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Know the Opponent: 3 takeaways from Colorado State hiring Steve Addazio

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The Rams new head coach comes to Fort Collins days after being fired at Boston College.

Boston College v Notre Dame Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The coaching search at Colorado State came to a close on Wednesday with the announcement Steve Addazio is bound for Fort Collins. Addazio was most recently the head coach at Boston College and broke even at 44-44 over the past seven seasons. The Eagles never had above a 7-6 record during his tenure at the school.

Here are three things to know about Steve Addazio at Colorado State.

1. He comes with some baggage

Addazio had two former players suggest he didn’t show good leadership qualities. Former running back and 2013 Heisman Trophy finalist Andre Williams went into detail on Twitter about a return trip to Boston. Addazio’s interaction with Williams during the trip was less than satisfactory for the alum.

Josh Keyes, another former Boston College player from 2011-13, accused Addazio of trying to get him cut from the Atlanta Falcons.

Addazio has yet to comment on the allegations made by Keyes.

2. Was Addazio the best option for CSU with Urban Meyer’s advice?

Colorado State brought in former coach and TV personality Urban Meyer to help guide CSU with its search. So it’s not a huge surprise that Addazio takes over at CSU since he was a former assistant under Meyer at Florida from 2005-10. The history between both coaches goes back to being assistants at Notre Dame under Bob Davie in the early 2000’s. Former Tennessee coach Butch Jones was mentioned as a front-runner for a short period of time, but the conversation between both parties stalled. CSU was said to be negotiating with Jones before backing out, per multiple sources due to concerns of a Title IX lawsuit at Tennessee. Others who were considered for the job also included former Tony Alford and Kevin Wilson.

Addazio takes a step backwards, going from a Power 5 program in the ACC to a sub-six growth project with the Mountain West. Recruiting nationally will be a priority for Addazio at Colorado State, a focus never adopted by the previous three coaching staffs. Overall, Addazio never had a recruiting class ranked over 50th nationally during his tenure at Boston College. There’s a lot of room for improvement with the Rams going forward. Addazio’s predecessor, Mike Bobo, never cracked the top 70 nationally for recruiting classes over the past five years.

3. How does hiring Addazio “Move the Needle” for CSU ?

Not a lot to be excited about with Addazio taking over. Others in the search were more qualified and the move felt like an attempt to have someone in the position before early signing day on Dec. 18. This may come back to haunt CSU athletic director Joe Parker, who’s in desperate need of a true leader for the Rams program. Parker said “integrity” was most important in the search and is something Meyer has struggled with at both Florida and Ohio State.

Addazio, 60, lacks a fresh perspective as a perennial .500 coach in a premier conference. Being invited to a total of four bowls and losing three of them isn’t exactly a foundation-builder for most programs. Addazio’s effort to bring attention to Boston College ended in a video going viral. The “Be a Dude” campaign gave the Eagles fifteen seconds and a few laughs. “What’s better than this? Guys being dudes.”

CSU’s most notable stamp under Bobo was growth at the wide receiver position. Bringing up Rashard Higgins, Preston Williams, Olabisi Johnson, Warren Jackson and Michael Gallup to the next level. Addazio’s not a high-flying football type of “dude” and prefers an offense with a power running game and a solid defense to back it up. Will Addazio adapt with an offensive coordinator to fit the Rams preexisting offensive mold? Or will CSU be undergo some changes? History says the latter of the two.

Addazio’s first game for CSU will be the Rocky Mountain Showdown vs. Colorado. The in-state rivalry moves north to Fort Collins for the first time in 24 years at Canvas Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020. CSU lost five straight under Bobo in a series dominated by CU, going 8-2 in the past ten meetings. The last time the Rams defeated the Buffs at home was Nov. 26, 1955— a 10-0 post-Thanksgiving shutout remains the only time CU was blanked in the 126-year series history.