In the waning hours of a cold Monday evening in Boulder, The Denver Channel reported that Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre and the university had agreed to mutually part ways at season’s end. The news wasn’t surprising to many as Colorado is in the midst of a tailspin that’s seen them lose five straight games after winning their first five for the first time in program history. Likewise, while MacIntyre helped transform the team from division cellar dweller to respectable, his tenure in Boulder has ultimately been defined by mediocrity.
However with no sources to confirm the report and athletic director Rick George issuing a statement that they were unwilling to comment on the matter, it’s clear the university was trying to keep the information close to their chest, if the report had any truth at all. But Tuesday afternoon, he addressed both the team and media on the rumors.
MacIntyre claims the reports were baseless. In fact, he learned that rumors were swirling during a surprise midnight phone call from his youngest son who attends Chapman University in Santa Clara.
“My phone rings and it’s my son from California, and he says ‘dad what’s going on?’ and I asked what are you talking about? he read me the article and I said don’t worry about it I met with Rick George two weeks ago and he came in and gave me 100 percent support.”
He also viewed the nature of the story - not citing sources or giving specific information, regarding the situation as cowardly.
“For an anonymous story to come out with no quotes is kind of gutless is kind of how I see it,” MacIntyre said. “But that is the world we live in with everyone trying to make a name for themselves.”
While denying the truth of the rumors, MacIntyre reaffirmed his loyalty to the program and discussed the progress it’s made as a whole during his six years in Colorado. In terms of making the rumors go away, he thought winning their final two games would be the best solution.
With the team sitting at 5-5, one win short of bowl eligibility, senior day upcoming on Saturday, and facing two games where they’re the underdog, the coaching changes are on the back burner of the player’s current concerns.
“Mac addressed it this morning,” Senior Nick Fisher said. “I don’t think anyone is worried about it, it’s just about putting that stuff to the side and focusing on winning.”
In lieu of the reports and the recent struggles the team has had, MacIntyre used a interesting strategy to address the team today. He brought in a framed photo of a Buffalo trudging through snow (also brought to his media press conference) and showed it to them to describe the situation they’re going through.
“The buffalo is the only one who runs into the storm, the rest of [the animals] run away, and the buffalo go in it together” MacIntyre said. “We’ve had a little bit of a storm here the last few weeks and lost a few tight games, so I talked to them about life and what that means, and we’re walking through this situation together.”
The sentimental photo should serve as a appropriate metaphor for the adversity the team is facing and could potentially provide them with a little extra motivation, however only time will tell if MacIntyre is part of it for the long term.