker has coached five NFL first round draft picks along with recruiting four others:

Coached: CB Chris Gamble (Ohio State; No. 28 overall pick by Carolina, 2004 Draft); CB Donte Whitner (Ohio State; No. 6, Buffalo, 2006);

  CB Marlon Humphrey (Alabama; No. 16, Baltimore, 2017); S Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama; No. 11, Miami, 2018);

  LB Roquan Smith (Georgia; No. 8, Chicago, 2018)

Recruited: WR Ted Ginn, Jr. (Ohio State; No. 9, Miami, 2007); WR Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio State; No. 32, Indianapolis, 2007);

  CB Vernon Gholston (Ohio State; No. 6, N.Y. Jets, 2008); CB/S Malcolm Jenkins (Ohio State; No. 14, New Orleans, 2009).


1997-98                       Michigan State              Graduate Assistant (defense)

1999                             Miami, Ohio                  Defensive Backs

2000                             Louisiana State             Defensive Backs

2001-03                       Ohio State                     Defensive Backs

2004                             Ohio State                     Co-Defensive Coordinator/ Defensive Backs

2005-07                       Cleveland (NFL)             Defensive Backs

2008                             Cleveland (NFL)             Defensive Coordinator

2009                             Jacksonville (NFL)         Defensive Coordinator/Secondary

2010-11                       Jacksonville (NFL)         Defensive Coordinator

2011                             Jacksonville (NFL)         Interim Head Coach

2012                             Jacksonville (NFL)         Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator

2013-14                       Chicago (NFL)               Defensive Coordinator

2015                             Alabama                       Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Backs

2016-18                       Georgia Defensive          Coordinator/Secondary


Lawrence Vickers                                 Cleveland Browns (2006-08)      Former Buff Vickers (’05) was drafted by the Browns and spent three years on the team when Tucker was on the coaching staff.

Brian Iwuh                                            Jacksonville Jaguars (2009)       Former Buff Iwuh (’05) spent one season on the Jaguars roster.

Terrence Wheatley                               Jacksonville Jaguars (2010)       Former Buff Wheatley (’07) spent one season on the Jaguars roster.

Toney Clemons                                     Jacksonville Jaguars (2012)       Former Buff Clemons (’11) spent part of one season on the Jaguars roster.

Eric Kiesau                                           Alabama (2015)          Kiesau was on the CU staff for Dan Hawkins (2006-10) and was an analyst on the Alabama staff with Tucker.

John Wooten                                        CU (1955-58)                Father (Mel Tucker) is long-time good friend of Wooten and the family.

Wilmer Cooks                                       CU (1964-67)               Father (Mel Tucker) is long-time good friend of Cooks and the family.

Quotable Quotes – What others are saying about Mel Tucker

Press Release from

NICK SABAN – University of Alabama Head Coach (2007-present)
“I’ve known Mel for well over 20 years and he is one of the brightest coaches in our profession.  I think he will do an outstanding job as the head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes.  They are getting a guy with a great personality, who knows college football, works hard each and every day, and does it with a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and positive energy.”

 KIRBY SMART – University of Georgia Head Football Coach (2016-present)
“When I came to Georgia in December of 2015, one of my top priorities was to bring Mel Tucker in as defensive coordinator.  He is an exceptional coach, coordinator and trusted friend.  He has a great combination of college experience, time in the NFL and has been a remarkable mentor to our players. Mel has been one of the major influences in the success we have had and we will certainly miss him.  But I look forward to following his career and the opportunity he has at Colorado.”

BARRY ALVAREZ – Wisconsin Athletic Director (Tucker’s Head Coach, 1990-94)
“Mel was a part of my first recruiting class at Wisconsin and helped us turn the program around.  He is an outstanding individual and a really good football person.  His background, the people and the programs he has worked for and the success he’s been a part of is very impressive.  He’s been successful at both the NFL and college level.  He is truly a quality individual and the people at Colorado are going to love Mel.”

ROMEO CRENNEL – Houston Texans Defensive Coordinator / Cleveland Browns (2005-08)
“Congratulations to Mel Tucker and the Colorado Buffaloes on a fantastic hire.  Mel is a great coach with a proven track record of success, but he’s also a tremendous person with a great family that will represent the university with nothing but class.  I look forward to seeing the program he will build at Colorado and wish him the best of luck.”

JIM TRESSEL – Ohio State Head Coach (2001-10)
Mel Tucker is a special communicator, a family man, and a superb football coach. The Buffalo Football Family will thrive under Mel’s leadership. A man with high expectations for himself and his student-athletes, Colorado Football will enjoy a terrific recruiter, football strategist, and an “all-in” member of the community. (ALL GOOD WISHES, Coach Mel!”);

Read more quotes on Tucker here


Daily Camera: Tucker announcement expected today

From the Daily Camera … Mel Tucker will be officially announced later today as the new head football coach at Colorado.

Sources have informed that CU and Tucker finalized a deal late Tuesday night. Terms of the deal have not been released.

Tucker, who will become the 26th full-time head coach in CU football history, replaces Mike MacIntyre, who was fired Nov. 18 with one game left in his sixth season with the Buffaloes.

For the past three seasons, Tucker, 46, has been the defensive coordinator at Georgia. Throughout his coaching career, he has worked at the highest levels of college football, as well as in the National Football League, but this will be his first full-time head coaching job.

Tucker’s only experience as a head coach came in 2011, when he led the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars for five games as interim coach. He has reportedly interviewed for college head coaching jobs during the past few offseasons, including at Tennessee a year ago.

Continue reading story here

Mic’ed up – Mel Tucker at Georgia practice

From YouTube …

SEC Fans broadcast: Impact of Mel Tucker

From YouTube:


December 4th

Football Scoop: CU and Mel Tucker have reached an agreement

Related … “CU Buffs closing in on deal with Mel Tucker as new football coach” … from the Daily Camera

From Football Scoop … Source tells FootballScoop Tuesday afternoon Colorado officials and Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker have reached agreement making Tucker the new head coach at Colorado.

Tucker has spent the last few seasons learning under some of the best defensive-minded coaches in college football. Before becoming the defensive coordinator under Kirby Smart at Georgia, Mel was the assistant head coach and defensive backs coach under Nick Saban at Alabama for a season. Before heading to Tuscaloosa, Tucker was in the NFL calling the shots on defense, spending two seasons as the defensive coordinator for the Bears, and a few seasons before that for the Jacksonville Jaguars, including a stint as the interim head coach in 2011.

Sources tell FootballScoop Tucker has been working on adding staff. Will update once more is clear.


December 3rd

“Mel Tucker Is A Steal For The University Of Colorado”

Note The author doesn’t have any extra insights as to when or if CU will hire Mel Tucker, but, if Tucker is coming to Boulder, the article will get you more excited about Tucker as CU’s next head coach … 

From J.R. Gamble of The Shadow League … Colorado has found the football mind that will lead the Buffaloes into a new era.

Mel Tucker, 46, replaces Mike MacIntyre, who was fired near the end of last season. MacIntyre had a brutal six-year stretch where he had a 30-45 record and just one winning season.

Colorado is getting a pro ready coach. If Tucker thought the microscope on him was intense during his brief 5-game stint as an NFL head coach back in 2011, then he has to know it won’t be much different as one of the few Black D-1 college coaches at a major university.

… In addition to his years of high pressure NFl experience, Tucker is known as a supreme recruiter on the college level. His recruiting has played a huge role in Georgia closing the gap on Alabama as far as talent is concerned.

Tucker was key in landing five-star cornerback Tyson Campbell, four-star cornerback Divaad Wilson and others from the South Florida area in the 2017 class, one that ranked No. 1 in the nation per the industry-generated 247Sports Composite Team Rankings.

Colorado was once considered a Top 10 powerhouse in the nation, winning 10 or more games five times from 1989 to 1998 under Bill MCcartney and then Rick Neuheisel. The program has been on the decline ever since and have won 10 games just once in the last 18 years.

The hiring of Mel Tucker, with all that he brings to the program, is a definite step in the right direction.

Continue reading story here

“Ten thoughts on Mel Tucker’s potential departure from Georgia to Colorado” 

From The Athletic

Here are 10 thoughts on Tucker’s potential departure, including the recruiting impact, potential replacements and the job Tucker has done at Georgia the past three years:

1. This was only a matter of time. Tucker has the résumé of a head coach: nine years as an NFL defensive coordinator, including a short stint as interim head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, assistant on two national championship teams at the college level — Ohio State (2002) and Alabama (2015) — and he’s worked for Jim Tressel, Nick Saban and Smart. He also has worked alongside plenty of other future head coaches, such as Mark Dantonio when the pair was at Ohio State.

2. Tressel, when I spoke to him a little over a week ago, predicted Tucker would be elevated soon: “Mel’s a special guy. He’ll be a head coach one day.” It didn’t take long, as it turns out. “The kids really respond to him,” Tressel said of Tucker. “Mel was the kind of guy that just instilled confidence in our guys. And he had high expectations, just like I’m sure he does (now).”

Continue reading story here

Dawg Nation: No confirmation, but “apparently” Tucker is leaving Georgia

Note … FWIWCU AD Rick George and Associate AD Lance Carl are scheduled to be in New York for meetings Monday and Tuesday. Sunday night, Lance posted on Facebook how excited he and his family were to be in New York for a performance of Wicked. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t progress being made towards announcing a new coach, just that we’re not likely to hear anything official today … 

From DawgNation … Seeing how Georgia just got through playing a scintillating SEC Championship Game, then there was the College Football Playoff selection process, then the bowl bids, I haven’t had a chance to weigh in just yet on the news that Mel Tucker is on the way out the door.


That’s according to a bunch of reports out of Colorado, where the Buffaloes are searching for a successor for Mike McIntyre as head coach. McIntyre was fired back in November after the Buffaloes lost their sixth game in a row following a 5-0 start. They finished 5-7 and McIntyre finished 30-44 in six seasons.

A bunch of folks citing sources say Tucker could be announced as the new Colorado coach as early as today. My source, Mel Tucker, hasn’t yet confirmed that to me. But whether it’s Colorado or not, all signs point to him leaving Georgia this year.

