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CU Coaching Search

November 24th – Happy Thanksgiving!

DNVR Speculation on Deion Sanders coming to CU

… And no, they don’t know any more than you or I do …

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November 23rd 

ESPN: “Momentum cooled” on Bronco Mendenhall and Tom Herman? 

From ESPN … Hiring season is here.

For more than two months, the college coaching carousel has included firings, impacting four of the five power conferences (only the Big 12 has been spared). But the time has come for schools to hire replacements, or at least close in on their top two or three targets. Charlotte kicked off the hires last week with a surprising and intriguing choice in Michigan associate head coach Biff Poggi, an accomplished high school coach who has never led a college team. The school interviewed Power 5 coordinators and others with college head-coaching experience but went outside of the box with Poggi.

There’s an increased urgency to the hiring decisions, as the transfer portal will open Dec. 5 and the early signing period for high school recruiting begins Dec. 21. Assistants with teams still looking for head coaches have emphasized the need for hires to be made soon.

“We’re going to lose all our good players to the portal,” a Power 5 assistant said last week.

Wisconsin interim coach Jim Leonhard, who many think is the top candidate for the permanent job, has repeatedly stressed the need to make decisions soon.

“Teams are tampering with other teams’ players,” Leonhard said last week after a loss to Iowa, in the wake of rumors about Badgers running back Braelon Allen considering a transfer to Michigan.

Leonhard recently told ESPN: “The sooner decisions are made around here, I think a lot of people will feel more comfortable with the direction of the program.”

Decisions are coming soon, so here’s the latest we’re hearing about the open jobs around college football.

Colorado

Athletic director Rick George has been very active the past few weeks, talking to candidates with many different profiles. Until recently, two former FBS coaches not currently working — Bronco Mendenhall (BYU, Virginia) and Tom Herman (Texas, Houston) — had generated the most attention for the Colorado job. But sources told ESPN earlier this week that momentum has cooled considerably with both.

Illinois defensive coordinator Ryan Walters, a former team captain at Colorado with deep roots at the program, remains a strong candidate to watch. But Colorado has leaned more toward candidates with head-coaching experience, including Texas co-defensive coordinator Jeff Choate, the former Montana State coach. Current FCS coaches such as North Dakota State’s Matt Entz and Sacramento State’s Troy Taylor, a graduate assistant at Colorado in 1995, could get closer looks. Jackson State coach Deion Sanders, the Pro Football Hall of Famer, also is increasingly a name to watch. Colorado sources stress that it’s imperative the school makes a hire soon, as the roster damage could be significant if the search continues much past Saturday’s season finale.

Arizona State

ASU’s search has gone at a slower pace than others, but things seem to be getting organized for a late November push. Along with athletic director Ray Anderson, executive vice president/COO Chris Howard is expected to have a key role in the search. Former Texas and Houston coach Tom Herman certainly is an option, as he has connections to the two states (Texas and California) that ASU must mine for players.

Oregon offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham should gain consideration despite his age (32). Dillingham, an ASU alum with deep roots in the Phoenix area, has had an excellent season with quarterback Bo Nix and the Ducks’ offense.

… Now that we’ve reviewed the ongoing searches, here’s a look at other potential hot spots that could open up in the next week or so …

Stanford

The David Shaw era, which began with such incredible progress, has reached a junction. He almost certainly won’t be fired, but changes are needed for a program that is 14-27 since the start of the 2019 season. Will Shaw make the necessary adjustments, or consider stepping aside, perhaps into an administrative role at the university? Both are viable options, according to industry sources.

Read full story here

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November 22nd

CBS Sports: Ryan Walters “largely considered the favorite”

From CBS Sports … Sunday has all the indications of being a coaching free for all. There are currently eight openings now that the first has been filled with Charlotte hiring Michigan assistant Biff Poggi, but more changes are ahead.

Though pink slips have been limited over the last few weeks, teams looking to make changes are likely waiting until the regular season concludes. That means a handful firings are likely ahead this Sunday — and there may even be some programs ready to make hires now that their top candidates have moved on to postseason play.

Our final Hot Seat Rankings update earlier this month covered many of the jobs that could still come open this cycle. As such, it’s time to take one last look at some of those programs before asking who might fill the positions already vacant.

Potential future openings

  • West Virginia: In Year 4, Neal Brown is headed for his worst season with the Mountaineers — 4-8 if they lose to Oklahoma State. Does the administration even wait to hire a new athletic director?
  • Navy: It will seemingly be Ken Niumatalolo’s call after 16 seasons. The Midshipmen haven’t had a winning campaign since 2019.
  • New Mexico: Danny Gonzales is in the middle of his worst season with the Lobos (2-9, 7-23 overall).
  • Texas State: Jake Spavital, Johnny Manziel’s former offensive coordinator, is 13-34 in Year 4.
  • Texas A&M: No, not Jimbo Fisher. But he’ll most likely be convinced to hire a play-calling offensive coordinator.

Last year, there was record 31 job changes. It won’t be anywhere near that this carousel. Maybe ADs are becoming more patient. Maybe there aren’t that many jobs to fill. Going into this season, there had been 72 job changes across the last three years.

What we’re hearing

Arizona State

Watch for Oregon offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham to get a good look. ASU may fall into one of the best hires of the cycle. The talented Dillingham seems to be the leader in the clubhouse, but you never know with an administration that got rid of Herm Edwards then retained the AD who hired him (Ray Anderson). Dillingham, 32, is a proven commodity despite his relative youth. His quarterback, Bo Nix, may get a Heisman Trophy invite. Dillingham would be given all kinds of resources to turn around the Sun Devils. In the new Pac-12 (without USC and UCLA), why can’t ASU compete for a playoff spot every year?

Los Angeles Rams running backs coach Thomas Brown is said to be interested. Jackson State’s Deion Sanders has already taken his name out of the running saying he’d never go “West.”

Colorado

Northwestern defensive coordinator Ryan Walters is largely considered the favorite. Walters played safety for the Buffaloes from 2004-08. If he somehow doesn’t get the job, there is a long line of worthy contenders. Departed Auburn coach Bryan Harsin is interested, as is former Texas coach Tom Herman, former Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall and Sacramento State coach Troy Taylor. Texas analyst and former TCU coach Gary Patterson is also interested in getting back in somewhere.

