Editor’s note: Welcome to the CU Independent’s week-long season preview of the Colorado Buffaloes football team. Each day, we will delve into the different aspects of CU football leading up to the CSU vs. CU game. On Day 1, we will take a look at the coaching staff.
It was quite a shock for some when Mark Helfrich, the previous offensive coordinator and quarterback’s coach of the Buffs, decided to leave the program in late April for the same position at the University of Oregon.
Fortunately, Buffs head coach Dan Hawkins had a replacement in mind that just might change the team’s image in college football.
Former passing game coordinator and receivers coach for the Buffs, Eric Kiesau, retired those titles last spring to take on the new ones of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at CU.
“The transition [of jobs] has been great…I have a lot of great ideas [for the offense],” Kiesau said.
Kiesau said one of his main ideas was to change a few of the formations that the offense had used last season.
When asked if he could elaborate on this idea, Kiesau said there will be less of the spread formation and more of the I-formation, but that some of the plays will stay the same.
This change could prove favorable to the entire team as well as certain players whose talents could be used more efficiently in the new system. Kiesau also said that these formation changes will make his offense very different from the other Big 12 offenses.
However, with Kiesau moving into his new job, his transition left a large gap in the position of receivers coach. This may seem like a big problem to most, but not for this Colorado team; as head coach Dan Hawkins stepped in to fill the vacancy.
For this season, Hawkins will take over as the receivers coach while still performing his regular duties.
So far, Hawkins says he is enjoying being both the head coach and the receivers coach.
“It’s been good,” Hawkins said. “I’m having fun because it’s playing more football.”
He also mentioned that a couple of the other coaches have been helping out with some of his usual duties, which has given him more time and personal contact with the receivers.
Freshman wide receiver Terdema Ussery said that he doesn’t mind a bit that Hawkins is coaching the receivers this fall.
“[Hawkins] has coached for 27 years …it’s an asset I’ve never had before,” Ussery said. “It’s been great.”
Also, Ussery is a good example of another positive aspect of the new offensive coordinator: He was personally recruited by Kiesau.
Kiesau is well-known for his ability to recruit new talent, and this ability is important to have when a team can change drastically from year-to-year.
All of these factors seem to be leading up to a more optimistic future for the Buffaloes, and the impact of Helfrich’s departure doesn’t seem as large as it did four months ago.
Hopefully this change will be visible in the first game of the season against Colorado State on Sept. 6th.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Kayla Cornett at email@example.com.