And that’s a blow. It’s not one that the Bulldogs didn’t expect.

Continue reading story here


December 2nd

Dawgs247: Barring a last-minute setback, Tucker will become CU’s next head coach

From Dawgs247 … Multiple sources have told Dawgs247 in the last 24 hours that Tucker is set to take the head coaching position at the University of Colorado barring a last-minute setback. That announcement could come as early as Monday according to one trusted source.

Tucker has been considered for a Power Five head coaching gig in recent years. The Georgia defensive coordinator reportedly received some interest from Tennessee athletic director Phillip Fulmer about the Tennessee job last December. Ultimately, Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt landed the job there.

His name has been mentioned in connection with vacancies at Maryland and Louisville this season as well.

… Before the SEC Championship game on Saturday, Colorado released a statement in which it denied that CU athletic director Rick George offered the position to anyone.

“Rick has not offered the head coaching position to anyone at this point,” the statement began, adding, “[H]e is still in the discussion and evaluation stages and won’t make a decision on a final candidate until early next week.”

Even with that statement, 247Sports still is hearing that Tucker is set to be the next head coach in Boulder.

It is unclear at this time if Tucker will stay on and coach Georgia’s next game. If it’s the Sugar Bowl, there’s a chance Tucker could go ahead and move on. If the Bulldogs sneak into the College Football Playoff, there’s a strong chance that Tucker could stay on with the Bulldogs like Smart did at Alabama after taking the UGA job. Former UGA outside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer did the same in 2017 after taking the defensive coordinator position at Tennessee.

… Continue reading story here …


December 1st

CU Press Release: “Rick has not offered the head coaching position to anyone”

Press release from CU Sports Information Director Dave Plati: “Rick (George) has not offered the head coaching position to anyone at this point; he is still in the discussion and evaluation stages and won’t make a decision on a final candidate until early next week.”

Reports: Georgia defensive coordinator to be named CU’s 26th head football coach

Program Note … This afternoon – when it is expected the University of Colorado will announce its choice for its new head coach, look for a new essay here at CU at the Game: “Getting to Know Mel Tucker” …

Related … “Georgia DC Mel Tucker expected to be named Colorado coach” ... from ESPN

Related … Tweet from Bruce Feldman, Fox Sports … “As we reported yesterday on FOX #UGA DC Mel Tucker is the front runner for the #CU head coaching job. Sources telling me he’s expected to be the next Buffs coach. Rivals was first to report the move”

Related … Tweet from Pete Thamel, Yahoo Sports … “Expect Georgia DC Mel Tucker and Alabama OC Mike Locksley to be on the move after the SEC title game. Sources tell @YahooSports that Tucker is the top candidate at Colorado and Locksley has emerged as the favorite at Maryland” … 

From the Daily Camera … Colorado’s search for a head football coach appears to be almost over.

Late Friday night, multiple reports said that the Buffaloes are nearing a deal to hire Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker as the 26th full-time head coach in CU history.

CU has yet to announce the hiring or confirm the reports.

Tucker will coach the Georgia defense on Saturday in the SEC championship game. The No. 4 Bulldogs (11-1) will take on No. 1 Alabama (12-0).

A veteran of more than 20 years of coaching, Tucker, 46, has never been a full-time head coach, but has worked at the highest levels of college football, as well as in the National Football League.

Tucker was part of a Rose Bowl victory as a player at Wisconsin in 1993. As a coach, he has been a part of two national championship teams — Ohio State in 2002 and Alabama in 2015 — and helped Georgia reach the national championship game a year ago.

Continue reading story here


November 30th

School Bios for coordinator candidates for CU head coach

— Mel Tucker, Georgia defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach

From Georgia Athletics … Mel Tucker, assistant head coach and defensive backs coach at the University of Alabama and former NFL defensive coordinator, was named UGA defensive coordinator and secondary coach on January 12, 2016.

Tucker was part of a 2017 staff that led the Bulldogs to a record-tying 13 victories, first SEC championship since 2005, first appearance in the College Football Playoff, first appearance (and victory over Oklahoma) in the Rose Bowl CFP semi-final game, and first appearance in the College Football Playoff Championship Game.  Georgia’s defense finished second in the SEC and 6th nationally in Scoring Defense (16.4 ppg), 2nd in the SEC and 6th nationally in Total Defense (294.9 ypg), and 2nd in the SEC in Rushing Defense.

In his first year at UGA, Tucker guided a Bulldog defense that ranked among the nation’s top 20 units in the following categories:  total defense, passing defense, turnovers gained, and first down defense.

Tucker joined Nick Saban’s staff at Michigan State as a graduate assistant in 1997. After two years there, he went to work as a defensive backs coach at Miami (Ohio) for one season in 1999. In 2000, Tucker returned to work with Saban at LSU for one season before going to Ohio State for a four-year stint (2001-04). The Buckeyes went 14-0 in 2002 and won the BCS National Championship. Tucker was elevated to co-defensive coordinator in 2004.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Tucker attended Cleveland Heights High School where he was a football standout and earned a scholarship to Wisconsin. He was a four-year letterman at defensive back for the Badgers and graduated in 1995.

Tucker’s wife, JoEllyn, earned her undergraduate degree at Illinois and her law degree from Rutgers. The couple has two sons: Joseph (15) and Christian (13).

1997–1998Michigan State (GA)
1999Miami (OH) (DB)
2000LSU (DB)
2001–2003Ohio State (DB)
2004Ohio State (Co-DC)
2005–2007Cleveland Browns (DB)
2008Cleveland Browns (DC)
2009–2011Jacksonville Jaguars (DC)
2011Jacksonville Jaguars (interim HC)
2012Jacksonville Jaguars (AHC/DC)
2013–2014Chicago Bears (DC)
2015Alabama (AHC/DB)
2016–presentGeorgia (DC/DB)

— Jimmy Lake, Washington defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach

From Washington Athletics … Jimmy Lake begins his first season as the Huskies’ Defensive Coordinator after serving as Co-Defensive Coordinator for the last two seasons. He will also oversee the defensive backs, a position group that Lake has developed as one of the best not only in the Pac-12, but in the nation over his first four years at UW.

In 2017, the Huskies led the Pac-12 in both total defense (eighth nationally) and scoring defense (fifth nationally) and were the national leader in fewest yards allowed per completion (9.42), thanks largely to the defensive backs unit coached by Lake. Sophomore Taylor Rapp earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors, the fifth from Lake’s unit honored with first team honors over the last three seasons.

In 2016, Lake helped coach a Husky defense that once again topped all Pac-12 defenses as the Dawgs went 12-2 and earned a trip to the College Football Playoff. The Dawgs led the conference in both total defense (316.9 yards per game, 12th in the nation) and scoring defense (17.7 points per game, eighth) in the nation, while also leading all FBS schools in turnover margin (1.29 per game) and takeaways (33). Washington was also first in the conference in first downs allowed and third down conversion defense, while finishing second in red zone defense, rushing defense and sacks.

The UW secondary helped the Dawgs lead the conference and finish eighth in the country in interceptions. Budda Baker and Sidney Jones both earned first-team All-Pac-12 while Kevin King earned honorable mention. Baker was a consensus All-America pick while Jones was a first-team All-America and a second-team selection from the Football Writers and Sports Illustrated. Additionally, freshman safety Taylor Rapp was the Pac-12’s defensive freshman of the year, the MVP of the Pac-12 Championship Game and a freshman All-America.

In 2015, the Husky defense led the Pac-12 in scoring defense, total defense and red-zone defense and finished second in both pass efficiency defense and rushing defense. Two Husky sophomores Baker and Jones, both earned first-team All-Pac-12. Jones led the conference in passes defended and was in the top five in interceptions, fumbles forced and fumbles recovered.

Lake and wife, Michele, have three children: Jimmy, Jr., Faith and Bronson.

• 2018 – Washington – Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
• 2016-2017 – Washington – Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
• 2014-2015 – Washington – Defensive Backs
• 2012-2013 – Boise State – Defensive Backs/Passing Game Coordinator
• 2010-2011 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Defensive Backs
• 2008 – Detroit Lions – Defensive Backs
• 2006-2007 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Assistant Defensive Backs Coach
• 2005 – Montana State – Secondary
• 2004 – Washington – Defensive Backs
• 2000-2003 – Eastern Washington – Secondary
• 1999 – Eastern Washington – Undergraduate Assistant

— Ryan Day, Ohio State offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach

From Ohio State athletics … Ryan Day, quarterbacks coach for the San Francisco 49ers in 2016 under Chip Kelly and in 2015 for the Philadelphia Eagles under Kelly, is in his second season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State. He is in his 17th season, overall, as a coach in the NFL or collegiate ranks.

Day made an immediate and positive contribution to the Ohio State coaching staff in his first season. His starting quarterback, J.T. Barrett, was a finalist for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback of the Year Award and he was named the Big Ten’s quarterback of the year after a season in which he set seven school single season records, including for touchdown passes (35), and he broke the Big Ten Conference single season and career records for touchdowns responsible for with 47 and 147, respectively.

Additionally, Ohio State’s offense was fifth nationally in passing efficiency in 2017, sixth in scoring and eighth in total offense, plus it led the Big Ten in rushing, passing efficiency, scoring and total offense.

Day came to Ohio State with 15 seasons of coaching experience, including two years in the National Football League and 10 seasons as a Division I assistant coach. He coached receivers for a year under Al Golden at Temple (2006) and for five seasons at Boston College (2007-11). Day has three years of offensive coordinator experience working under Steve Addazio; in 2012 he ran the offense and coached receivers at Temple University and in 2013 and 2014 he was quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at Boston College. He started his coaching career in 2002 as tight ends coach at the University of New Hampshire.

Day also has experience working with Ohio State coach Urban Meyer; in 2005 he was a graduate assistant coach during Meyer’s first season with the Florida Gators.

