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10 Coaches to Replace Fired Jon Embree at Colorado


In a bit of a surprise, Colorado decided to end Jon Embree’s tenure after just two years in Boulder. Although Embree didn’t show much progress, he also didn’t inherit a full cupboard and needed some time to build the team through recruiting. However, the Buffaloes were one of the worst BCS teams in recent memory, and it’s clear the administration didn’t have faith in Embree to turn things around in 2013.

10 Coaches to Replace Jon Embree at Colorado

Tim DeRuyter, head coach, Fresno State – DeRuyter had a successful debut season at Fresno State, leading the Bulldogs to a 9-3 record and a share of the Mountain West title. DeRuyter has a solid resume as an assistant, working as a defensive coordinator at Air Force and Texas A&M. Although he’s only been a head coach for one year, it’s very easy to be impressed with DeRuyter. Fresno State struggled to get over the hump with Pat Hill on the sidelines, but DeRuyter brought quick improvement after the Bulldogs went 4-9 last season.

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Pep Hamilton, offensive coordinator, Stanford – Hamilton is considered a rising star in the coaching ranks and it’s only a matter of time before he lands a head coaching gig. Hamilton played quarterback at Howard from 1993-96 and coached there from 1997-2001. After a couple of seasons in the NFL with the Jets, 49ers and Bears, Hamilton joined Stanford’s staff in 2010. Although David Shaw plays a key role in the offensive gameplan and play-calling, Hamilton is heavily involved. Hamilton is a bright offensive mind but has no head coaching experience.

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Mark Helfrich, offensive coordinator, Oregon – Although Chip Kelly is the mastermind behind Oregon’s offense, Helfrich has played a key role in fine-tuning the Ducks’ attack. Helfrich was previously at Colorado from 2006-08 and also made stops as an assistant at Boise State and Arizona State. The 39-year-old coach is expected to be in high demand but may want to wait and see if Kelly leaves for the NFL before taking another job.

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Mike MacIntyre, head coach, San Jose State – MacIntyre’s name has popped up with virtually every job this offseason. And once you look at MacIntyre’s resume, it’s pretty easy to see why he’s one of the hottest names in coaching searches. In three years at San Jose State, he has transformed the Spartans from one of the worst programs in the nation to a 10-2 team in 2012. MacIntyre also has stops as an assistant at Temple, Ole Miss, Duke and in the NFL with the Jets and Cowboys.

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Derek Mason, defensive coordinator, Stanford – Mason has never been a head coach on the FCS or FBS level, so he would be another risky hire for Colorado. However, the Arizona native has a wealth of experience as an assistant and has helped Stanford to rank as the No. 1 defense in the Pac-12. Mason has stops as an assistant at Utah, New Mexico State, Ohio and in the NFL with the Vikings.

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Noel Mazzone, offensive coordinator, UCLA – Considering how much Colorado struggled to develop any consistency on offense this year, a name like Mazzone has to be intriguing. The Washington native has bounced around throughout his career, making stops at TCU, Minnesota, Ole Miss, Auburn, Oregon State, NC State, Arizona State and in the NFL with the Jets. The biggest knock on Mazzone? No head coaching experience.

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Bob Stitt, head coach, Colorado School of Mines – Stitt is a name that has popped up in Boulder over the last couple of months and is a wildcard to watch in this coaching search. The Nebraska native is highly regarded for his work on offense and has a 90-57 mark during his 13 years as the head coach at the Colorado School of Mines. It would be a big jump for Stitt to take this job, but he’s a rising star that’s due for a promotion in the next few years.

Todd Monken, offensive coordinator, Oklahoma State – If Colorado wants to go with a young, offensive-minded coach, Monken is another guy to keep on the radar. The Illinois native has no head coaching experience but made stops as an assistant at Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, Louisiana Tech, LSU and Oklahoma State. Monken also spent two years in the NFL with the Jaguars.

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Jeff Tedford, former head coach at California – Tedford had a solid tenure at California, finishing with an 82-57 mark in 11 seasons. His 82 wins are the most in school history and led the program to eight bowl appearances. Although Tedford’s tenure at California has to be considered a success, he may have grown stale at the end of his run. The Golden Bears were just 10-15 over his last two seasons and failed to make a bowl game in two out of the last three years. Tedford clearly knows his way around the Pac-12 and would be a good hire at Colorado. However, considering he is receiving a buyout from California, he may not be in any hurry to take another head coaching gig.

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Justin Wilcox, defensive coordinator, Washington – Wilcox made an instant impact on Washington’s defense this season. After ranking among the nation’s worst last year, the Huskies finished 30th in yards allowed and 39th in scoring defense. The Oregon native has paid his dues as an assistant, spending time at California, Boise State and Tennessee. Although Wilcox is ready to be a head coach, he might be waiting to see if Chip Kelly leaves Oregon or Chris Petersen departs Boise State.

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Gary Andersen, head coach, Utah State – Andersen signed an extension at Utah State earlier this season and all signs point to a return to Logan for 2013.

Ron Caragher, head coach, San Diego – Caragher is 43-22 in six seasons with San Diego and has some FBS experience with stints as an assistant at Kentucky and UCLA.

Sonny Dykes, head coach, Louisiana Tech – Dykes is 22-15 in three seasons at Louisiana Tech but probably wanting to aim a little higher if he wants to move into a BCS job.