Ladies and gentlemen, we have another 'Coach Mac,' and we're hoping that he can be just as successful as the original in turning the Colorado Buffaloes football program around. And there is good reason to be optimistic about MacIntyre's ability to do just that. He just completed an impressive turnaround at San Jose State, where he took a team that won two games the year before he took over to 10 wins (and two close losses to tough teams) in his 3rd season. Of course, that was in the WAC, but he has a solid pedigree.
MacIntyre is the son of a coach (also, coincidentally, named MacIntyre...), and has worked for some pretty well respected gentlemen in the business. His college experience is mostly what affects us, but he spent '03 - '06 in the NFL learning from Bill Parcells and working on resurrecting the Dallas Cowboys and '07 with the Jets. Now, back to college!
He played at Vanderbilt (for his Father) before transferring to play at Georgia Tech. He began his coaching career at Georgia as a graduate assistant and earned his masters there. From '92 to '98, he served as defensive coordinator at Davidson College, University of Tennessee-Martin, and finally at Temple University, before getting called up to the big leagues (AKA: Division 1A). David Cutliff hired him at Ole Miss where he spent two years as the wide receiver coach and then two years as the defensive backs coach. While there, he had a hand in recruiting both Eli Manning and Patrick Willis, and contributed to a pretty good defense in 2001. After his stretch in the NFL, he came back to college as David Cutliffe's defensive coordinator at Duke for two seasons. Duke is a very tough place to be successful in football, and MacIntyre got those Blue Devils playing hard on defense, instantly getting that group to play better than any had at Duke in decades. In fact, he did so well, he was named FBS Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Football Coach's Association, for his work both on and off the field.
And now, we arrive at his 3 seasons as the head coach of the San Jose State Spartans, a program that had only a few winning seasons over the previous couple of decades. In 2004, a number of SJSU faculty members suggested they drop Football all together because of the lack of success on the field in recent history and in light of upcoming budget cuts. They didn't, but Dick Tomey wasn't able to turn the Spartans around in his 4 seasons at the helm. And then, in comes Mike MacIntrye. His record in three seasons was only 16-21, but he oversaw quite the turnaround in those three seasons. He finished his time there with the best recruiting class in the WAC, a 10-2 record and a top 25 BCS ranking for the first time in SJSU history. He signed an extension, but the Colorado Buffaloes came a' knockin'.
Coach Mac is a defensive-minded coach, a recruiter, and he understands and works to support the student athletes he oversees. He implemented a program at SJSU to help the guys adjust to the rigors of college and succeed in the classroom, and his years at Duke (and somewhat from his playing days at Vanderbilt) gave him the experience of recruiting to and coaching at a school with higher academic standards for athletes. Between that and his experience of turning around a program at San Jose, I like this hire better than the other guy we had been courting. I don't think this has 'Hawk 2.0 written all over it,' like some folks have been saying. Hawkins (like Butch Jones) was a maintainer as a HC, while MacIntyre is a builder. And he's got the Facilities improvements written into his contract, which will be a boon to him.
He has some work ahead of him (and it will be interesting to see which assistants he keeps at CU, who he brings along from SJSU, and who else he brings into the fold*), but I'm optimistic about his ability to bring CU out of the gutter. 10 wins in his 3rd season is a heckuva lot to expect, but we'll be bowling soon enough.
- *One thing to watch from a staff-makeup standpoint is where we'll have recruiting ties. He mentioned CO and CA in his press conference, but TX is still important to our success at CU.