Note … Ryan Walters is the defensive coordinator at Illinois … which shows you how much CBS (or anyone else) is paying to the CU Coaching search … 

Note II … Check out the Deion Sanders “quote” with regard to Arizona State opening. Message boards seem to think Sanders is choosing between Colorado and South Florida … Goes to show no one really knows what is going on behind the scenes … 

Read full story here

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October 19th 

Thinking Outside The box: Trading Coaching Salaries for NIL Enhancements

From ESPN … Perhaps this is the year we stop being numb to the waste, to the GNP of small countries being spent on coaches not coaching. The year when buyout numbers north of $10 million are no longer merely eye-popping and instead become an impetus for rethinking the spending structure.

So far, through five full weeks of the college football season, jobs are opening at a never-before-seen rate. Power 5 schools Nebraska, Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Colorado and Wisconsin have already made changes. There’s a chance both Auburn and Louisville end up joining them before Halloween.

Per terms of those contracts, the five jobs would have required paying out more than $60 million in dead money. Some of that will be lessened through negotiated buyouts, including at Wisconsin.

… Can schools find creative ways to spend on players as opposed to burning millions for guys to sip Coronas in beach chairs? While blue bloods such as Alabama and USC aren’t changing course, could there be a Moneyball formula that emerges to help downtrodden programs such as Georgia Tech, Arizona State, Nebraska or Colorado bounce back?

Some college football power brokers think so.

“I think there’s a healthy reallocation of resources toward the players and less toward guaranteed contracts,” a Power 5 athletic director told ESPN. “I don’t know if that can happen overnight, but we could see it initially with assistant coaches and staffing.”

Head-coaching salaries at established powers aren’t going to go down significantly. There’s such a thin marketplace for strong candidates that the guarantees on deals aren’t likely to dip much, either. The big buyouts are an acknowledgement the coaches are in demand enough that they require long deals with big guarantees.

And the rise in early-season firings isn’t going to change, either. Schools can gain a strategic advantage with a quick hook because it allows a new coach to come in and evaluate the roster. Being prepared to attack the transfer portal and December signing day is crucial, but perhaps even more important is a new coach recruiting his own roster to avoid a postseason exodus.

While poaching a current head coach would occur on the same end-of-season timeline, hiring an assistant or someone out of the game could provide a head start. Last year, Texas Tech (Joey McGuire), UConn (Jim Mora Jr.) and Georgia Southern (Clay Helton) made their head-coaching hires in November. All three schools are currently outperforming preseason expectations.

What change can be made? A reprioritization of where schools are asking their boosters to allocate money.

Instead of asking donors to pony up for the biggest-name coach on a big-money deal, they could look for them to spend that money on NIL deals. Mid-level Power 5 schools could look to find the next Sam Pittman, the Arkansas coach who wasn’t atop anyone’s list of hot candidates when he came to the Hogs at a reasonable cost and turned the program around.

An athletic director could bring in a high-energy young coach or a proven winner at the FCS level, and with the savings on salary, offer them assurances they’ll have the resources to have flush rosters. High-end talent is required to win anywhere, and offering a coach better access to it would seemingly be the best possible recruiting technique.

“That would be a rational approach,” said another Power 5 athletic director. “It may not win the press conference, but it would make a lot of sense. I’m skeptical that athletic directors would have that kind of discipline.”

With rules changes opening the door for schools — via collectives, of course — to indirectly compensate players, it will be interesting to see if schools begin marshaling their resources differently. A school could look to divert a few million dollars that had previously been earmarked for staff salaries and put it toward players.

Schools can’t do this directly. But if the money from the local car dealership or big donors is moved to the player recruitment and retention side via the collective, it could represent a paradigm shift. For example, could the extra money Nebraska used to get rid of Frost in September have been used to get NIL deals for a top junior quarterback or a few highly regarded defensive linemen?

Coaches are the biggest stars with the biggest salaries in college football. That’s not going to change. But the infrastructure around them could. Instead of $300 million facilities — which resonated more as a recruiting tactic in the pre-NIL days — some of that money could be redirected to roster maintenance and management. Instead of $1 million defensive line coaches, could we see $400,000 defensive line coaches, with that extra cash being used on recruiting and retaining defensive linemen?

Continue reading story here

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October 18th

CU hires search firm of Eastman & Beaudine to assist in coaching hire

From the Daily Camera

Colorado has retained the search firm of Eastman & Beaudine to help with the process of hiring a full-time head football coach. According to a BuffZone source, CU has had a “high level of interest” in the job, leading to the decision to hire a search firm.

CU fired head coach Karl Dorrell on Oct. 2, with Mike Sanford taking over as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

Athletic director Rick George employed Eastman & Beaudine in 2018 and the firm helped CU in the process that brought Mel Tucker to Boulder as head football coach that winter.

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October 12th

Jon Wilner weighs in with his CU candidates

From the San Jose Mercury News … By dismissing Karl Dorrell last week, the administration gained two months of preparation time. So long as a successor is in place by early December, the Buffaloes will have a chance to salvage a 2022-23 recruiting class that’s better than you might think given the on-field product.

In fact, we began our research into Colorado’s hiring process right there — with recruiting.

Absent a head coach who can maximize the talent pipeline, the Buffaloes will be right back in this position in three or four years, mired at the bottom of the standings, looking for a head coach and hoping to recapture the glory years.

CU is a tough job, one of the toughest in the Pac-12. A chief reason for that existence is the lack of in-state talent. Colorado not only compares poorly to California but also to Utah and Arizona.

… If the local talent leans big, perhaps the Buffaloes should consider hiring a coach with that background: Someone who was an offensive lineman, has coached and developed offensive linemen or, at the very least, favors a run-heavy scheme.

The list below, grouped into three categories, is more comprehensive — we selected coaches with backgrounds in other facets of the game.

But CU should consider reverse engineering its search strategy, first determining what style of play is most likely to succeed given the talent pipeline, then finding a coach who can maximize that pool of players.

Candidates we dismissed for various reasons but might reconsider later in the search: Utah State coach Blake Anderson, UNLV coach Marcus Arroyo, former CU player/Chiefs coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Rice coach Mike Bloomgren, Air Force coach Troy Calhoun, Oregon offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham, former Texas coach Tom Herman, Oregon State offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren, BYU coach Kalani Sitake, Sacramento State coach Troy Taylor

*** Up-and-comers

Head coaches at the Group of Five level or coordinators in the Power Five who could be desirable options come December.

San Jose State coach Brent Brennan: The Bay Area native and UCLA graduate rates an 11 when it comes to recruiting energy and community engagement, and his Spartans are on their way to a second MW division title in three years. In every regard except alma maters, Brennan is the anti-Dorrell.

Coastal Carolina coach Jamey Chadwell: One of the hottest coaches in the Group of Five is 28-3 since the start of the 2020 season. He has no experience coaching in the western half of the country and might have his pick of Power Five opportunities. In that regard, he’s both an up-and-comer and a reach candidate.

