THOUGHTS ON THE PRESS CONFERENCE
Hard not to be impressed with Jon Embree and Eric Bieniemy today. You can see what they bring to the table right away. They have a great appreciation for the University where they grew into the people they are today. They both showed their powerful presence, grabbing the attention of the room and making a point that they intend to bring the "luster" back to the program.
Embree and Bieniemy don't view Colorado as a tough place to recruit to, as an athletic department that was burned to the ground, as a University that is not committed to athletics. For the past five years, we have heard the negatives about Colorado. Today, Jon Embree brought out the positives and made it clear they intend to drill the message of why Colorado is great to potential recruits. He mentioned how Colorado fit well in the Pac-12 from a academic and facilities standpoint, he talked about selling the Colorado tradition, the mountains, the community, the national championship, the Butkus award winners, the Thorpe award winners, the All Americans and the Heisman trophy...yes, the great history of the Buffs.
Embree knows the standards and knows what it means to be a football coach- "At the end of the day, you're going to judge by my wins and losses on the field."
Embree nailed it with this comment. "The way we do everything, it's the competitive fire. When I watch Colorado play, I didn't sense they really believed they could win." See the road record. Did the Buffs think they could win on the road? I don't think so. Embree even made mention of the lack of road success saying "we need to get that changed and get that turned around." He knows this program, knows what it was and wasn't the last few years. That's a good start on how to get things changed.
Loved his confidence around recruiting - "First of all, I've been very fortunate to be very successful in recruiting. It won't be hard for me to sell this university because I have passion for it. Ultimately, kids want to come play for you. I have to sell me. Kids are going to want to come play for me; they're going to want to come play for my coaches. Kids will want to be around them. If you have good coaches and you have coaches that care about [you] and you have coaches that have had success at the highest level, they'll want to be a part of it. Will it be easy at the beginning? No, but as kids start seeing what we're building and talking to the kids in our program and the kids in our program telling them where we're going and feel the excitement from them, we'll get kids to come here."
Bottom line, I loved his confidence, loved his passion and truly feel this was a good move for the program. What I think I like most about today: I know Embree and Bieniemy believe talk is cheap and they have to get after it to make it work.]
Instant player thoughts: QB Tyler Hansen tweeted - Great day!! Excited about the new direction coach embree will take this program
WR Paul Richardson tweeted - Just had one on one meetings with the new coaches Embree and Bienemy; pumped for this off season
OT Ryan Miller - New chapter begins today Buff nation, Pac12 get ready for the STAMPEDE, Black and Gold lives here
Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy has been cleared to start recruiting eventhough he is still on the Minnesota Vikings staff. Buffzone.com reported: "Julie Manning, CU associate athletic director for compliance, submitted a request to the NCAA over the weekend asking for clarification on whether Bieniemy can be involved in the recruiting process. The organization said as long as he has a letter of offer or a signed employment contract, Bieniemy is free to begin contacting recruits."
Linebacker's coach and former interim head coach Brian Cabral will remain on Embree's staff, a key person to retain from the former regime. Cabral is one of the best in the nation at coaching linebackers. Embree was extremely complimentary of Cabral in his press conference, praising him for bringing back the Colorado traditions the last three weeks of the season.
It is rumored that Texas WR coach Bobby Kennedy will join Colorado's staff. Tom Dienhart of rivals.com also reported this. Last year, Bobby Kennedy recruited and received commitments from 10 players - one 5 star, eight 4 stars and one 3 star. That will work. Texas fans won't be too sad to see him leave as many are dissapointed in the offense this past season but Kennedy has gotten strong production out of players like Quan Cosby, Limas Sweed and Jordan Shipley in the past.
Kennedy is regarded as one of the staff's top recruiters, though his 2010 wide receiver group often received criticism for their inability to get open and block downfield in the absence of departed All-American Jordan Shipley.
He also served as Texas' assistant recruiting coordinator since 2005. Kennedy is a powerhouse recruiter. He was born in Boulder, CO.
Jon Embree will sit down with the rest of Dan Hawkins' staff this week before announcing any other assistant coaches. Right now, it looks like running backs coach Darian Hagan and defensive backs coach Ashley Ambrose sit favorably with Embree and have a good shot at being retained. Other names being floated out there as potential assistant coaches: Walt Harris (QB coach, former head coach at Pittsburgh and Stanford), Greg Brown (defensive coordinator, current defensive coordinator for Arizona, former defensive backs coach for Colorado), Kanavis McGhee (defensive line coach, former Colorado Buffalo) and Steve Marshall (offensive line coach, current offensive line coach for California).
Condolences to Darian Hagan and his family. DeVaughn Levy, 19-year old son of Hagan, committed suicide last weekend.
Need more interviews of Eric Bieniemy and Jon Embree? 850 KOA has some nice interviews up here.