Ryan Day Quick Facts
Hometown: Manchester, N.H.
High School: Manchester Central
Alma Mater: New Hampshire
Degree: Business administration
Year in Coaching: 17th (Second at Ohio State)
Wife: Christina
Children: Son Ryan Jr., and daughters Grace and Ourania

Tosh Lupoi, Alabama defensive coordinator

From Alabama athletics … Tosh Lupoi is in fourth season at the Capstone after joining head coach Nick Saban’s staff in 2015 as the outside linebackers coach. He added the title of co-defensive coordinator prior to the 2016 season and was promoted to defensive coordinator in February of 2018. He served as an analyst for the Crimson Tide during the 2014 season after spending the previous six years at California and Washington.

Lupoi had to replace a bevy of outside linebackers in 2017 and then had to overcome a rash of injuries. Anfernee Jennings and Jamey Mosley stepped to the forefront as starters on the outside while linebackers Rashaan Evans, Dylan Moses and Mack Wilson spent some time on the outside in passing situations. Jennings led the outside linebackers with 41 tackles and six tackles for loss. Terrell Lewis and Christian Miller made it back for the final three games of the season after suffering injuries in the opener against Florida State, providing a boost late in the season. Lewis added a key overtime sack in the come-from-behind win over Georgia in the CFP National Championship Game.

The 2017 defensive unit once again led the nation in scoring defense (11.9 ppg) and rushing defense (94.7 ypg). The Tide also ranked second nationally in total defense (260.4 ypg) and pass efficiency defense. Alabama allowed 10 points or fewer in nine of its 14 games with two shutouts and forced 24 turnovers.

In 2016, Lupoi helped coordinate a defense that led the nation in scoring (13.0 ppg) and rushing defense (63.9 ypg), while ranking second in total defense (261.8 ypg) and ninth in pass efficiency defense (106.47). The group also added a nation’s best 11 defensive touchdowns.

… Lupoi was the defensive line coach at California for four years, becoming the youngest full-time coach in Cal history when he joined the staff at the age of 26 in 2008. The Golden Bears led the Pac-12 in total defense in 2011, allowing just 332.9 yards per game. They were third in sacks that year with 34 and gave up the fewest first downs per game (17.4) and fewest passing yards per game (204.2). California also led the conference in defense and ranked among the top 25 nationally in per-game averages for sacks, total defense and pass defense.

The Rivals Recruiter of the Year in 2010, Lupoi helped sign California classes that ranked No. 11 nationally in 2011 and No. 14 in 2010. He developed multiple NFL draft picks during his tenure at Cal, including future first-round selections Cameron Jordan and Tyson Alualu.

As a player, Lupoi was a defensive lineman for Cal from 2000-05. He led the Bears’ defensive line in tackles in 2003 and earned Pac-10 All-Academic recognition in 2005. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in American studies in 2005 and completed coursework toward a master’s in education.

Lupoi played high school football at De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., one of the most successful programs in the history of prep football, where he earned all-state honors and won a national title. His father, John Lupoi, played collegiate football at Brigham Young and was later a part-time assistant coach at California. He is married to the former Jordan Pelluer.

Report: Ohio State offensive coordinator Ryan Day off the table

From 247Sports … Ryan Day will remain at Ohio State and is off the market to other teams, reports FootballScoop. In an update released Friday afternoon, FootballScoop reports that the Ohio State offensive coordinator, quarterback coach and one-time acting head coach has a “significant raise” coming his way to stay in Columbus.

FootballScoop also speculates that the move comes with an “unwritten understanding that he is in line to become head coach once Urban (Meyer) steps down.”

Regarding the consistent buzz and speculation surrounding Urban Meyer’s tenure at Ohio State, FootballScoop writes, “that the Ohio State head coach continues to contemplate his future on an ongoing basis, and we hear he has told Gene Smith that he doesn’t expect to continue to coach past the 2019 season. One source told us we should expect Urban to address this in the days following Saturday’s Big Ten Championship.”

Continue reading story here

Football Scoop – Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker emerging as leading candidate?

From Football Scoop … Clarity is beginning to emerge regarding Colorado’s search for their next head football coach.

Initially we heard this search cast a wide net. We understand Rick George and Lance Carl (CU assoc. AD) have spoken with a number of potential candidates, but of late the search seems to be narrowing down to defensive-minded candidates. Many coaches we have spoken with expected a defensive-minded coach to get the job in hopes that he would retain current co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini, who most feel is the key guy to keep in order to hold recruiting and the base together.

With that said, initially we were told Jim Leavitt’s departure from CU two years ago left a bad taste in Rick George’s mouth. While we understand that is the case, we also hear the two have discussed the job and have moved the relationship forward. Several CU powerbrokers believe Leavitt, a known quantity from his time there as defensive coordinator for Mac, is the right answer. However, George wants to sit down with Mel Tucker before making this decision we understand.

That leads us to Tucker, Georgia’s defensive coordinator and potentially the least well-known of the candidates to those in Colorado. Tucker has been with Kirby Smart since joining Nick Saban’s staff for the 2015 season, then followed Smart to Georgia as his defensive coordinator. Prior to joining Saban, Tucker had spent 10 seasons in the NFL most notably as defensive coordinator for the Browns, Jaguars and Bears. He also previously coached at LSU and Ohio State prior to his time in the NFL. Having spent some time with Tucker at Georgia, I can share he’s an extremely personable coach. Leadership is not something he is lacking. In speaking with a few coaches last night, phrases such as, “He is fantastic in home visits”; “Kids play so hard for him, they love him.”; and “Positive energy guy” were heard throughout the night. Tucker, we are told, is scheduled to visit with CU search leadership after the SEC Championship this weekend.




November 29th

Football Scoop – Three names being mentioned for CU head coaching position

From Football Scoop … Colorado: Leading candidates for the job are Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason and Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt, tweets Pete Thamel.

Here’s the Tweet from Pete Thamel, a national reporter for Yahoo Sports  … “Quick update on the Colorado search. Three names keep coming up — Georgia DC Mel Tucker, Vandy coach Derek Mason and Oregon DC Jim Leavitt. Rick George wanted to hire a defensive guy. Search has been steered that way”. 

But … Then there is this Brent Dougherty, a sports radio reporter in Nashville … “Vanderbilt football Coach Derek Mason was reportedly drawing interest from Colorado. He will not be going to Colorado. Derek Mason will remain at Vanderbilt”. 


November 27th

Colorado head coaching job drawing interest from the state of Tennessee?

From SB Nation … Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason is drawing attention at Colorado, both for his extensive Pac-12 experience (the Phoenix native spent four years as an assistant at Stanford) and his defensive acumen.

Other names connected to CU are Jim Leavitt (Colorado’s DC during its surprise 2016 success), Utah State’s Matt Wells, and former Tennessee head coach Butch Jones.

… Which brought about the following …

Related … “Derek Mason to Colorado? Vanderbilt football coach answers speculation about job” … from The Tennessean 

… and … From AtoZ Sports Nashville … It’s understandable why Mason is drawing attention for the Buffaloes job.

Mason has done a nice job at Vanderbilt. After winning only seven games during his first two seasons in Nashville, Mason has led the Commodores to bowl game appearances in two of their last three seasons. He also currently holds a three game winning streak over in-state rival Tennessee.

But while I understand Colorado’s potential interest in Mason, I’m not sure I would understand Mason’s interest in Colorado (if there is any).

Mason would be foolish to leave Vandy for Colorado. Right now, Mason is a well liked head coach among Commodores fans. And he’s achieved that popularity by winning six regular season games in two of the past three seasons. That’s not a huge bar to clear.

Continue reading story here


November 20th

Colorado coaching position has limitations … and advantages

From SB Nation … Colorado isn’t a good recruiting state. It produces two or three blue-chip prospects a year. Most of the states bordering it aren’t a lot better, and the one that’s best, Arizona, is a target for the big powers from California and Texas.

But a good thing that goes along with that: Colorado’s also not surrounded by elite recruiting teams. And it’s not that far from either California or Texas, which has helped previous CU staffs make inroads in both states.A lot of people love Denver, and Boulder has a great rep as a college town.

Nobody’s going to walk in and start signing top-10 classes. CU’s 43rd in two-year recruiting rank and 57th in five-year rank, near the bottom of the Power 5. But some confident coach could talk himself into being able to recruit in the upper half of the Pac-12 and field talented rosters. Wells, for one, already knows the area very well, and Holgorsen has deeper roots in the middle of the country than the East Coast.

The Pac-12 South is one of the most winnable divisions. USC is a blue-blood and should eventually stop being a train wreck, and UCLA will always have more talent than CU. But Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah are no better than recruiting peers to the Buffs.

Pretty much every team has a new or renovated football facility that’s 18 billion square feet and has urinals sculpted out of 18-karat gold. CU’s among those teams, having opened a new performance center and indoor practice field in the last three years.

Also helping Colorado: 2018’s a quiet coaching carousel year.

USC might fire Clay Helton, and maybe Auburn will fire Gus Malzahn. But there aren’t a lot of power gigs open. This year won’t be anything like the last two, which saw Texas, Florida, FSU, LSU, UCLA, Oregon (two times), Tennessee, Texas A&M, and Nebraska open. So Colorado AD Rick George has less competition in the marketplace.

A few more will open in the next week or two, but the only other unfilled Power 5 jobs right now are at scandal-plagued Maryland and at Louisville, which might already have its guy picked out.

Continue reading story here


November 19th

Jon Wilner: CU needs to find an identity with its next coach

From the San Jose Mercury News … Six thoughts and five names for Colorado’s coaching search:

1. Let the record state …

The program is in immensely better shape upon Mike MacIntyre’s departure than it was upon his arrival in 2012.

Back then, the Buffaloes were coming off seven consecutive losing seasons, had gone 3-15 in their two years in the Pac-12 and were several recruiting cycles away from a competitive roster.

MacIntyre’s rebuilding job, especially considering the recruiting challenges and facility situation at the time, was one of the finest of the Pac-10 or Pac-12 era.

2. Once you hit six years, it gets tough.

MacIntyre is the fourth Pac-12 South coach to be dismissed in the past 52 weeks, and all of ’em were cut loose after Year Six.

Jim Mora: division title in his first year, gone after six.
Todd Graham: division title in his second year, gone after six.
Rich Rodriguez: division title in his third year, gone after six.
MacIntyre: division title in his fourth year, gone after six.