USC defensive coordinator Alex Grinch: If the Trojans keep winning and the defense isn’t a hindrance, Grinch will be the top coordinator candidate within the Pac-12. He spent a few years on the Wyoming staff, then ran Mike Leach’s defense in Pullman for three successful seasons before moving to Ohio State and Oklahoma. Put him on the short list.

Read full story here

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October 7th

Athlon Sports adds some new names to the prospect list

From Athlon Sports … Karl Dorrell was fired as the head coach at Colorado on Sunday. The Buffaloes were just 8-15 under Dorrell and were off to an 0-5 start in the 2022 college football season. Colorado ranks last in the Pac-12 in scoring offense and defense and lost all five of its games by 23 or more points. Defensive coordinator Chris Wilson also was dismissed on Sunday. Offensive coordinator Mike Sanford is expected to work as the interim coach for the remainder of the year. The Buffaloes are off in Week 6 before returning to play on Oct. 15 versus California.

Who could replace Dorrell at Colorado? Here are some names to watch:

Blake Anderson, Head Coach, Utah State
Utah State is off to a slow start in 2022 (1-4), but Anderson is 63-44 overall as a head coach and has previous experience working at a Power 5 program from a stint at North Carolina (2012-13). Anderson went 51-37 and had just one losing season at Arkansas State from 2014-20. He inherited a Utah State team that went 1-5 in ’20 but guided the program to an 11-3 mark with a Mountain West title in ’21.

Brent Brennan, Head Coach, San Jose State
Brennan’s name could pop up in the search at Arizona State, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him mentioned at Colorado. The California native has Pac-12 experience from stints as a graduate assistant at Washington and Arizona, along with a six-year run as the receivers coach at Oregon State (2011-16). San Jose State is not an easy job but Brennan has brought steady progress to the program. After a 3-22 start, the Spartans are 20-16 over the last four years and won the Mountain West title in ’20.

Willie Fritz, Head Coach, Tulane
Fritz has won at every stop in his coaching career and should get a look for Power 5 openings this offseason. The Kansas native went 97-47 at Central Missouri from 1997-09 and guided Sam Houston State to a 40-15 mark over four years (2010-13). He departed the Bearkats for a two-year stint at Georgia Southern (2014-15) and guided the Eagles to a 17-7 mark. Fritz took over at Tulane in ’16 and is 35-44 at one of the AAC’s toughest jobs. The Green Wave are 4-1 through five games this season and posted at least six wins in three consecutive years (2018-20).

Alex Grinch, Defensive Coordinator, USC
Grinch’s name is likely to pop up in searches this offseason, as the Ohio native has helped USC’s defense take a big step forward in his first year with the program. The former Mount Union player has no head-coaching experience but has built a solid resume from other stints as an assistant at Missouri, Washington State, Ohio State and Oklahoma.

Jay Hill, Head Coach, Weber State
If you are looking for an under-the-radar coach to watch in Colorado’s search, Hill could be a name to remember. The Utah native worked with the Utes as an on-field assistant from 2005-13 and took over at Weber State prior to ’14. The Wildcats went 2-10 in his debut but hasn’t posted a losing record in each of the last seven years. Weber State is 62-36 under Hill and has earned five trips to the FCS Playoffs.

Jeff Lebby, Offensive Coordinator, Oklahoma
Lebby doesn’t have any experience as a head coach, but he’s one of the rising stars in the assistant ranks and a wide-open style of play would certainly work in the Pac-12. The Texas native had stops as an assistant at Baylor, Southeastern, UCF and Ole Miss before landing at Oklahoma prior to ’22.

Sean Lewis, Head Coach, Kent State
Lewis runs a wide-open offense and has an entertaining style of play that would be a good fit in the Pac-12. Also, the Wisconsin native is one of the youngest head coaches (36) in the nation and a rising star in the MAC. Dino Babers’ protege went 2-10 in his debut (2018). However, the Golden Flashes – one of the MAC’s toughest jobs – are 19-17 over the last three years and won the East Division in ’21. Lewis is a native of Wisconsin and has no Pac-12 coaching experience.

Todd Monken, Offensive Coordinator, Georgia
Monken is among college football’s top play-callers and has experience as a head coach from a three-year stint at Southern Miss (2013-15). The Golden Eagles showed marked improvement over his tenure, as the program went 1-11 in ’13 but finished 9-5 two years later. Since the stint at Southern Miss, Monken has worked in the NFL (Buccaneers and Browns) and has called the plays at Georgia since ’20. Monken has no Pac-12 experience but has a wealth of experience from stops at Eastern Michigan, Louisiana Tech, Oklahoma State and LSU.

Read full story here

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October 6th

The Athletic: Head coaches CU “should at least ask”

From The Athletic … Paul Chryst’s ouster from Wisconsin Sunday was a surprise. But Karl Dorrell? Not at all.

Colorado is 0-5 and 4-13 in the past two seasons. The roster is dreadful by Power 5 standards. This is going to be a really tough job. It doesn’t have a great recruiting base, and it’s got a pretty shaky positioning regarding conference stability. Colorado also hasn’t had back-to-back winning seasons in almost 20 years, dating back to 2004-05. There’s been just one Top 25 season in the past 20 years, a No. 17 finish in 2016 under Mike MacIntyre.

How can Colorado fix this? Who wants to try? The latter is just as important a question.

Candidates with head coaching experience

Bronco Mendenhall: Former BYU and Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall is available. He’s a defensive-minded coach who had a solid run at Virginia after going 99-43 at BYU. He knows this region well and would feel like a pretty safe hire. Would he fire up the fan base? Probably not, but could he develop the Buffaloes into a bowl team? Probably.

Kalani Sitake: The guy who followed Mendenhall at BYU, Sitake would also make some sense. His teams are always very physical and play hard. Sitake has a strong recruiting reputation on the West Coast and in Hawaii, which is a big bonus. He also has a lot of Pac-12 experience and is doing an excellent job at his alma mater. He is 25-5 the past three years. BYU is headed to the Big 12 and that likely means more stability, or at least certainty, in Provo than Boulder. Would he be tempted to leave what he has for Colorado? We’re skeptical, but the Buffaloes should at least ask.

Troy Calhoun: The Air Force coach, 56, knows the area very well from his time at the Academy and as a Denver Broncos assistant. He’s a creative offensive mind and a consistent winner. In the past four seasons, he’s 28-9.

Justin Wilcox: An Oregon native, Wilcox is only 29-30 at Cal but that is a very challenging Pac-12 job for all sorts of reasons. Because of that, we think he might be open to making this move if CU makes a real push for him.

