December 10, 2012
MacIntyre begins rebuilding job at CU
BOULDER, Colo.- Mike MacIntyre was introduced as the 25th head coach in Colorado football's historic history on Monday evening, concluding a two week coaching search.
While the process of hiring a coach has ended for Mike Bohn, the process of creating a winner in Boulder is just beginning for MacIntyre. The Buffaloes haven't had a winning season since the 2005 season when they won the Big 12 North division title, eventually losing 70-3 in the conference's championship game.
But the new "Coach Mac" is no stranger to rebuilding jobs. When he walked into San Jose State in 2010, he was taking over a 2-10 program that some thought might even fold the program entirely.
"We went from 120th to 24th in every poll in two and a half years," MacIntyre said. "Our APR went from 930 to 981."
While the pressure to win at San Jose State is nowhere near what it is in Boulder, MacIntyre said that it is perseverance and not patience that brought him through the 6-19 start with the Spartans.
"When we were 1-12, I could see us improving in every aspect," he said. "We had the foundation built and when you have the foundation built you keep on going
we've got a long way to go (at Colorado) but I've been there before and I know what to do."
What he finds in Boulder is a brand that went from one of the nation's elite, national championship caliber programs to a national punch line in twenty years.
"When I was growing up and playing ball, Colorado was special," he said of the Buffaloes past glory. "We have to change the culture and it starts with the young men."
He admitted that changing the culture is often much easier said than done. It has become one of the great clichés attached to nearly every coaching change in sports. Everything from support of the administration to the approach of the current players has to come together with one vision in mind: winning.
"You are trying to change everything into a positive light," MacIntyre said. "There are people who say, 'we don't do it that way'. There's always excuses made. I'll find those as we go through, we'll find options that make us have a chance to be successful."
One common excuse is that recruiting high caliber athletes to Colorado is an uphill battle when conference foes like Oregon, UCLA, USC and Stanford provide comparable or even higher academic prowess than CU and recent winning tradition. Another is the lack of a fertile recruiting ground in state and the prospects that defy that notion simply don't want to be in Boulder. MacIntyre's message regarding recruiting was one of confidence.
"We're going to absolutely blanket the state of Colorado and absolutely blanket the state of California," he said. "I look at California as in state. We're going to win (Colorado) in recruiting."
He will also need to win his fair share of recruiting battles in Texas, a state that has given the Buffs many integral pieces to their successful seasons.
"Jim Jeffcoat is kind of a big name there," he said of his defensive line coach at SJSU. "But to me the Pac-12 is more focused television wise (on California). The kids in Texas are watching more Big 12 games."
His first mission will be to find an effective and game changing quarterback, something the Buffaloes haven't had since the late-1990s. MacIntyre helped recruit New York Giants star and former Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning to play for the Rebels during his time in the SEC.
"I called Eli and he has a little kid but he's only ten so I'll have to wait a while," he joked.
Colorado fans are tired of waiting for a blue-chip signal caller. Going back to the beginning of the Rivals database in 2002, the Buffs have signed just one four-star quarterback and that was Bernard Jackson who passed for just 1,357 yards and seven touchdowns during his shortened career.
MacIntyre might have calmed that collective anxiety when he had his wife Patricia stand up at the press conference.
"Looking at her you know I can recruit," he said. "She told me no three times before he'd ever go on a date with me."
Talk about perseverance.
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