The early/mid-tenure success is difficult to sustain — those aren’t blue bloods, after all — the message gets stale, the losses mount, and the instruments for course correction lose their efficacy.

Continue reading story here

Pluses and minuses of CU coaching position

From The Athletic … Two years​ ago, Colorado won​ the​ Pac-12 South and​ Mike MacIntyre​ won​​ national coach of the year honors. But that season proved to be a blip during an otherwise unsuccessful tenure, and now Colorado is looking for a new coach.

MacIntyre arrived in Boulder in 2013 fresh off a remarkable turnaround and 10-2 season at San Jose State. But he had five losing records in six years at Colorado, outside of that 2016 season. The Buffaloes won eight Pac-12 games that year and just six total in the other five seasons.

For people of a certain generation, the 1990 national championship doesn’t feel that long ago. But Colorado has just one winning season in the past 13 years. This year’s team started 5-0 and jumped into the national rankings, but it has lost six consecutive games. Dan Hawkins didn’t work, Jon Embree didn’t work, and MacIntyre worked for only one season.

So, how good is the Colorado job? What kind of name can the Buffaloes land? Here are some factors to keep in mind.

Continue reading story here


Articles …

“Feldman: Identifying the candidates to be the next Colorado football coach” … from The Athletic … names mentioned: West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen; Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford; Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin; Utah State head coach Matt Wells; Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt; Ohio State offensive coordinator Ryan Day; Los Angeles Rams offensive assistant Jedd Fisch; Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich; Washington defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake.

— “Potential candidates for the CU Buffs head coaching job” … from the Daily Camera … names mentioned; Arkansas State head coach Blake Anderson; Troy head coach Neal Brown; Ohio State offensive coordinator Ryan Day; Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin; Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt; Memphis head coach Mike Norvell; NFL consultant Chuck Pagano; Colorado interim head coach Kurt Roper; Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford; Utah State head coach Matt Wells.

— “Colorado coaching candidates: Matt Wells, Brian Harsin lead list of candidates for the Buffaloes” … from CBS Sports … Utah State head coach Matt Wells; Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin; Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt; Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy; Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford.

— “Five realistic candidates for the Colorado opening” … from … Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy; Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt; North Texas head coach Seth Littrell; Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford; Utah State head coach Matt Wells.

— “10 candidates for Colorado coaching job: Is Urban Meyer’s interim replacement the Buffaloes’ permanent solution?” … from Yahoo Sports … Utah State head coach Matt Wells; Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin; West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen; Memphis head coach Mike Norvell; Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy; Troy head coach Neal Brown; Ohio State offensive coordinator Ryan Day; Washington defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake; Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford; Toledo head coach Jason Candle.

Colorado’s coaching search: The need for identity, the shadow of history, and the right fit for the job” … from Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury News … Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell; Syracuse head coach Dino Babers; Washington defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake; Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford; Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo.

— “Mike MacIntyre Fired. 5 Top Candidates For Colorado Job” … from the College Football News … Maryland interim head coach Matt Canada; Central Florida head coach Josh Heupel; Syracuse head coach Dino Babers; Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich; Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford.


88 Replies to “CU Coaching Search”

  1. >“Right on. I’d call that as solid a hire as any……………Although I liked Lake better”

    And I like Wac mac better too and he got screwed just like Lindgren

    And the Buffs seemed to lack toughness unlike lake who is even keel like his boss blah blah blew yew. And we’ll see about the staff blah blah (they will be better than your wacamacadingdong that is for sure.

    Yur just not worth the time a phony buff fan

    Good night…………..ignore………….

    1. Bwhahahahahahahah! Not worth the time? Ok, whoever you are. Why do you constantly troll me then? And, tell us why you won’t go by your real name, and actually stand by your opinions, and instead hide behind your chat anonymity?


      Go Buffs.

      1. I would like some more specifics on why you like Lake better. …does one have to provide name address and phone number for a reply?

        1. Sure. He’s got west coast recruiting connections. That’s pretty much #1. Familiarity w/ the Pac 12 teams, and recruiting competition, as well.

          When you compare the two though, which I’ve done a bit of as Tucker became the front runner, I like Tucker’s broader mix of coaching mentors than Lake. Not that that’s necessarily “better” but it may provide some different tools in the tool box that he’s picked up over the years. I’m sure Lake’s got more than Petersen, having also coached in the NFL, and other places in college. But, Lake’s collegiate experience – as a player and coach – was largely at a slightly lower level than Tucker’s. Not sure how much that matters, but…

          In terms of what I like about both of them, is they hail from coaching trees of very “process” oriented guys. Not that Mac wasn’t – or that any coach isn’t. Mac brought a lot of systems and processes that helped turn the program around (academic support, recruiting, staff, etc.). But, when “we” think about guys like Petersen, Saban, Tressel, those are names regarded as being very detail oriented in running their programs with a level of success that is fairly unrivaled (don’t worry about why Tressel left OSU, or that Bama and most SEC teams “allegedly” pay their players – well that their donors do).

          And, I believe that “process” from the likes of Saban, etc. bodes well for CU moving to the next level under Tucker.

          From a personality perspective, obviously I don’t have direct knowledge, but from reading about and watching a clip here and there, and inferring from their primary mentors, I’d think Lake is a little more even keeled, in the Petersen mold, than Tucker in the Saban mold. To me, that’s not really a big deal. Just because a guy either shows emotion on the sidelines, or in press conferences, or doesn’t, doesn’t necessarily show how they interact with and motivate their team. It’s a brief window the public sees of all the countless hours they spend within their program.

          But, I think one thing we Buff fans can all point to is that with the exception of 2016, and early 2018, although the team always fought hard, to the end of every game, under Mac, there was some of that “toughness” that seemed to be lacking.

          I alluded to it early this year when Tonz got some dumb penalties for being “fiery” after the play. We’d heard he had a mean streak, and that’s not necessarily bad for an O-lineman (or D-lineman). In fact, it can be a very good thing. But? They also have to know when and how to control that, so you don’t get costly penalties at the wrong time. But? It’s still an arguably good edge to have.

          And, that may be more overtly in Tucker’s nature, than in Lake’s. That doesn’t mean they both can’t/don’t instill the same level of toughness in their players. Clearly, Lake’s done pretty well w/ that at UW.

          But? There may be something to bringing that mentality from the Big Boy football of the SEC to the Pac 12. Provided he can get the players to execute it.

          As Neuheisel pointed out in that piece by Canzano – and we all see this every weekend – Pac 12 lineman, on both sides, are smaller, faster, more agile than the SEC, and even Big 10, guys. And, that’s due to their respective recruiting pools, largely. So, with Tucker’s ties back east and south-east, that may also bring a different style of ferocity that we’ve not seen in Boulder in a while.

          Does that answer your question sufficiently?

          Now, those are just my opinions. As you know, I stand by them. I’m Eric Grathwol. You can visit my company website and call me any time. I’m always happy to discuss and debate the good, bad and ugly of my Alma Mater’s football program. It’s a fun pass time.

          Go Buffs.

          1. I don’t really see a strong argument for Lake here Eric. Tucker literally just needs to keep Chev and get another guy on staff to recruit the west coast and you’ll see CU not only get great West Coast guys but now we can get Southeast and Midwest (prob. not Chicago) guys. The more I look into this hire the more I get fired up. This is awesome on so many levels.

          2. Exactly, Glen. They’re pretty comparable. And, as I pointed out above, as I learned more about Tucker, there may be things in his background that are stronger than Lake’s. And, Lake’s west coast recruiting ties may be stronger than Tucker’s (or anyone on CU’s staff).

            Regardless, the coaching ranks are littered with former successful head coaches and assistants who never really achieved the level of success at their next stop that initial expectations held. Something like 90% in each coaching cycle.

            That doesn’t mean they’re bad coaches.

            It does mean that it ain’t easy.

            Here’s to hoping Tucker and Co achieve everything they’re working towards, get CU back to consistently winning, and competing for conference and national championships, like in the glory days.

            Go Buffs.

  2. whew
    Not one of the other names thrown around comes close to Mel’s experience….quality experience. Add to that his reputation as a recruiter and I am happy as a clam….so far. To no surprise to anyone I am still concerned about the offense. Too bad we didnt hire Mel soon enough to poach Kingsbury for OC. (way too much for the humble Buffs to ask, I know)
    Although they dd turn Fromme loose in the third quarter of the AL game, the Georgia O style is similar to AL’s….you got the meat and potatoes on the line….use em to bulldoze. That aint gonna happen here in the next year or 2 so hopefully Mel’s DB background will keep him from being skeered to open the O.
    The last great thing Mel did at GA was to expose Tua for Heisman as a joke.

    1. Welp I am pretty excited.

      He has seen, unlike WacMac what a real staff looks like. He is gonna pick em to win.

      Go Buffs.

      gonna be interesting.

      Recruiting is his deal……………….

  3. Yo Mel Tucker,

    Welcome to Boulder!
    We are excited to have you here. We hope you are excited to be here as well. Great things CAN and HAVE happened at Folsom Field. Don’t let he cozy size of our stadium fool you. The place can rock. All it takes is a great team and a dynamite coach. We think that you will be that coach, and will assemble that great team. We are very excited.

    Take a look of that view out your office window. There is not a better view in the country for a football coach, college or pro.

    Boulder is a special place. You will come to love it.

    — The schools are excellent, from kindergarten through graduate school.
    — The weather is phenomenal. 245 days of sunshine. Low humidity and not too hot in the summer. It can spoil you.
    — World Class camping, hiking, skiing, snowboarding and rock climbing (or Bouldering, if you will) are here.
    — All major professional sports are just 20 minutes down the road.
    — Boulder has more restaurants per capita than any city in the US. Hence, the choices are excellent.
    — Boulder is the fittest city in America.

    Many who come here never leave. Why? Because every day is another beautiful day in paradise.

    Once again. Welcome to Boulder Mr. Tucker.

    Mark / Boulderdevil / Golden Buffs

  4. Right on. I’d call that as solid a hire as any.

    Although I liked Lake better, that’s only because I knew a bit more about him. But, I think Mel may bring a bit more of the more exterior “toughness” that CU seemed to lack lately, than Lake. Not that Lake’s defenses and players aren’t tough, by any means. But, he may be more of the style of Petersen, who works very hard to stay even keeled, which some mistakenly see as lacking emotion/passion.