Bryan Harsin: Another former Petersen assistant, Auburn head coach Harsin might merit a look. It seems like a long shot he’s going to be in the SEC much longer. He’s 9-9 in a year and a half at a place where most of the key Auburn folks never wanted him in the first place. If and when Harsin gets pushed out, he might be worth a look in Boulder. He led Boise State to four Top 25 seasons in seven years there.

Ricky Rahne: Old Dominion’s head coach, a Colorado native, doesn’t have a ton of head coaching experience. He also doesn’t have a winning record at the Sun Belt school, going 8-10 so far, but he led the school to a bowl in his first year and then to a win over Virginia Tech in the opener this season. The former Penn State OC is expected to at least get some consideration, but obviously it’d help his cause a lot if the Monarchs, 2-3, can start piling up some wins. Knocking off Sun Belt power Coastal Carolina on the road in their next game would be a nice start.

Read full story here

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October 5th 

Another list: Three current FBS coaches would be good fits for Colorado

From YouTube … 365 Sports weighs in …

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October 3rd 

Daily Camera adds more names to the list

From the Daily Camera … But, here’s BuffZone’s initial list of candidates to keep an eye on as the Buffs go through their hiring process.

Blake Anderson, Utah State head coach: Aggies are off to a rough start (1-4), but Anderson led them to the Mountain West title last year, his first in Logan, Utah. He also won two Sun Belt titles during his time at Arkansas State. In eight-plus seasons as a head coach, he has a 63-44 record with three bowl appearances. Also has extensive experience as an offensive coordinator.

Marcus Arroyo, UNLV head coach: After going 2-18 in his first two years at UNLV, Arroyo is 4-1 with the Rebels this year (including a win over Anderson’s Aggies). Has more to prove as a head coach, but built a great reputation as an assistant, most recently as the offensive coordinator at Oregon from 2017-19. A California native and former San Jose State quarterback, he has deep roots in the Pac-12 footprint.

Jeff Grimes, Baylor offensive coordinator: Has never been a head coach, but he’s had very prolific offenses as a coordinator, both at Baylor the last two seasons and at BYU (2018-20). A long-time offensive line coach, he knows Boulder. He was the Buffs’ line coach/assistant head coach from 2007-08. Has spent the past 22 seasons coaching at either BYU or Power 5 schools.

Alex Grinch, USC defensive coordinator: Another highly respected assistant who has yet to be a head coach. He transformed the Washington State defense as the Cougars’ coordinator from 2015-17. After spending 2018 at Ohio State, he was hired as the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma in 2019. This year, he followed head coach Lincoln Riley from Norman to Los Angeles.

Tom Herman, CBS Sports: He was fired by Texas on Jan. 2, 2021, four days after his depleted roster routed CU, 55-23, in the Alamo Bowl. He went 32-18 with four bowl wins and three consecutive top-25 finishes in four seasons at Texas, but that wasn’t good enough for Texas. It’s more than good enough in Boulder. Herman also went 22-4 in two seasons as Houston’s head coach (2015-16). Prior to being a head coach, he spent 10 years as an offensive coordinator at four stops (Texas State, Rice, Iowa State, Ohio State).

Jay Hill, Weber State head coach: A Utah lifer, he may not have interest in CU – and he’s clearly a lower profile name than most on the list – but it’s worth a look. The Wildcats are 4-0 this year (including beating Utah State) and Hill is 62-36 with four Big Sky titles and five FCS playoff appearances in nine years. Prior to that, the Lehi, Utah, native and former Utah cornerback was a long-time assistant with the Utes (2001-13).

Troy Taylor, Sacramento State head coach: The engineer of high-powered offenses, Taylor finally got a head coaching opportunity in 2019 at Sac State. In his two full seasons (the 2020 season was canceled), he led the Hornets to two conference titles and he was Big Sky coach of the year both times. This year, his team is 4-0 (for the first time since 1982) and ranked No. 5 in the FCS. He was Utah’s offensive coordinator from 2017-18 and spent one year (1995) as a graduate assistant at CU.

Jeff Traylor, UTSA head coach: Now in his third season at UTSA, Traylor is the reigning Conference USA coach of the year. He led the Roadrunners to a 12-2 record and C-USA title last year. He is 22-9 overall (3-2 this year). The Texas native has previously worked as an assistant at Texas, SMU and Arkansas.

Read full list here

CBS Sports lists its potential candidates

From CBS Sports

Troy Calhoun, Air Force coach: If you want a Rocky Mountain version of Lance Leipold, Calhoun is your man. The Falcons continue to lead FBS in rushing. Four times since 2017, Air Force has won 10 games; it defeated CU again this season by 31 points. Calhoun is a former NFL offensive coordinator. Don’t worry about the triple option thing. He runs that because he’s at service academy. Calhoun would run a conventional offense at Colorado.

Ryan Walters, Illinois defensive coordinator: Rick George is going to have to take a long, hard look at this rising star. Walters played safety for Gary Barnett and Dan Hawkins from 2004-06. In 2009, he was a student assistant before embarking on a career that took him to Arizona, Oklahoma, Missouri and Illinois. Bret Bielema thought enough of the 36-year-old Walters to go get him from Mizzou. The Illini currently have the No. 3 total defense. Because of the complexities at CU, Walters probably needs a starter job elsewhere.

Bryan Harsin, Auburn coach: We provide this as a public service announcement, but it makes total sense. Harsin is a trout out of water in the SEC. He is much more comfortable in the cool, native streams of the West. OK, enough of the analogies. Call it a bounce back after the inevitable. But that would be the problem with the hire. Harsin would come to CU on the rebound.

Eric Bieniemy, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator: This another name that must be on the list … just because. Bieniemy is an all-time hero with the Buffaloes. His accomplishments in the NFL as a Super Bowl assistant shouldn’t have to be recited. But there is the concern that no NFL team has hired him.  What might kill this candidacy is obvious: Bieniemy was Jon Embree’s offensive coordinator. Embree lasted two years.

Dan Mullen, ESPN analyst: Mullen is interested in getting back into the game after a year on the sideline following a collapse at Florida. Don’t know how his personality would mesh with Colorado, but the Buffaloes absolutely have to consider one of the best coaches not presently leading a team. Mullen has a career record of 103-61 with seven bowl wins. He remains a quarterback whisperer, and as we’ve found out time after time, if you’ve got a quarterback, you’ve got a chance.

Willie Fritz, Tulane coach: One of the most respected names in the game. Fritz showed his ability eight days ago in an upset at Kansas State, then followed it up with a win at Houston. He has coached at every level — high school, community college, Division II, FCS, FBS. A Power Five opportunity awaits. Fritz is off to one of his best starts at 4-1 this season. One drawback: Fritz is 62.

