Colorado Buffaloes Are Being Left Behind in Search for New Coach

By James Gomez
Colorado Buffaloes
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Remember when the Colorado Buffaloes were about to hire Butch Jones away from his cozy home in Cincinnati? Yea me neither. Yesterday Jones made no such announcement during his Belk Bowl press conference. As the hours passed, Jones revealed nothing about his future.

The time has come for CU administrators and Athletic Director Mike Bohn to stop waiting by the phone, and instead use it call other coaches. Yesterday’s coaching hurricane swept up names, twirled them around and had them land in different corners of the country. CU was left in the breeze with nothing to show for it.

Bohn needs to start working on other coaches to bring to Boulder. Jones had a lot to think about, specifically 13.5 million dollars to ponder about taking the gig with the Buffs. For CU, their time courting Jones must end. The Cincinatti Bearcats coach has seen attractive gigs open up across the country and is no hurry to head to a program with a world of work to do.

Right now the Tennessee Volunteers are looking for a head coach as well as the Wisconsin Badgers. Both jobs are infinitely better than CU. Jones is a hot commodity and has no need to jump to Colorado when better options are available.

Names that start to come up in conversation here in Colorado are Tim DeRuyter and Gary Andersen. Both are long-shots  DeRuyter has rekindled the Fresno State Bulldogs in year one and has plenty of opportunity ahead of him if he waits it out.

Andersen has built up the Utah State Aggies into one of the best mid-major teams around and might not feel like another rebuilding job all over again. Who does that leave? Coaches at winning programs in smaller conferences would probably rather keep their position than take over a team coming off a one win season. Ask Dan Hawkins or Jon Embree what CU did to their coaching careers.

Bohn better figure it out quick. Potential coaches want to go to a program they feel they can compete with. Looking at the Buffs competition in the Pac-12, and the state’s multi-year contract restrictions, there are plenty of reasons for reservation.

Colorado has promised to upgrade facilities, but what will they pay assistant coaches? Will the state eventually allow for more multi-year deals? What is the recruiting budget?

Many questions have to be answered before a good coach accepts a deal to take over a program with high expectations and little resources. As of today, one can make the argument that CU is the worst gig in the Pac-12. For coaches concerned about job security, CU is simply too risky a proposition.

Something must change or the Buffs are going to find themselves without a chair when the music stops and this conversation will be had every two years in Boulder.

James Gomez is a Pac-12 and Mountain West columnist for Rant Sports and member of the Football Writers Association of America. You can follow James on Twitter as well.

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