    Now, the cool thing will be watching how the staff takes shape, and, of course, the recruiting class.

    It’s a brand new day.

    Go Buffs

  5. Please don’t make this man have to go pay homage to Bill McCartney. Please allow him to do what he does best. No more comparisons to the ancient past. Be positive and look forward.

    1. Sheesh, well I gotta think about that,

      Did you know Wisconsin played Colorado at Folsom in 1994
      You know what happened right?
      You know the score was 55-17….Buffs Win Buffs Win
      You know who the Coach of the Buffs was right?
      Mac I
      You know Coach Tucker played for Wisconsin right.
      You know he was in that game in 1994 right?

      Okay then Just Checking.


      Note: I would think a visit is in order. And as always, Mac will come to him.

    1. Coach Tucker understands the deal.

      As the Rascals sang……………..

      Whoaooooooooooooooooooooooooo Listen to the Music…………..

      Yup right yup. He understands the music, the dance and the magic moves to win the contest.

      Buffs of the Mighty Tuckers

      Tuck em Tuck em up……………..Go CU

  6. failing is a horrible thing. I’m sure the 10 million sure eases MM’s pain somewhat…..nothing like getting a kings ransom to go fishing……AND…..I am also sure MM feels some pride in the fact the Buffs gained another SEC guy.

  7. Good morning.

    Certainly there will be no announcement on Wednesday. Bush Memorial service.

    Rumor, and it is just a rumor mind you, the agent of Head Coach Tucker was the one who leaked the info. Hence he was fired.

    Go Buffs.

    Tuck em up……….Tuck em up…………Go CU

  8. To Stuart,
    I’m getting concerned that George is letting this drag on so long. It’s not helping with recruits either. They all know that the offers from Colorado (and everybody else) are non-binding. The scholarship offers can be pulled at any time by the New coach, whoever it happens to be.

    Plus, what’s the gold up? Visions of Butch Jones stringing CU along while negotiating a better deal elsewhere keeps popping into my head. Are we getting someone who is really committed, or not? If they are trying to get Colorado prepared for next season, the time is now.

    Also really concerned about recruiting. I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll do it again. As Rooney at the DC pointed out, give any one of us a shirt and cap that says Alabama or Georgia and we’ll have every four and five star high school football player willing to listen to us. Convincing a kid to play for Nick Saban or Kirby Smart is not difficult. Those brands sell themselves.

    I’m getting concerned. Really concerned. I don’t want a leader who’s dipping his toes into the water. I want someone who’s willing to do a cannonball from the high five to make that splash we’re waiting for.


    1. It’s okay. RG is just fine.

      The ol Buff”worry-wart, insecure, the sky is falling, feeling all Mighty Buff fans have brought on by the last 13 years.

      It’s gonna be just fine. The new sheriff will make the right decision..

      This ain’t Bohn-head running the show.

    2. Give Tucker a break. He’s got more on his plate right now than talking to CU and negotiating details….. like coaching his defense at Georgia. I respect him for finishing the season with his current team. Leavitt could take some lessons from him. I trust RG to get this done.

      1. Yo HB Buff,

        Why is it that people who don’t like Jim Leavitt completely lose all rationality about how the coaching profession works? Leavitt left Colorado after the regular season. Mike MacIntyre left San Jose State after the regular season. EVERY coach who is changing jobs this year and every year does so at the end of the regular season. Why? Recruiting!

        I LOVE that Mel Tucker will be head coach at Colorado. He is leaving Georgia before the bowl game, as he should and as does every other coach changing jobs. It’s two weeks until the December early signing period.

        The sooner he gets to building a coaching staff and recruiting and getting the guys he wants, the more likely he puts together a winning team. This is not the NFL. Recruiting is incredibly important.

        I also feel for the kids who are currently committed to the University of Colorado. They want to know if the new coach is going to honor their scholarship offer. And it is a perfectly reasonable concern. They also wanted to know who the coach would be. After all, the new head coach will have an incredible impact on their lives for the next four or five years.


  9. Some one leaked again. If Tucker was the choice I’m sure it wasnt supposed to be announced until GA’s season was over. more on that later.
    Watching some games. OU’s O line should be on every coach in the country’s Christmas wish list.
    Watching the GA AL game only because it was the only big one after shoveling 10 inches of snow. I swear to god MM snuck in as GA’s OC with 2 minutes in the half. GA operating from their own 6 yard line ran 3 totally expected and failed running plays. Thats ok but they were bailed out with another first down when AL ran into their punter. Yup then 2 of the exact same failed running plays and killed it with another ill advised short yardage pass over the middle…almost picked.
    I want Ga, or anyone else for that matter, to begin kicking AL’s azz but if GA wins this game I will vomit because both reams will be in the playoffs bouncing OU which has become the most exciting team to watch since the Mariotta OR days.

  10. I along with the other commenters do not know much about Tucker. Several have expressed concern over his lack of head coaching experience. When Bill McCartney came to CU, he only had experience as an assistant and we know how that worked out for us! If they do hire Tucker, I hope it turns out as well.

  11. Does this rumored hire and subsequent recruiting class get screwed up if Georgia wins the SEC title game? I’m guessing he would stay for the playoff.

  12. I like the fact that Saban keeps bringing him along, to Michigan State, then LSU, then Alabama. If he is OK with Nick, well I’m all in on Mel Tucker.

  13. Tucker seems like a great choice to me. His credentials are more than we could have hoped for. I haven’t read where he has been fired anywhere. Only one thing still concerns me and that is the biggest problem the Buffs have had…the offense. Who will he bring as an OC? I dont want anyone from the conservative SEC. Playing in the PAC 12 and with our disadvantage (temp I hope) of talent on the lines we need someone with a fertile imagination. Tucker has been everywhere and should have a ton of contacts especially of people who would love to work for him. Mel, this is your first HC job. Please choose widely and use more considerations than the buddy system.
    With his rep as a recruiter I wouldnt be surprised if he gets a couple of the decommits to return….the linemen I hope.

  14. Yo Stuart,

    Interesting choice if it is Mel Tucker. I really hope those recruiting skills translate out west to a program that has not been a Top 10 team for a long time. He may find that it’s not as easy to recruit to a five win team as to a 12 win team.

    More importantly though, I’m glad we got a defensive guy. Defense is the key.

    I hope he brings with him from Georgia the dedication to a strong rushing attack. GA is 11th in the country at 259 yards per game. They also average more than 6 1/4 yards per rush. That is the key to Colorado returning to a winning seasons.

    I hope Mel Tucker has what it takes. And I hope he loves Boulder. Long ago, Bill McCartney was just a Michigan guy. Nobody knew how he would do in Boulder or if he would stick around. But he loved it here for his family and built a great program. I hope Mel does the same.

    Lastly, I had the chance to meet Drew Wilson the other day. More than anyone on the staff, I think one of the keys to continuity for the players is for Colorado to keep Wilson. He’s an outstanding individual who has made the Buffs able to compete physically with their Pac-12 foes. The players love him and that’s one of the keys to getting them in the gym. I hope he stays. Boulder and the University of Colorado are better with him here.

    Mark / Boulderdevil / Golden Buffs

  15. I’m a little skeptical of the *timing* of the Mel Tucker announcement (right before Georgia plays its biggest game of the year against Bama).

    But with that said (and I don’t know a thing about Mel Tucker) I am disappointed we are going with someone who has no head coaching experience. It wouldn’t matter if they hired Day (Ohio St), Tucker (Georgia), or Lake (Washington)… going with a coordinator is a little bit of a let down to me as far as Rick George wanting to hire someone who would “win Pac-12 championships.” Maybe. I mean any coordinator might, maybe. But I would have liked someone with Power-5 head coaching experience.

    Oh well, first we need to see if Tucker really is the guy being hired. If so, I’ll trust Rick George has done his homework.

  16. ESPN stating that Mel Tucker to be named head coach after SEC championship game (Stu, this is a free article on main page). My gut says Leavitt is out or he would have already been named since Oregon not in any championship game.

  17. Here’s your splash hire. Mel Tucker Georgia DC. Read his resume. Great recruiter. Great developer of talent. Great personality. Players LOVE him. On and on. Hope rumor is true that Rick to talk to him after SEC championship game today. If Rick can get him and his wife to visit CU and Boulder can you even imagine taking him to Pearl St mall, having dinner there. Him and wife touring the Champions Ctr. Meeting our players-there would be electricity in the air and instant bonding of him and players. Him meeting and talking to Bill McCartney!!!! A once in a lifetime opportunity for hm-going to one of the most AWESOME campuses in America! The challenge and thrill of playing USC and UCLA in LA, Cal and Stanford in Bay area, etc. Recruiting CA, AZ, Texas, FLA, last two of which he’s very familiar with. Lots of contact there. Challenge of matching coaching wits with Mike Leach, Shaw, et al. This is a slam dunk people!! VASTLY VASTLY VASTLY BETTER than Leavitt by 10 billion times!! He da man!

  18. Allegedly Mel is the guy. Howell saying confirmed but not official. Sounds good to me. Will be interesting to watch his staff take shape too.

    Go Buffs.

    1. You are right, whoever you are. Katie Bason is a great part of the program. And, although I don’t know who started the summer bridge program, and all the other academic support systems, they all need to be kept rolling.

      Go Buffs

  19. Leavitt- NO WAY! RG if Leavitt initiated contact should say to him,: “Jim, Every coach tells his players ” Loyalty guys”. You thanked us for hiring you as DC by going for more $$ at OU. How much momey does a man need to have a good life? Showing your loyalty is zero. Pure G r e e d! You hurt us once but you’ll NEVER hurt us again. I’ll never hire you for anything as long as I’m AD here. Don’t wish you ill. Maybe it will work for you at K St. Adios”. And I second that- good riddance.

    1. He was going for 2 x the money. From 500k to 1mm. He was also leaving a situation where he and his boss the head coach did not agree on philosophy. This is his livelihood. These coaches have careers. I have moved on to other jobs for much less than 500k and a boss I got along with better. I am betting you have too. As Stu says we are fans and we will be loyal no matter what, but this is his career.

