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Dr. Saturday

Colorado makes the right choice, hires Mike MacIntyre from San Jose State

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Two weeks and one failed courting later, Colorado finally has a football coach.

Several outlets are reporting that San Jose State coach Mike MacIntyre will become the Buffs' new head coach as early as Monday afternoon.

MacIntyre took over at San Jose State three years ago and was immediately hit with adversity. He had so many injuries his first season that toward the end of the year he had trouble finding enough healthy players for practice. Consequently, the Spartans went 1-12.

But MacIntyre learned from that experience, kept his team together, limited the defections and went 5-7 in his second year. The Spartans were 10-2 this season, ranked No. 24 in both the AP and coaches poll, and are headed to the Military Bowl to try to win 11 games for the first time in school history.

It is unclear whether MacIntyre will coach the Spartans in the bowl game.

Colorado could not have picked a better coach. Even though it nearly nabbed Butch Jones from Cincinnati, who would have been a splashier name, MacIntyre has the experience to handle Colorado's tough situation.

Colorado hasn't had a winning season since 2005 and hasn't been to a bowl game since 2007. Coach Jon Embree, who was hired because he was a former player and because he was cheap labor, was a well-liked coach but didn't have the experience to pull the Buffs out of their current hole. And after a 4-21 record in two years, he wasn't given the opportunity to see if time could help.

We'll see if MacIntyre is given that time.

Colorado, which is still well behind most FBS schools in facilities and booster support, can't be changed overnight. The administration not only has to give MacIntyre the tools — they are slated to announce new facilities and upgrades in 2013 — but also the support to try and turn the program around. MacIntyre can't be worried that if his teams don't make bowl games in the next two seasons that he'll find himself out the door.

MacIntyre, a Miami native, has made strong recruiting inroads in California and the West Coast and can still recruit in the eastern and southern parts of the country where he was an assistant for more than 20 years.

The terms of MacIntyre's deal have not yet been disclosed. Colorado offered Jones five years at $2.7 million a year. MacIntyre, who made $450,000 at San Jose State, won't garner that much coin because he has not been a "Big Six" coach, but he should more than double his current base salary.

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