Colorado taps Mike MacIntyre

December, 10, 2012
12/10/12
12:30
PM ET

It might be a blessing in disguise that Butch Jones spurned Colorado last week and then emerged at Tennessee.

Colorado has hired San Jose State coach Mike MacIntyre, sources told ESPN.com on Monday, and that feels like a better fit.

MacIntyre, 47, transformed a moribund program into a 10-2 bowl team this season, one that is ranked 24th in the BCS standings.

After San Jose State went 2-10 in 2009, MacIntyre took over and went 1-10 his first season. The Spartans jumped to 5-7 in 2011 and now will play in the Military Bowl on Dec. 27 in Washington, D.C.

So MacIntyre won't be surprised by what he is getting into. Colorado hasn't posted a winning record since 2005. It has won three or fewer games four times since 2006.

[+] EnlargeMike MacIntyre
AP Photo/Tony AvelarCan Mike MacIntyre bring smiles to Colorado's struggling football program?
Terms of MacIntyre's contract were not available. Last week, Colorado offered Jones, then the coach at Cincinnati, a five-year deal worth $13.5 million, according to multiple reports. MacIntyre's deal figures to be less than that.

MacIntyre will replace Jon Embree, who was fired after going 4-21 in two seasons.

MacIntyre was born in Miami, the son of a coach, George MacIntyre, who was Vanderbilt's head coach from 1979-85. He's also a defensive guy whose specialty is the secondary. From 2003-07, he coached defensive backs in the NFL (Dallas and New York Jets). NFL experience gives a guy credibility on the recruiting trail. He was Duke's defensive coordinator for two years before coming to San Jose State.

This is a great profile from Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News of MacIntyre. It's notable how MacIntyre turned his focus to conditioning and recruiting.
MacIntrye, meanwhile, organized a plan to have he or one of his assistant coaches meet and personally shake the hand of every single high school football coach in California. MacIntyre also organized "traveling San Jose State camps" at high school fields in San Diego, Bakersfield, Los Angeles, Ontario and Sacramento. They were one-day clinics that cost $40 for players to attend -- but also served as evaluation sessions. The high school coaches were encouraged to send along any player they thought had college potential.

"California is like four states in one," MacIntyre said. "It was a way for us to spread the word about San Jose State. If we sign 20 players in a recruiting season, at least 17 or 20 of them have been at our camps."

The new recruiting effort, plus the conditioning ramp-up, made the Spartans far more competitive in 2011. MacIntyre was also able to keep his coaching staff stable. Although San Jose State finished with a 5-7 record, late season victories over Navy and Fresno State created momentum moving forward.

San Jose State's two losses came to Pac-12 champion Stanford, 20-17, and 20th-ranked Utah State, 49-27. It finished the season with strong wins over BYU and Louisiana Tech.

California just hired now former Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes.

MacIntrye not only has experience as a head coach, he has the right experience that matches Colorado's needs.

He knows what a desperate program looks like. It doesn't frighten him. And based on what he did at San Jose State, he just might have the cure.

 

Ted Miller | email

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