    2. 64Buff, your viewpoint is from a fan perspective. Here is from a coaches perspective:

      “Mr Athletic Director, I have spent the last 30 years grinding 80+ hour days with a good chunk of those years making very little money in backwater coaching towns. At Mike Leach’s first coaching job he made 10k a year and lived in a rusted, mold-filled trailer in an Iowa cornfield. I have brought success to this program, but I know if I have an injury- plagued year, a few sub-par recruiting classes and lose several close games, and go back to back with losing seasons you show me the road, especially if the fan base begins to grumble. Lee Corso was turning the Indiana program around and was driving on the interstate to an alumni gathering and heard he got fired on the radio. How’s that for loyalty? Jim Leavitt’s first office at USF was a 24 foot trailer in an intramural athletic field. Started the program from scratch and went to number 2 in the nation at one point. First whiff of controversy and he was canned (rightfully so, some may add). So, to quote Tom Hanks in that sappy movie my wife loves and forces me to watch. ‘It’s not personal, it’s business.’ ”

      That’s from a coaching perspective. Fan’s perceive it as disloyal; coaches look at it as “I could get fired tomorrow, so I need to make hay while I can. ”

      The Dabo Sweeneys and Nick Sabans are the exception, not the rule. It’s a brutal, unstable profession but if your good your in demand and will be well compensated. Lane Kiffin is an outlier on the other end of the loyalty spectrum so there are a few out there, no doubt. I don’t blame coaches for leaving for a better pay packet. I also don’t weep when they are let go. It’s the nature of the business (I do feel bad for family and those lesser-compensated staffers who may suffer as a result).

      Anyone who thinks college football is just an entertainment spectacle and not also a bottom-line business has not been paying attention.

      1. There was more to Leavitt leaving than money. When MM was named national coach of the year, Leavitt recieved zero acclaim. I think it’s been obvious that Leavitt was the real reason we won that season, not MM.

        He left for more money, but also to coach for one of his best friends (he was the best man in Willie Taggert’s wedding), and to Coach where he’d be respected.

        I’m not saying I want to hire him, but we should at least be fair in our evaluation of his departure. I guarantee CU would be in much worse shape had he never stopped in Boulder.

        1. I think that phenomal senior class of Sefo, Chido , Tedric , Kenneth, Jimmy and ilk was the main reason for a one year “rise” in retrospect.

          1. Agreed, as much of a fan of Leavitt as I am, his Oregon D is ranked below the buffs this year. How many defensive backs from that team are in the NFL?

  20. I don’t think that Mel Tucker wants the job. waiting to talk about this job until after the game while loosing recruits is not the right approach. That said maybe the CU teams does a heck of a sales job and he says yes. Frankly, I would rather have Leavitt but from what I can see online he looks really good at his job….. But he has never been a college head coach and that concerns me.

    1. For all those lamenting Tucker’s lack of head coaching experience, what do you think the actual value of that is? Two of the three most successful of CU’s head coaches in the past 40 years had previously never been a college head coach (McCartney, Neuheisel), while two of the last three coaches fired came to CU as formerly successful HC’s. So, the premise that head coaching experience is necessary for success is completely invalid and wrongheaded. Even though many commentators here don’t know that, Rick George does.

  21. Ok, here’s my prediction for who our next coach is going to be. I’m not saying its MY choice, but rather I believe it will be THE choice. I would be interested to hear other’s opinions.
    Here goes:
    Of all the OC or DC’s coaching in this weekends’ conference championship games, who can you say this about:
    * Has True Head Coaching Experience – 3 yrs worth (albeit at DIv 2 level)
    * Has Recruiting ties in the State of Texas (recent QB coach for UT)
    * Knows Colorado and CU very well having coached here for 6 years
    * Is an Offensive Innovator
    * Has shown measurable improvements in offensive performance at each of his stops
    * Possibly well endorsed to Rick George by Gary Barnett (62-36 anyone)
    The name – Shawn Watson.
    Again, I’m not campaigning for the guy, I’m just pointing out that he checks a lot of the boxes. No one is going to meet all the requirements thrown out by RG, but Watson seems to meet 2 or 3 of the real important ones. One drawback I can see is that he is not the “big splash” name for recruiting, etc.

    1. Watson also was infamous for his extremely lazy play calling near the end of his time in Boulder. I literally cringed when I read your reveal on this post. I mean no disrespect to you, but Watson sounds like what we get if the other ten candidates turn us down. If he is the coach, I will be even more pessimistic than I am now.

      1. Wow, Im glad I way underestimated RG! Here’s hoping Mel Tucker doesn’t end up like Lovie Smith! Great hire by RG!

  22. Like many things in life, timing is key. Don’t know why but just feel the Leavitt timing is not right. Feels like we are trying to go backwards to capture 2016 and honestly the OU D is nothing special and still filled with high recruits. 2016 was a product of Mac + Leavitt ++, not just Leavitt alone. Don’t get me wrong, I was one of the few (only?) that wanted Leavitt over Mac after 2016.
    Disappointed that Jimmy Lake has come off the list (I am worried that he was not interested in the first place).

  23. Wow that poll.

    Only 20% worried it is taking that long.

    Shocking I say Shocking

    25% of the recruiting class gone. ( Were they even hard commits anyway?)(Especially after another losing season)
    All those other coaches being snapped up. (Were they even on the list?)
    All those coaches declining . (Where they even on the list?)

    Nah who cares.

    Today is the day eh>


  24. The three names thrown out by Pete Thamel are wild stabs in the dark. Rick George will not hire Jim Leavitt. He saw first hand what a divisive person he was at CU. Cannot see Derek Mason who was ho hum at best at Vanderbilt. A defensive coordinator from Georgia will not work, maybe he can help out at CSU.

    1. I don’t hire my football coach to by nice. I also got the sense that Jim Leavitt’s conflict was with Mac and maybe we are seeing why now………

  25. **Recruiting IS important…. don’t care if Kelly rose to prominence with 2 and 3 star boys.

    1). CU needs a name that has documented success at a D-1 school… or one that is recognizable to recruits nation-wide.

    2). We also need a guy who can coach… with a proven, winning track record…. no picking the sweetest carrot at the bottom of the basket that no one has heard of.

    3). I would – like VK – pick Leavitt with a proven record of taking a brand new program right out of the gate and – within a few short years – have them ranked…. then coming to CU in 2016 and going bowling with a team that only had a “fair-to-middlin”…. half-way decent offense.

    4). Of course there is the KSU thing that may be a hurdle. If I were Leavitt, I would prefer moving into my own house (per VK) in Boulder instead of going to Manhattan, out in the middle of nowhere, USA. And… by nowhere, I mean NOWHERE….. (Sorry W-cats and J-Hawks… it’s the truth).

    C’mon RG….. we know you can sell ice to Eskimos… now, let’s see if you can pull the rabbit out of the hat.

    1. Leavitt was waiting for that job. I wonder how he feels about being snubbed by Snyder for Snyder’s son?

      Personally, I think Leavitt’s particular brand of crazy would fit right in with CU. Tough hard nose football. Unabashed fun in the moment and in the quirkiness that is Boulder. Great defensive mind. He would set the tone for the team where Mac never seemed he could. We would just need to find an OC that has had success at the P5 level.

  26. Yo Stuart,

    Who did I WANT as head coach? Les Miles, but we were just a little late on that. I love the folks putting down a guy who won 10 games a year for 11 years in the SEC and won a national championship because he had a hard time competing with Nick Saban. What a horrible problem to have.

    Next I would want Jim Leavitt. The guy loves Boulder and the players love him too. Mickey Mac and his posse and MacOlytes have been trying to start rumors that Leavitt is “hard to work with” and “doesn’t like recruiting”. That’s some serious BS. Leavitt brings the passion to his sport 24/7, 365 days a year. And, the head coach HIRES guys to do the recruiting and then just closes the deal.

    As for younger guys, Luke Fickell at Cincinnati is interesting. All those years at Ohio State and now has Cincy at 10 wins.

    Another young guy with a lot of upside is Chip Long, the Notre Dame offensive coordinator. He doesn’t have any head coaching experience though.

    Also intriguing are Washington coordinators Bush Hamden and Jimmy Lake. Lake in particular because he’s a DB guy and Colorado has long prided itself on producing good defensive backs. On the same note, ex Buff Ronnie Bradford is looking for a job now that USC let him go. I hope the new head coach goes after him.

    Dino Babers is interesting, but not sure CU can come up with the cash that Dino will soon be earning.

    As for NFL guys, I haven’t really looked into it since the NFL season still has more than a month to play. The Buffs need someone soon due to the early signing period in December.

    Eric Bieniemy is an intriguing thought for the future after he’s had a chance to learn more from Andy Reid. But by then, there’s a good chance that Scooter will be pursing NFL head coaching positions. EB was a dynamite recruiter in his day, but head coaches are not the ones doing the majority of the recruiting anyway.

    Mark / Golden Buffs / Boulderdevil

    1. Hi, not trying to be rude, but why is Lee Miles the Great White Whale of the CU fan base? From my memory of his time at LSU, he was allergic to the forward pass. Seems like he would be a complete mismatch in a pass happy league.

      1. Yo Boston Buff,

        Simple. He averaged 10 wins a year for 11 years in the SEC. He won a national championship. Before McCartney switched to the wishbone, Colorado ran a pass happy offense and got their butts kicked regularly.

        Winning is what makes football fun for the fan. Darian Hagan pitching to JJ Flanigan 30 yards downfield on the way to a 70+ yard touchdown run against a top three Nebraska team was every bit as exciting as any passing play I’ve ever seen. Same goes for Jeff Campbell or Jeremy Bloom on a reverse. Or Rashaan Salaam or Chris Brown or Eric Bieniemy pounding the ball down the opponents throats over and over until by sheer will Colorado won out in the end.

        A strong running game teaches guys how to control the line of scrimmage. It eats up clock and leads to wins. Cody Hawkins and Sefo Liufau threw lots and lots of passes and set lots of records. But they didn’t have any records for winning. As a fan, the winning is what counts.