Barry Odom, Arkansas defensive coordinator: Odom is ready to put himself out there three years removed from his firing at Missouri. Arkansas went to another level defensively went Sam Pittman hired him in December 2019. Odom shaved 85 yards per game off the Hogs average from 2020-21. He also brings head coaching experience having gone 25-25 at Missouri.

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October 2nd

CU has more competition: Wisconsin fires head coach Paul Chryst

… Figures … CU can’t even keep the nation’s attention for an afternoon. There are now five open FBS coaching spots … Nebraska, Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Wisconsin and Colorado … CU definitely to be looked upon as the worst of the five … 

From ESPN … Wisconsin has fired coach Paul Chryst after the team’s 2-3 start, sources told ESPN.

Defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard will serve as interim coach for the remainder of the season, sources said. The decision came Sunday, a day after Wisconsin lost 34-10 to Illinois, coached by former Badgers coach Bret Bielema. Wisconsin fell 52-21 to Ohio State on Sept. 24, one of its worst losses in recent memory, and fell at home against Washington State as a heavy favorite.

Chryst, 56, finishes 67-26 in seven-plus seasons at Wisconsin, his alma mater. He won 10 games or more in four of his first five seasons with the Badgers, winning a Cotton Bowl and and Orange Bowl, and three Big Ten West Division titles. But the program fell off beginning in 2020, going 4-3, before a slow start to the 2021 season.

According to Chryst’s contract, Wisconsin will owe him $16.4 million if he’s fired without cause, although a different settlement could be negotiated.

Leonhard, a three-time All-America defensive back at the school, returned to Wisconsin as an assistant in 2016 and took over as defensive coordinator the following year. He has long been viewed as a potential successor to Chryst and is expected to be a candidate for the permanent job.

The Athletic: What Names Could be in the Mix?

Note … The author of the piece, Chris Vannini, opened with the names of Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun. Easy names to put on the list, but neither are realistic candidates. Hopefully, the other names on the list involved more homework … 

From The Athletic

Baylor offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes was a Colorado assistant from 2007 to 2008 and has done a good job producing a physically tough Baylor offense. The Bears improved from 100th in scoring in 2020 to 40th in Grimes’ first season, and that’s up to 28th this season. Last year’s Baylor offense finished ninth nationally in rushing yards per carry. The Texas-native Grimes has coached all over the country, and he’s been a Broyles Award finalist at BYU and Baylor in each of the past two years.

Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin is not quite on the market yet, but he seems destined to be fired given the struggles this season, the loss of his athletic director and the upcoming schedule. He’s never been a natural fit in the Southeast. If he’s let go during the season, Colorado could take a look. Harsin went 69-19 as Boise State’s head coach, and the program has fallen off since he left. He’s a Boise native who knows how to recruit the West Coast and in Texas, where CU needs to find players.

Oregon State offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren was Colorado’s OC from 2013 to 2017. He’s familiar with the program and one of the few times it had success in that 2016 season. Lindgren’s creative and shift-heavy OSU offense led the Pac-12 in yards per play last year.

Old Dominion head coach Ricky Rahne is a Colorado native. He’s 8-10 in his second season at ODU, including 7-4 in his past 11 games. The Monarchs sat out the 2020 season due to the pandemic and reached a bowl game last year. This season, ODU beat Virginia Tech and nearly beat Virginia as well.

Central Michigan head coach Jim McElwain had a successful run as Colorado State’s head coach, going 22-15 from 2012 to 2014, including a 10-2 season. He won two SEC East titles in three years at Florida, and he’s 21-17 at CMU after taking over a 1-11 program. He’s a Montana native with lots of familiarity with the region, but his CMU team is off to a 1-4 start this season.

Former Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich was Colorado’s offensive coordinator from 2006 to 2008 and has received interest for this job before. Helfrich went 37-16 as a head coach in his four seasons at Oregon from 2013 to 2016. Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Trophy and Oregon reached the national title game in 2014, but the Ducks fell off quickly, going 4-8 two years later. Helfrich last coached in 2019 as the Chicago Bears offensive coordinator, and he’s spent the past few years as an analyst for Fox.

Washington offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb has been on the West Coast since 2017, at Fresno State and now Washington, as Kalen DeBoer brought him to Seattle. The Huskies are now 4-1, with Michael Penix Jr. leading the nation in passing.

Former USF head coach Jim Leavitt would be a long shot, but he was a candidate when the job opened in 2018. Leavitt did a remarkable job turning around the CU defense as its defensive coordinator from 2015 to 2016, before leaving for the same job at Oregon. He last coached in 2021 as SMU’s defensive coordinator, and Sonny Dykes didn’t bring him to TCU.

North Dakota State head coach Matt Entz has continued the ridiculous level of success at NDSU, with a 41-5 record and two national championships in three-plus seasons. Chris Klieman’s success at Kansas State has shown that an NDSU coach can win at the Power 5 level, and Craig Bohl continues to do a solid job at Wyoming.

Weber State head coach Jay Hill is 62-36 in nine years and has turned the Wildcats into one of the top programs in the FCS. Weber State already beat defending Mountain West champion Utah State 35-7 this season as part of a 4-0 start. Hill was a Utah assistant from 2001 to 2013, so he has a deep understanding of how that program was built.

Arkansas defensive coordinator Barry Odom went 25-25 in four seasons as Missouri’s head coach from 2016 to 2019, with just one losing season. The 45-year-old inherited an Arkansas defense ranked 124th in scoring in 2019 and improved that to 39th last year.

Former Virginia and BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall has plenty of experience in the mountains and out west. He’s 135-81 as a head coach, including 99-43 at BYU and 34-28 in his final five years at UVA. The 56-year-old is a defensive coach, but Virginia had one of the most explosive passing offenses in the country in his final years. He stepped away from Virginia on his own last year but made sure to say it wasn’t a retirement.

Illinois defensive coordinator Ryan Walters was a Colorado safety in the mid-2000s and grew up in the state. The Illini defense leads the nation in scoring this year, most recently holding Wisconsin to two rushing yards in Camp Randall Stadium. In Walters’ first season last year, the Illini improved from 97th in scoring to 29th.

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69 Replies to “CU Coaching Search”

  1. Sanders would certainly be an electrifying hire for an institution not really known for doing electrifying things in its athletics administration duties. At this point I wouldn’t bet on it happening, but the fact that there is some chatter on the subject is kind of cool. Outside of the Sanders speculation, there are a handful of other good names being mentioned, and I hope one of them takes the plunge and comes to Boulder. On a more concrete note, I’m fairly optimistic that CU will indeed adjust its transfer protocols to be more in line with most other universities….and that’s a positive development for the next HC.

