Yesterday we went over each Colorado football transfer that came into the program here:
It led many of you to ask “ya, but who is coaching these guys”. If you go to CU’s website, every coach basically just has their name with nothing about them (seriously). Except Coach Prime, who has a novel written about his accomplishments. Why don’t we just get into it here!? We will skip past Deion as that is pretty well documented.
Offensive Coordinator – Sean Lewis (HC Kent State) – Lewis comes to Boulder after having a 24-31 record at Kent State as a head coach. The Golden Flashes hired him at only 32 years old. Lewis played his football at Wisconsin and actually had an assistant spot coaching TEs at University of Nebraska-Omaha for one season. While his head coaching didn’t wow you, his offenses that he developed did. He had OC stops at Bowling Green for one year and Syracuse for two years. His offenses are known to light up the scoreboard. For Coach Prime, grabbing a former head coach as a coordinator is a pretty good hire in my opinion. Lewis will be working with the QBs.
Assistant Head Coach/RBs – Gary Harrell (RB Jackson State) – In a pattern surprising no one, Sanders is bringing some of his staff with him from Jackson State. Unlike Frost who brought his entire staff from UCF, Sanders seems to have picked and chose who he wanted. I’m curious about this one, as Harrell has essentially spent his entire time coaching in the HBCUs. He was head coach at Howard from 2011-2016 compiling an atrocious 20-36 record. He did spend two seasons with Lane Kiffin at Florida Atlantic from 2017-2018.
Wide Receivers Coach – Brett Bartalone (OC Jackson State) – Following the familiar theme, Sanders brings Bartalone to Boulder from Jackson State where he was the offensive coordinator. Two interesting things here… first, Sanders made Harrell assistant head coach not Bartalone. Second, he didn’t make Bartalone OC and went outside to find someone. That makes me think Coach Prime has some loyalty, but only to an extent. Bartalone spent the two years prior to Jackson State as an analyst for Nevada. Prior to that he was an Offensive Coordinator at a Division 3 institution.
Tight Ends Coach – Tim Brewster (TE Jackson State) – Horse is already dead, but we will beat it again… Brewster comes to Colorado from Jackson State where he had the same role. The name should sound familiar, as Coach Brewster has been freaking everywhere including the NFL where he was with the Chargers and Broncos roughly two decades ago. Brewster has some head coaching experience where he was in Minnesota with the Golden Gophers from 2007-2010 and compiled a 15-30 record. After that he has bounced around mostly in the ACC/SEC area as a TEs coach making stops at North Carolina, Texas A&M, Florida State, Mississippi State, and Florida before being at Jackson State for the 2022 season.
Offensive Line Coach – Bill O’Boyle (OL Kent State) – It appears Sanders let his new OC bring at least one of his coaches with him, and he’s a good one. O’Boyle is a guy i’ve long said I wish he was our OL coach even before our Raiola days. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because he was the head coach at Chardron State back when Danny Woodhead was winning the Division 2 Heisman Trophy. He has made stops at Southern Illinois and South Dakota as an OL coach before spending 2018-2022 at Kent State. It also makes sense why two of his better linemen followed him to Boulder.
Defensive Coordinator – Charles Kelly (Asst DC Alabama) – This is a really good hire by Coach Sanders. Kelly has all of the experience you would want, as he has been the DC at Florida State and Alabama. His stint at Alabama started in 2019. I have no idea how you could get the assistant DC at Alabama to come be your DC in Boulder, but here we are. I will be curious to see how he does with a bunch of guys that aren’t even close to the same level as what he was working with in Tuscaloosa.
Defensive Tackles Coach – Sal Sunseri (Special Assistant to the Head Coach Alabama) – This is another pretty decent pickup for Coach Prime. Sunseri has been at Alabama since 2019, but they removed him from on the field coaching duties in 2022 and to his title referenced above. Sunseris main role for Saban in 2022 was to watch the portal and keep an eye on if there are guys that can help them on the field. Makes a ton of sense when you hear that and how many transfers that Coach Sanders has brought in. Further, it’s a guy that DC Kelly is familiar with as they were both in Tuscaloosa the past few seasons.
Defensive Ends Coach – Nick Williams (Analyst Texas A&M) – Williams played his college football at Georgia where he had a short stint helping them coaching after playing in the NFL. From there, he went to be an analyst for Texas A&M. He recruited Coach Sanders’ sons while at a couple of those places, and is now going to try his hand in Boulder.
Linebackers Coach – Andre’ Hart (Linebacker Coach Jackson State) – Hart comes to Colorado from Jackson State. Not a ton of info before that, but he did coach at Trinity Christian before Jackson State.
Cornerbacks Coach – Kevin Mathis (Cornerback Coach Jackson State) – Mathis played in the NFL with Sanders, and started coaching in 2020 at Jackson State with Sanders. He makes the move to Colorado with Sanders.
Coach Prime brings 50% of his coaches over from his previous spot at Jackson State. I understand that, if you’re comfortable with people you want to keep them around. He found an OC he wanted and had him bring one of his trusted guys with him in his OL coach. That leaves three left not from Jackson State, and he went out and got some old guard coaches that were at Alabama to be his DC and his DTs coach. Pretty impressive. Last spot went to an analyst at Texas A&M I’m still trying to figure out the connection.
Quite frankly, it looks very similar to what Rhule did with Nebraska. Grab some seasoned guys to be your coordinators, and then after that grab some lesser experienced dudes to relay your message. With that said, the “lesser experienced” guys at Nebraska for the most part are younger. Where with what’s happening in Boulder they are a little older and may just not have coached much FBS football.
Like with Nebraska, it will come down to if these guys can coach. You are basically trusting that the head man hired the right guys. The Kent State offense was prolific when Lewis was there, and i’m not sure you could go wrong with hiring someone helping Nick Saban and Alabama coordinate the defense.
It’s pretty difficult for me to pick apart what he’s done putting this staff together if i’m going to sit there and tell you i’m ok with what Rhule did. I actually like the “known” guys that he has gotten with his DC, OC, OL, and DTs coach. Maybe the main difference is the fact that Rhule grabbed an up and coming DC compared to someone that has been around the block.
I think it’s going to come down to the players when Nebraska squares off against Colorado in September, I don’t see a massive coaching advantage one way or the other.
We are going to have very sporadic news for the next month so I have a really good two part feature I will post at the end of the month along with our t-shirt site to help with fees.
Nothing is required, just helps with site fees