        I’ve been going to Colorado games for well over 30 years now. I’ll take a winning team with a jam packed stadium and a really loud crowd over 300 yards passing and another loss, thanks.

        I hope that it explains it.


        1. It explains some of it. Not all. Like how selecting that coach would work when the talent on this team is weighted towards the receivers and DBs. The choice isn’t between the hayday of Les Miles and the low tide of pass attacks…the choice is whether we play toward our current strengths or we abandon them to rebuild ourselves in a totally different image. We do not have the players necessary to compete in the kind of offense you describe, as much as that offense would be awesome to have back.

          To hire someone like Miles would be to squander the existing talent in favor of rebuilding the offense from scratch with different kinds of players. That takes recruiting and time. A fundamental change to the CU offensive identity would almost guarantee a long rebuilding period…again.

          So, respectfully, I am not suggesting the choice is between winning and pass yards…the choice is whether you want to waste a large portion of our on-hand talent to chase a totally different kind of offense that may or may not even be able to succeed in the Pac 12 (without it being named Stanford).

          1. Yo Boston Buff,

            I’m not sure how changing the offense would have a deleterious effect on the DB’s. As for the wide receivers, they represent a pretty darn small proportion of the team to focus the offense on making them happy. Plus, all the players want to play on winning teams.

            Why focus on a dominant running game?

            Overall, it’s much harder for an offensive lineman to pass block than run block. Running allows them to fire off the line and knock people over. They really like that. They get to use their physical strength to go forward and hit people… hard. Pass blocking is harder. You have to step back and wait for someone to hit you or run around you. It’s not near as much fun for the player.

            Being a dominant running team also takes a lot of the pressure off the quarterback. Mostly because the defensive linemen are focusing on defending their ground against the running backs instead of pinning their ears back and getting after the QB.

            It also opens up the field for the receivers because a strong rushing team usually leads to linebackers and safeties focusing on the running game instead of the receivers.

            Jeff Campbell, Mike Pritchard, Charles Johnson, Michael Westbrook, Christian Fauria, Phil Savoy, Darrin Chiaverini and Daniel Graham all played on teams with dominant rushing games Colorado before heading off to the NFL.

            Bill McCartney changed the entire offense in one off-season. After going 1-10 with a “pass happy offense” in 1984, he changed to the wishbone and went to bowl game the following year.

            Colorado threw 52 times against Kansas State in 1982. In 1985, the QB Mark Hatcher threw a grand total of 51 passes. The Buffs won seven times in ’85. I remember that the players were a hundred times happier than the year before. I know. I was there. I watched it all.

            The early McCartney teams were built for passing. They passed a lot. And they lost a lot.

            When they started running, they started winning. And when they started winning, the recruits got better and better. By the time McCartney retired, they had moved more toward and pro-style offense with Kordell Stewart and Koy Detmer at quarterback. But they still had a dominant rushing game as their backbone.

            Running is the key to winning in college football at Colorado. Look it up. The percentage of running dominated teams at CU with winning records is WAY higher than the winning percentage of passing dominant teams.


  27. Yo Stuart,

    Yikes! Some of the names being bandied about for the Colorado job are hysterical in how asinine they are.

    Butch Jones? The guy they tried to bring before Mickey Mac? The guy who visited Boulder to get a better deal at Tennessee? The guy who was fired even before Mickey? Although he did take the Volunteers to three straight bowl games, he never lived up to the promise UT expected.

    Derek Mason? The guy with the Mickey Mac like 9-31 conference record? Please no. I don’t care if he coached at Stanford under Harbaugh. He reportedly said when he was tied to the Colorado opening, “it would be unfair to my student athletes and Vanderbilt University” for him to comment. Let me say that it would be unfair to the students and alumni at the University of Colorado if the rumor turns out to be true.

    Kurt Roper? This guy certainly has good PR people. QB guru? Montez ended up with the same stats in 2018 as he had in 2017, and threw three INT’s and two Pick-Sixes in his last game. Montez needs a new guru. This guy is just another from the Mickey Mac Pack. I love when people say “he worked with Eli Manning” as proof of anything. Eli learned everything he knows from his dad Archie and his big brother Peyton. If anything, Roper learned from being around Manning.

    Ryan Day? Although an amazing coach, many in the Ohio State circle are pushing to name Day the official “coach in waiting” due to the health issues of Urban Meyer. If Day came to Boulder, everyone could expect him to bolt immediately if the Buckeye head coach job opened up. Ohio State and their boosters have REALLY deep pockets, so there is absolutely no chance Colorado could win a bidding war. And really, why would he want to be here if he could be HC at Ohio State?

    Mark Helfrich? He’s been here before, remember how awesome his offenses were? They weren’t. Then he took over the Chip Kelly Machine at Oregon and ran it into mediocrity before he was fired.

    Lane Kiffin? Everyone acknowledges that Kiffin is a brilliant offensive mind. But he already had the best job in the west at USC and screwed it up with some really bad losses. If he lost that badly with USC’s talent, how could anyone expect him to do better at Colorado? Kiffin might just be one of the those guy that doesn’t have what it takes to be the head guy. An awesome coordinator, but not the right one for HC. Also, if he came to Boulder and won quickly, he would be looking for a higher paying job soon after.

    Matt Wells? Yes, Utah State is 10-1 this year. Before that, his record there was 34-32. Mickey Mac had a 10 win season too. Did it last?

    All the other G-5 guys? No thanks. We’ve done that.

    Mark / Boulderdevil / Golden Buffs

  28. I’m a long-ago CU grad, who’s lived in AZ for last 22 years. Uof A and ASU have not always had long term coaching success. But they always go to P5 coaches, who tend to come in and do well fairly quickly, with what seems to be mediocre talent. They most always end up with bowl invites. Herm Edwards is out of the pro ranks and he’s done much better than expected with ASU, as a first year coach. Even Sumlin (UofA from Texas A&M)) and Kelly (UCLA from Oregon and the Eagles) got their teams pretty competitive by mid season, in their first years. Going to the Junior 5 conferences to get a successful coach in the P5 is a real long-odds bet. Good to see so many on this board are seeing this reality. Leavitt is really the best realistic choice. He was probably most responsible for most of the success a couple years ago.

  29. I loved Jim Leavitt as DC. I think a lot of great arguments in favor of him becoming HC in Boulder but I think it’s far from automatic that he’s the HC to take Buffs to the “next level” of which Rick George spoke, if that “next level” is contending for the national title.

    His USF teams were tough – especially on defense. That being said, they never finished better than 3rd in Big East – even in the post-Miami and Va Tech Big East. I live in NJ and when Greg Schiano was RU’s head coach I had Rutgers season tickets. At the time Rutgers was in the Big East. Schiano and Leavitt squared off six times and Rutgers won 4 of them. I’m aware of fact that for one week in 2007, USF was #2 team in nation. I’m also aware of fact that beginning with its very next game, which was against Rutgers, USF lost three straight games, and ended up season unranked after getting walloped by Oregon in its bowl game.

    All in all, I think Coach Leavitt would be solid hire b/c I believe he’s got enough “old school” in him to re-establish things such as having a group of nasty, physical brutes on the O-line, an aggressive, good defense, and thus having a reasonable likelihood of producing 7, 8, and even 9 win seasons with regularity. Such results would certainly be consistent with what he produced at USF.

  30. So this appears interesting…..

    Jim Mora: division title in his first year, gone after six.
    Todd Graham: division title in his second year, gone after six.
    Rich Rodriguez: division title in his third year, gone after six.
    MacIntyre: division title in his fourth year, gone after six.

    So one could say the first 3 and for sure the first two won with the previous coaches recruits
    So one could say the Mike won with his recruits.

    JM 46-30 (29-24)
    TG 46-32 (21-23)
    RR 43-35 (24-30)
    MM 30-44 (14-39)

    So It appears they all won with senior laden teams.

    Helfrich hasted 4 years. Couldn’t recruit. Kelly was at Duckville, 4 years 46-7 (33-3)

    Kelly had those teams with recruiting classes in the low teens all 4 years
    The UCLA classes the previous 3 years are all in the low teens watch out.

    Helton 32-16 (24-10) Job for life if he is coaching the Buffs.
    Classes 10-year before. 2,10,4,4 2019=29

    Gotta recruit =Yup
    but most important
    Gotta coach em up and develop em in your image (which becomes theirs)
    regardless of their recruiting rank. The process, the system, the methods, the leadership (=the coaching) are the most important period. Yup all about coaching and why they make the big bucks

    Go Buffs.


  31. So it ha been a lot of fun reading through all of the names. But as you continue to research all of them you see strength hs and weaknesses in all of them. The easy yes is not really going to be available so rule out Day as he is likely staying pat to see if he will inherit or going to USC. So then you start looking at the others. The group of 5 coaches all have great records against inferior programs. See Mac2’s record versus lower opponents. Be very careful when hiring a coach at that level. To be honest I think Mac’s special talent among the chaff is his special skill. At lower levels the talent he recruits just overwhelms lower opponents. I think for these group of 5 coaches you have to pay very close attention between the splits versus group of 5 and power 5 opponents. If there is a big discrepancy pay very close attention. I took a quick look through the coaches above and most of them have great records versus g5 but atrocious records vs p5. Not saying it can’t happen but look at coaches like Peterson who had a good record versus p5 before making the jump.
    Now the next set is coordinators. These ones are always tougher as a head coach is a lot different than a coordinator. Being the guy that has to hire and fire his staff is the big difference here. And very rarely will a coordinator have experience in picking a staff. Many of us on this board have lamented Macs loyalty to his coaches. I think at the end he is just too nice of a guy. Chev should not be calling plays, the o line coach should have an opportunity to coach at a lower level, and you don’t go get a dc who was fired from his last job. You go get a dc from a lower level…..
    The last category is grab bag. Old p5 coaches and nfl. Throw out nfl. Completely different game. No recruiting, and a lot more teaching. See being my who might be a truly great pro coach but was horrible here. The old p5 coaches. Just look at the record. Yes people learn and people get better but expect to get what they got previously.