  2. CU offers Sanders HC job to “show” they are serious about football and trying to make a big splash. They know he isn’t going to accept it.

    Sanders uses CU offer to leverage getting a job elsewhere. He knows CU is a death sentence for any coach, especially now with NIL and Transfer Portal

    i could not imagine a fish further out of water then Sanders in Boulder.

    Maybe everyone can speak it actually happening into existence, but I highly doubt it.

    Food Cart was never coming here, but boy did his agent leverage that into a sweet deal at Tennessee.

    Same for Sark getting a nice raise at Alabama. He was never coming to CU. He knew if he stayed a while longer he could get a massively better job in less than a year

    After we lose out on Sanders and one more bigger name. Then its an easy win to hire Walters, promote Sanford, or hire some FCS coach who can Quadruple his and his assistants incomes, so is willing to put up with anything just to get the chance at a P5

    1. So I think you are wrong here for this year. As much as Sanders would be huge for us he is a big, big risk. Yes, he is destroying the SWAC but he is doing it with a ton more talent. When he comes to Colorado he will be able to recruit but even with Sanders we are not going to be that much better than most of the teams we face and most of the time pretty equal, so your offensive and defensive concepts and coaching have to prove out and Sanders and his staff have definitely not proven that. They might, and for CU they are absolutely worth the risk. But for an SEC team? If he was really in the running he would already have the job. #2. The leak came from the CU side. This is CU putting pressure on him to say yes. This isn’t the Sanders camp trying to use CU’s interest to get others interested. I actually think Sanders wanted it quiet until his team plays for the championship but CU wants the decision made. To be frank as much as I needed to hear we made this risk I wonder if it damages the relationship. I suspect not, I suspect CU told Samders they had to release this and they had to tell their fans that they needed a decision by Dec 4th before the portal opens. I have a feeling that Sanders is deciding on staying at JSU or coming to CU. He 100% believes he can turn CU into a winner. I believe he is looking at a few things. #1. Can his some transfer to CU? I think he wants to coach his sons. Will our notoriously hard transfer requirements impede that (I suspect looking at what his sons are majoring in and their year it will not be hard). 2. Will CU be a better stage to showcase his son’s talent. Again, there are absolutely cases where lower division qb’s get drafted, but if his son does well at CU vs Jackson state his stock is going to rise…. 3. Will CU have solved the transfer portal issues. I bet this is written into the contract. And he has assurances it might even make it for this upcoming cycle which is why George talked about it when he talked to Adam and Brian. 3. Can he bring his whole staff and pay them. All of those point to CU. 4. Does he want to stay at JSU and transform it into a power 5 school? This is a hard one. It is clear he loves this school and he believes in it, what better legacy than to take JSU into the power 5. Is there any doubt that if he stays and continues having this success they will start moving up during conference realignment? By moving up there will be more money and he will be able to pay his coaches, but that will take years……and that gets me back to his sons. His son is a Sophmore. He has 2 more years which means if he wants to make the jump in competition he is going to have to do it away from JSU. If he jumps away from his dad who remains at JSU what does that say about the JSU program so he is never going to do that. His only opportunity, and Sanders knows this is for Sanders to jump and his son to follow or stay, continue to tear up the SWAC and get drafted low with a chance to prove himself. But I have a feeling both feel he could come into the PAC and dominate……. That lure has to be great……

  3. There’s insider information, from the outside, that jimmy leftwich is very interested, and the interest is mostly mutual, and the conversations are ongoing. We will confirm once the announcement is made official by our unofficial sources.

    Bo Guffs

    1. Where did you see that. Adam over on 247 and Brian have confirmed a very good offer is on the table as of today. This rumor comes from CU’s side and they don’t release that if Deion is a definite “No”. I think it was a pressure move to make Sanders commit this week so we can move on this weekend if he says no.

  4. Personally I find the CBS sports writers just awful. There predictions for the big dance are wildly wrong every year, their research is poor at best (as demonstrated by this article).

  5. Offer Matt Entz at NDSU………….and/or Chris Klieman at Kansas St.

    You have…..TWO WINNERS (with credentials to prove it). ANYONE WHO CAN RECRUIT TO ND OR KANSAS ST AND MANHATTAN CAN RECRUIT TO BOULDER.

    PLAIN and SIMPLE………….PROBLEM SOLVED.

    1. Klieman isn’t coming to Boulder…no offense. The CU job isn’t any better and Klieman has all the resources and support from the university he needs.

      I like Entz and should be at the top of the list.

  6. Well whaddayano?
    other folks are finally reconsidering guaranteed contracts. “60 million of dead money” FOR FAILURE!!! its out of control and mind blowing
    CU needs to find a new kid on the block with brains, motivation and enough confidence to accept an incentive laden contract. If he actually pulls it off he will get poached, of course by another school……..unless the school finally pays enough to keep him. What are the odds CU actually hires 2 successful coaches in a row? with all the deadbeats they have made rich in the past 15 years..in a row… you think the odds would turn around sometime.

  7. So is Beaudine the southern connection? Did he move from a small farm in KY to a mansion in Belaire? With what these consulting firms charge its entirely possible.
    I sure hope RG sticks his nose in here A LOT. He better be motivated with how his last choice turned out.
    I’m leaning on earache to be our fly on the wall /s

  8. I remember another ex sooner coach that was a total bust when he took the job here….and he was one of the most successful coaches in sooner history. Chuckie Fairbanks.
    Forget Stoops. He will want a buyout contract and more than 3 mil. He wont come anyway. If you are still under a rock or in a cave CU is No 1 in the bottom 10. That alone should eliminate any buyout contracts. Its going to have to be a young guy brave enough and confident enough to do incentives….and it probably wont be any of FCS coaches who have stellar records. They will be looking for the big bucks, buyout and teams that already have a winning structure and culture.

  9. Bob Stoops. Good coach, immediate recruiting boost. He has the pedigree to demand changes to transfer rules and admittance rules contractually. Done. Go get him George.

      1. He’s currently coaching in the xfl for $3 million a year. Why the hell not ask him? Chances are slim to none. He’s considering coaching the Sooners again when/ if they fire Venables. Says, that is the only college job he’ll take. Why not make him an offer?

      2. That’s what I think with alot of these names people are throwing out there…. Need to come back to earth and have a reality check, It’s CU, a really LOW CU, not FLA, USC or ND….

