clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Is Tosh Lupoi a Fit for Colorado?

Can CU assume the villain role?

NCAA Football: Alabama A-Day Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Buffaloes are in the midst of finding their next head football coach. We’re here to break down the top candidates and grade them based on how they would fit in at Colorado.


You’d be hard-pressed to find a resume, taken at face-value, that fits the open Colorado Buffaloes head coaching job better than Tosh Lupoi. Born in California, Tosh coached at Cal as a defensive line coach, took the defensive line coaching job at Washington, and after a few years of mentorship under Nick Saban, he was promoted to co-DC this offseason. Slam dunk, right?

Well, I think so, but it gets more complicated than that. Tosh was a Jeff Tedford disciple. In fact, he was his star pupil. He played under Tedford and then coached under him. As their DL coach, he was one of the best recruiters in the West and got consistent NFL talent to Cal. Then, he moved to Washington under shady circumstances. He left Cal high and dry and went to work for the Huskies, and did well there for his short time. However, some of his more interesting recruiting technique caught up to him and he was essentially dishonorably discharged. Like many other coaches who left ungracefully, he turned to Nick Saban, who took him in as an analyst. He was promoted to OLB coach in 2016, and you can imagine how a recruiter like him in a place like Alabama did. After Kirby Smart and Jeremy Pruitt left, Tosh was promoted to co-DC, but he doesn’t call plays.

In short, he has an almost combo of high-level experience and youth for CU, but he has caused trouble everywhere he’s gone

Grade: A


Well, we don’t know much about his strategy, given that he’s never called plays or been a head coach. So this is a big unknown.

Grade: INC

Recruiting & Player Development

Look for yourself:

That includes Tua Tagovailoa, Shaq Thompson, Najee Harris, Keenan Allen and Jonah Williams, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Grade: A+


Tosh is your classic DL coach personality. He’s fiery and talks with great punctuation. As young guy, he relates easily to players, and it seems like guys love to play under him. Extrapolating this to a HC position, he would be a player’s coach that outwardly shows passion. Think Coach O, but less Louisiana.

Grade: A


He’s paid well at Alabama, but this is a huge promotion in title. It would be expensive to get Lupoi, but not crazy expensive compared to other candidates. I would expect something in the vicinity of 3 million if he were the choice.

Grade: B

Interest in Colorado

This is tricky. Tosh was not brought up by anyone in the CU or national media until last week. There were whispers and rumors that he put his name forward for the job, rather than CU contacting him. Either way, the names are connected now. And once I thought about it, it’s a pretty natural fit. I’ll play it safe and say that he is not too interested, given how out of the blue it was, but there is something there.

Grade: C+

Cumulative GPA: 3.46