    So where does that leave me. Leavitt is the best, and most obvious choice. He has been a head coach and has a good record not only at the lower level but his splits are good as well. We also need a coach right now and frankly I would love to stick it back to the ducks for poaching him. We could also likely afford him at 3 mm or so.

    And my main reason. Many of these articles talk about getting an identity. Look at the successful programs. The head coach drives there identity. Peterson, Whittingham, Shaw. From back at old Oregon Kelly. We need an identity. Not only just an identity we need an identity that fits us. Leavitt is just the right type of crazy. He is the guy in Boulder Creek after a hot fall practice. He is the guy who comes into the locker room riling the guys up in a tight game. He has familiarity with Boulder and recruiting in Boulder. He has been actively on the recruiting trail for Oregon and so he is familiar with the same stomping grounds we have. And we could hire him next Sunday in time for him to coach our bowl game or start recruiting like a mad man.

    At the end of the day when you hire someone it is all about trust. You have to trust the person you hire to deliver on what you need. But frankly CU can not afford a risk. Taking a g5 coach is a big risk. Taking a coord8nator with no head coaching experience is a big risk, taking an nfl guy is a big risk. Take the guy who has shown success at all levels, you know personally, loves our location, has experience here so he knows exactly what he is getting into, has learned from his previous mistake (and has demonstrated it) and will likely come a little cheaper than any comparable coach for the next 2 years while we pay Mac2 off.

    If someone has looked at one of th3 other coaches we could reasonably get I would be interested in hearing your viewpoint and not just his name.

    1. That’s a well laid out position, Rob. One key component – that we don’t know much about, I don’t think – lies in that “trust” piece. Does RG trust Jim? Rumor has it, maybe not, due to the way he left and where he went. On the flip side, how do you hold nearly doubling his salary as a coordinator against the guy?

      And, if one knock on Leavitt is that he maybe doesn’t like recruiting? Neither does Chip. That’s why he paid guys – allegedly – but he’s still a good coach. And, you can hire recruiters as assistants.

      To me, it’s more about the network of Mr. George. And, I don’t know how tight that is w/ Leavitt, vs. other personal connections he’d have, with people he’d perceive as of similar or greater caliber.

      The last component that nobody’s really talking about is that there may be a gap between who CU wants, and who wants to be at CU. Part of that, I would think, will hinge upon not only the HC’s income, but also the salary pool for assistants and supporting staff.

      I think we all agree that having someone in place by Dec. 1 would be ideal. It’ll be interesting to see if and how RG pulls that off, and who he ultimately can pull the trigger on.

      That’s not as easy as it might look. But, I do trust RG. Dude’s a stud. Has a world of contacts, and is doing what he thinks is best for the program to get where we all want it to be. Here’s to hoping he gets it right.

      Go Buffs

    2. RobOh there ya go again banging on bringing in Leavitt. He could be here next Sunday. Duck regular season over. And leaving before their bowl is no big deal. Fact is he is the best choice. And don’t believe that RG didn’t have a hand in him coming here in the first place. RG new the dynamics of he and Mike. RG new why 2016 happened. I guarantee you his leaving was not a surprise to RG. Disappointing he couldn’t pay him.

      He has everything RG says he needs in a head coach.

      “I think we have enough talent on this football team that we can beat anybody at any time,” he said. “It’s why I made the decision, because I want somebody to come in and instill some energy and some enthusiasm into this team.”

      So I’m on the Leavitt bandwagon………………….Actually I never go off.

      Praying hard to the Pepsi Gods to make this happen.

      There I said.

      Uh Oh Leavitt would be so good for the Mighty Buffalo

      He is the man for the job.

      1. Actually he may not be. But ya never know. The Mighty Buffs have had what some say is a “Defensive Genius” as head coach for the last 6 years. And he has had a rough year at DC this year, cause he didn’t wanna be there even though he tweets he does. He has a nice little 2..5 million dollar home in Boulder. Hasn’t sold it. Hasn’t been on the market since he left. God does work in mysterious ways ya know? But if he does get this job he is gonna have to get an arse kicking OC that can kick his ass like he did Mikes and Lindys……….course they rejected him.

        Anyway 4(300)/24/7/365


  32. I am not saying any of these four are the guy. Just a few names I haven’t heard people mention.

    34-15 4TH YEAR – ALSO 3 STRAIGHT BOWL GAMES 2016-2018

    GO BUFFS !!!

    1. No, no, no and uhhh no. We need someone with power-5 experience and a strong recruiter with ties to TX or CA… Not some guy who was successful at sub-division schools like Mac was.

      Holgorsen, Tedford and Leavitt should be the frontrunners.

      1. All four of them out performed magic Mike in every aspect of coaching in my eyes. Again I’m not saying they are the best option just an option. Not saying your list is bad but how many championships have any of the 3 guys you mentioned won. I think that is zero. Doubt West Virginia lets Dana walk. Tedford is getting up in age and didn’t Leavitt have an issue at South Florida ? Not a major issue but probably the one reason Rick George won’t hire him. The new coach needs to be clean in every aspect of his life. What we are looking for is a young Nick Saban or Lincoln Riley type of a coach. That coach could be found anywhere. I think we all support RG and are confident he will bring the right person in to run this program.

        GO BUFFS !!!

  33. Yo Stuart,

    One of the hardest things for players to deal with when there is a coaching change is having the players learn all new coaches and philosophies and such.

    I really think the best thing for the Buffs is Jim Leavitt. He’s only been gone two years. Most the guys on the team already know him and they LOVED the guy when he was here.

    Plus, Leavitt knows good coaches and recruiters and some of them are already on the staff at Colorado. One of the reasons that Oregon did not fall off after Willie Taggart left is that new head coach Mario Cristobal came from the staff and Leavitt stayed as defensive coordinator instead of following Taggart to Florida State.

    Leavitt is an obvious alpha personality. High energy and very inspirational. That’s why the players loved him so much. And he desperately wants to be a head coach again. And he already LOVES Boulder. And his family LOVES Boulder.

    This seems like a no-brainer IF Leavitt is interested. It would create the least amount of chaos for the players and the better coaches and recruiters would also have a chance to be retained, which also lessens the buyouts for the university. Something to think about money wise.

    Mark / Boulderdevil / Golden Buffs

    PS- Why is it that the TROLLS and MacIntyre acolytes are so fearful of Leavitt returning? Is it because they DON’T WANT Colorado to be winning program?

    1. Two years ago, I shared that Mac should go off and do his turnaround gig somewhere else and go out at the top (for him). That is his skill, not running things and managing to continued higher expectations. At that time, my view was not popular given the good season (except for Pac 12 championship and Alamo Bowl beatdowns) and 10 win season. We had a built in “coach in waiting” in the form of Leavitt who has energy, knows how to run a program as a HC, and very good defensive football acumen. As in a previous post, I am not saying he is THE guy but he should be one of 3-4 on the short list. As for this stuff about not being a great recruiter, that is either straight out BS or if it is true, it does not matter if you bring in someone (or keep Chev) with him who is a strong recruiter. What I absolutely do NOT want to see is another mid-major coaching hire that has no Power 5 coordinator experience. I am also not in favor of Helfrich as he did not excel at CU and then was put in charge of an Oregon program which started to decline under his tenure. He also does not exude passion which I feel is an important commodity.

  34. You only have to look at Washington State to figure out who to hire. Yep Leavitt has a blemish in his past but he is probably the best HC candidate out there. WSU hired the best they could get (even/because of his checkered past) and he has produced results season after season.

  35. I would rule out any MWC coach and Helfrich right off the bat. Holgorsen is an interesting name as is Ryan Day. We need someone who is a current P5 HC or top assistant.

    1. Agree on Helfrich. Yes, he had successful seasons at Oregon…with Kelly’s players. Before eventually being fired and leaving the cupboards pretty bare.

      That said, I wouldn’t doubt that the next HC is an NFL guy, rather than a P5 guy.

  36. I wonder why nobody’s got Jeff Monken on their radar? Maybe they do, just none of the pundits? Do people think that since he’s a triple option guy, he has to go where that’s the preferred option? Does he have to be a triple option guy? And, if so, so what? McCartney basically ran that offense – well evolved into that offense. Could it be back to the future?

    The dude can coach. He’s turned around Army in an era of football where you’d think that’s next to impossible. His teams are tough, and disciplined. He’s player focused. He’s young – relatively speaking – and energetic. I doubt he’d get any serious consideration, but, his style of coaching – more than his style of offense – really intrigues me.

    Looking forward to seeing who the actual candidates are, and who ultimately wants, and gets the gig.

    Go Buffs

  37. WTF happened? True story, I went off on a long-planned hiking /climbing trip to Patagonia on the day of the OSU game. Actually boarded the plane after Brian Howell posted that the game was over after McMillan’s TD run put them up 31-3. Put my phone away after a quick text to my spouse that I arrived and never looked at it again for the whole time until I returned yesterday. Tried to catch up on what happened but it became too depressing. What an utter, epic collapse and MacII seemed oblivious in his comments. I agree with those who say he should get credit for leaving the team in a better state than where he found it but he failed to move it to the next level with any consistency. And he is just too damned thin skin. Here’s hoping for Leavitt to be the head coach (if the Boulder snowflakes can overlook his USF departure) or Tedford. Just glad we have Rick George and not Bohn-head making the call.
    Damn. Damn. Damn. Left the country wondering what bowl we are going to and arrived with another “CU football in crisis” scenario.
    GO Buffs. Enjoy the tax-payer severance Mac.

  38. Savage Sunday
    Sunday, November 18, 2018
    A Day that will live in infamy.
    Mike helped the Buff-Phoenix rise from the ashes to the fire.
    Now who will take the Buff-Phoenix from the fire to the stratosphere.

    Interesting next couple of weeks and hope is done by November 30.
    Certainly there is a short list. Yes it could change. And yes there is search firm. And yes prior to the season ending they will be used as a go between or whatever for interested parties.

    Gonna be a lotta krappola put out there by “click mongers”
    No need to click.

    It is what is what it will be but NOT what it just was.

    Buffalo Up.

    Note: Only RG knows for sure and he told us to ignore it all until he pops the question, to the right person and gets the right answer.

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