    1. Or Garrett Riley. As you may recall Bob stepped down so his brother would takeoveras HC for the Sooners as he saw so much promise in his offensive genius. Garrett, is the same age Lincoln was when he took over HC for the Sooners. I think Garrett is just as good OC as Lincoln. Haves Texas recruiting base down, and his brother and USC have best scouting report for California.

  10. I don’t know if I posted this before, or just said to friends, but the more I think about it, Troy Taylor from sac state may be a good fit.

    Go Buffs

  11. I really have to laugh at all the speculation and especially the speculators. So many experts. Buffzone writers? CBS writers? Athletic writers? espn writers?

    hahahahahahahahahahahaqhahahahahahahahahahaahhahahahahaha

    What a bunch of jokesters eh?

    But oh wait. A joke is a fine definition of the buffs so (see sec short) so its a perfect match.

    My teams I root for
    ………….Buffs…coach fired…………program a disaster
    ………….badgers coach fired………program pointing down

    the shroom supply is not enough..

    Go Buff/Badgers

    Note: Oh ya the “experts” who post on this site………….all…….bunny gunny funny

    1. There are so many candidates out there. So dang many suggestions and a mountain of advice. Enough to make my head spin, even without the shrooms. How is RG and his secret committee going to be evaluate all of them?

    2. VK, I agree might as well have guys on the list like Knute Rockne, or maybe Amos Alonzo Stagg. or Bud Wilkinson, or Earl Red Blake, or Fritz Crisler, or ………….. aw forget about it as that is enough names for now.
      Until they recognize the Portal thing and can compete with NIL CU will remain like a Third World Country that resides in the Family of Nations…….only difference is This is the Family Of FBS. Sad to have had to watch this decline over the last many years

  12. So………..with Matt Entz at NDSU………….and Chris Klieman at Kansas St.

    You have…..TWO WINNERS

    Anyone who can recruit to ND and Kansas St. can recruit to Boulder.

    PLAIN and SIMPLE………….PROBLEM SOLVED.

    PONY UP R.G.

  13. For the Love of God. This isn’t difficult. Garrett Riley, TCU offensive coordinator. As well, former OC for SMU. His brother is the head coach for the Trojans, who will soon depart for the Big 10. Which means his brother has the best scouting report for California. Whoever is not on USC’s big board, gems that don’t have 5 stars, I feel brotherly love will share intel. Texas and California recruiting knowledge secured… Not to mention TCU on pace to play for Big 12 Championship. Their offense being the main reason. Get a youth infusion, pick up Riley. He’s undervalued for one more year at best unless TCU wins the BiG 12, cause then we’d be lucky to pull him.

    Also, we need to figure out a PR campaign calling out CU officials (Phil) bias to to student athletes… we should have the same qualifications as PAC 12 compatriots. Need to audit the books at the Hedge Fund called CU, do you think the Research portion of the fund doesn’t eat $8 million from time to time. Phil, people are going to wake up and realize you’re a tenured socialist.

      1. Proven winner with a stable coaching staff. Great recruiter (he definitely does that to get the talent he has at Cherry Creek). CU alum. He checks 3 boxes. He just hasn’t coached at the college level (gotta start somewhere). He does have many jobs here in CO so the pay may need to be high and he may need flexibility there however I’ll at least admit he’s a good choice IMO.

  14. OMG!!!! Where are people coming up with these trash lists!!?? Do we want to be back here in 2-3 years? I don’t. And some of these comments… Gruden, Urban, my god what are you on….
    We need some fresh, younger, innovative that brings friends and passion. No more needs CU roots, or these 2nd and 3rd hand scrubs

    1. Where was your list. I must have missed that. The lists the “professionals” are coming up with amount to a whole lot of MOTS (More of the Same). It’s what we have been doing the last 20 years almost. News flash. It has not worked!

      Hire the hot (fresh, younger, innovative) FCS head coach…check. Dan Hawkins/Mike Mac (46-77)
      Hire the guy with CU roots…check. Jon Embree (4-21)
      Hire the hot coordinator…check. Mel Tucker (5-7)

      Even if you hit on one of these, you are still looking for another one in 2-3 years (or 1 year in Midnight Mel’s case) because they get hired by someone else who can and will pay more.

      So, let me tell you what I’m on (and let you know that I have some to share)… I’m on a good batch of “let’s do something different that will make us relevant immediately”. I get the disdain for Gruden and Urban. They are flawed…which is why they could be had by CU. And these two probably are not the only ones (or even necessarily the best ones) that you could put in this bucket, just the first two that came to my mind. But, if you got one of these types, imagine what happens immediately.

  15. I have watched UTSA play a couple of times this year. They seem to have a decent program. Their coach is Jeff Traylor. When he was an assistant at Texas, he was named Big-12 recruiter of the year.
    His current team is almost all guys from TX. If the Buffs want someone who knows TX high school talent, he would be a good choice. His current salary is under $ 2M.

  16. I’m really curious to see if they can beat cal. Or at least make a game of it. Cal is not good offensively. Perhaps a new voice will provide a spark?

    Go Buffs

  17. Hmmm

    I kinda like Arroyo
    I kinda like Herman

    Buffs.

    Note: No Note. But It is sad to me HCKD could not make this work. Good guy, right attitude but he was blinded by a coupe of things it appears.
    1. His blind loyalty to b-lew
    2. His non understanding of the DC’s defense (appears nobody could)
    3. His blinded non recognition as to where the team really was in just about all areas.

    Go Buffs.

    Special note: 2500 pennies cost to ship $7.50 Worth it

    1. 7021 mt aukum rd somerset ca 95684

      I will put them in a jar next to a toilet and laugh every morning, and even harder at ever delusional, nonsensical comment you make here.

      Go Buffs

      1. delusional is a short trip for you and you and a toilet together is so real

        not a pretty pic with yur fat arse in overhang mode

        ok have a good day

        buffs
        note: that pic ooh of the hyena on the can

        1. Good effort, Spaulding. Yeah, 6′ 175lbs. Super fat. Once again, you entirely miss the mark. Except in defaulting to denigrating and being an ass (donkey, that is. That’ll do, donkey).

          Go Buffs

          1. touchy,

            175 could be in your dreams only.

            Clearly I didn’t say super fat, I said fat arse. You can deny it,….but not.

            And from a famous movie.

            That ill do pig that ill do

            Well the way I look at is that Ricks coaching miss was caused by the dastardly deed from the midnight escapee which compressed the time frame so much it is just what happened and it just didn’t work out.,

            Give him a major pass all other coaches he has hired have been pretty good But dang midnight mel, like a mortgage company, was all about him.

            gonna be interesting but i know
            the leaders of the woke gang will be all over it.

            HCKD unfortunately sealed his fate with loyalty issues…………or maybe didn’t want to admit he was wrong about some players. …………..and coaches.

            2 weeks till we see what they really got.

            Buffs

        1. 83
          Gentlemen is a large stretch.
          Seriously.
          A mortgage broker/realestate broker? Give me a break
          and a
          A retired sales/marketing executive? Yur kidding right.
          Again seriously……….

          We just be having fun. You need to see past it.

          We ain’t got a football team
          but
          we got each other

          Earache is parrot.
          And the 2500 pennies will be soaked in horse pee which he is very familiar with and totally deserves.

          Signed “the berliner”

          Go Buffs

          1. I’ll bet you double or nothing you never send anything. $25. 2500 pennies. Nuttin’. Wanna bet? You got my address. I’ll be waiting. And yeah, we have horses. Not sure what that has to do with anything though.

            Go Buffs

  18. I wish Dorrell well. He’s a good guy.

    I know nothing about anything, but I’d suggest that CU stop signing coaches to 5 year contracts at $3M per year. Instead, sign them to 5 year contracts at $4M or $5M per year, but with a university opt-out in years 3, 4, and 5. Not appealing enough to attract coaches, you say? I’d argue there are zillions of low-paid assistants who would do anything for a chance to head coach. Besides, the CU head coach who isn’t retained after year 2 still gets the guaranteed $8M or $10M, and CU doesn’t need to keep paying $10M in severance. The CU head coach who is retained after year 2 must be winning football games. Win win.

  19. Shay…You know what solves PR problems (especially ones that occurred long before the person in question came to town)? The same thing that solves the problem of paying a large sum annually to someone who has absolutely proven he knows what he’s doing at this level. WINNING! Winning solves those problems.

    Given the current college football environment, now is the time for significant bold moves. Get busy showing that CU is prepared to compete at the highest level of college football or prepare to compete in the Mountain West. There is no in between at this point.

    1. Good luck living in the land of unicorns and leprechauns. When you get back to earth let me know. Gruden would never survive 5 minutes in boulder before the woke mob would storm the castle. At the same time NFL has beens is a HUGE gamble. Do they even know how to recruit? CU needs a coach that shows he knows how to recruit more than he can coach then get good assistants that know how to coach the recruits. That is what made McCartney so good.

  20. Just watched the Press Conference. I feel so much better knowing that Rick George will be choosing our next coach. Additional comfort comes from knowing that Chancellor Phil will be staunch in his position that in no way will CU look to change its admission standards, especially for Transfers.

    This should enable us to consistently remain as the worst team in the worst P5 conference in the country.

    Whew!

    At first I was concerned when Rick again proclaimed that we expect to go to a Bowl Game every year and compete for Conference Championships every few years.

    But then I remembered he said all of that the last time he hired a coach. Of course Phil shrugging his shoulders and basically saying, “hey nothing we can do about academics” erased any doubts that I may have had that things will change and get much better. Far be it for CU to ever sink so low as to make Institutional improvements that allow its Athletic Teams to be on a level playing field with its peers.

    Yep, its all up to the next coach we hire to figure all that out.

    Of course by the time the next guy hits the wall, Rick and Phil will be retired and it will be someone else’s problem.

  21. The Buffs should go after Riley’s brother who is the OC at TCU. Garrett Riley, get him now. He’s the best up and coming coach.

  22. ALT Buff the only one of those candidate I see as somewhat realistic is Sanders. Unless CU is willing to shell out $10m plus for Meyer or deal with the PR nightmare Gruden will bring to a program in a city like Boulder I just don’t see those 2 as a true possibility. That being said CU would be able to retain a coach that is promising like Mel Tucker if they were willing to pay top money to the coach and assistants, and to tell me the money isn’t there is foolish. If you want to win you have to invest, and if you invest more money comes in, more students want to go there and the university prospers. They need to look at paying a coach in the 6-7 million a year range.

    1. Gruden in Boulder… that’s rich (ha ha!)

      they’d have the pitchforks ready before he even stepped foot in town

  23. Kansas has the guy who came out of Wisconsin-Whitwater. The Ducks once upon a time took an unknown from U of New Hampshire. Perhaps people who scout ALL coaches at ALL levels can come up with a smart guy who wants to be with the Buffs. Stay away from “name guys” or anyone with previous ties to the Buffs.

  24. Depressing is right. Either fired has beens NOooooo
    or guys who would have to instutionalized if they take the job.
    I would love to see the ndsu guy but he is line for better things too.
    Gonna have find a bright young mind down two levels who is willing to take the chance without an immediate buy out

  25. Walters would be maybe the most exciting. BUT he also feels a little bit like Frost to Nebraska.

    Honestly though Bronco Mendenhall might be the best choice just to get us back to sniffing bowl games and building for the future… But wtf happened to him at UVA?

    1. I’d love to see something like Bronco or Leavitt with a high upside coordinator as an Associate HC with a succession plan in place.

      Unfortunately, that would take a level of foresight and nuance I think CU lacks in the athletic department.

  26. Kenny dillingham might be an interesting candidate too.
    Grimes probably near the top of my list, if he’d be interested. He was offensive line coach for Hawkins, so could be a tough sell, since he knows the CU Boulder dynamic. Or maybe he likes Boulder and thinks he can turn this program around?

    Glad it’s not my job to sort out. And to say rick’s job rests on this next hire may be an understatement.

    Go Buffs

  27. Apologies for the copy and paste Stuart. Clearly we were thinking the same thing with the coaching speculation and thus I commented in the wrong place. Forgive me…

    I will say that most of the names on the list in the article depress me. Not all, but most. I’m not interested in a slow build to respectability. I want immediate results. This fan base (in my opinion) is owed that.

    With that in mind, and in no particular order, let me suggest the following:

    Urban Myer – I know the NFL was a nightmare, but this man knows how to do this and the fact that he needs a redemption story may be what a program like Colorado needs to get and keep someone like him.

    Jon Gruden – see most of the above. Same redemption story needed.

    Deion Sanders – Is Prime Time ready to take on a challenge like this? Would he want to take on a challenge like this? I think yes and yes. I’m not yet sold that Sanders really knows how to do what would need to be done at CU, but I’d absolutely give him the benefit of the doubt.

    You’ll notice one thing in common about these three names, none of them are the young hungry assistant that most people (including most recruits) have never heard of. These are splash hires with big names that could recruit immediately (HS and Transfers) and right the ship quickly. Rick George has got to swing for the fences on this one, or he will (and should) find himself next to KD on the unemployment line.

    1. You will also notice the one thing in common about these three names is that there is no way in freakin hell that any of these 3 step foot in Boulder.

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