Colorado football all-time roster: Coaches, kickers and specialists

In the history of Buffaloes football, there’s little disagreement about who Colorado’s greatest head coach of all time is — his national success should be enough to end most debates.

Debating the impact of assistant coaches, however, is a more subjective task. The Buffs have enjoyed many great assistant coaches, some of whom later became head honcho at either Colorado or elsewhere.

The final installment of our all-time roster series also looks at kickers and specialists. Boulder’s altitude makes for a kicker’s paradise and the Buffs have had a few placekickers and punters put up impressive numbers.

Enjoy our picks for the program’s greatest ever and as always, let us know your thoughts.

See Colorado’s all-time offense and all-time defense

Check out our other College Wire all-time lineups: AlabamaArkansasAuburnClemsonFloridaGeorgiaIowaLSUMichiganNebraskaNorth CarolinaOhio StateOklahomaOregonPenn StateRutgersTennesseeTexasTexas A&MUSCWisconsin

Starting kicker: Mason Crosby

Mason Crosby #16 of the Buffaloes during a game between the University of Colorado and University of Georgia at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia on September 23, 2006. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

Mason Crosby, the current placekicker for the Green Bay Packers, was a two-time first-team All-American.

Backup kicker: Will Oliver

Sep 1, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Buffaloes kicker Will Oliver (28) reacts to a successful field goal of forty four yards during the game against the Colorado State Rams at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Buffaloes defeated the Rams 41-27. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Will Oliver finished his Colorado career second in career points at 279.

Starting punter: Barry Helton

Photo courtesy of University of Colorado Athletics

Barry Helton was a two-time first-team All-American punter (1985 and 1986). He was also named an honorable mention All-Century Buffalo.

Backup punter: Mark Mariscal

PASADENA, CA – SEPTEMBER 21: Punter Mark Mariscal #8 of the Colorado Buffaloes smiles as he runs off the field after winning the NCAA football game against the UCLA Bruins on September 21, 2002 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Colorado won 31-17. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Marc Mariscal captured the Ray Guy award in 2002 as the nation’s top punter after averging the highest gross punt average in the country — for the second year in a row.

Starting returner: Byron White

Photo Courtesy of University of Colorado Athletics)

Colorado’s do-it-all player, Byron “Whizzer” White became a Supreme Court justice after his incredible football career came to an end.

Backup returner: Ben Kelly

BOULDER,CO – SEPTEMBER 27: Ben Kelly #1 of the Colorado Buffaloes moves on the field during the game against the Wyoming Cowboys at Folsom Field on September 27,1997 in Boulder,Colorado. (Photo by: Getty Images)

Ben Kelly was a dynamic returner averaging an astouding 28.1 yards per kickoff return. He also holds the record for the most non-offensive touchdowns scored at CU.

Head coach: Bill McCartney

Colorado University head football coach Bill McCartney peels an orange bearing the C.U. logo at a news conference promoting the Orange Bowl, in New York, Dec. 6, 1989. McCartney’s Buffaloes will face Notre Dame’s Fightin’ Irish on New Years Day. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Coach Mac led the Buffs to the 1990 national championship and finished his career with a 93-55-5 record at Colorado.

Offensive coordinator: Gerry DiNardo

Photo courtesy of University of Colorado Athletics

The offensive coordinator of the 1990 national championship team. Gerry DiNardo spent nine years as a coach at CU, the last seven as OC.

Defensive coordinator: Mike Hankwitz

Colorado interim head coach Mike Hankwitz applauds a play against Clemson in the 2005 Champs Sports Bowl December 27 in Orlando. Clemson defeated Colorado 19 – 10. (Photo by A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

Mike Hankwitz coached in Boulder for 12 years over two different stints, including a memorable run as the defensive coordinator.

Assistant coach 1: Brian Cabral

Nov 12, 2011; Boulder, CO, USA; Colorado Buffaloes linebacker coach Brian Cabral calls in a play during the game against the Arizona Wildcats at Folsom Field. The Buffaloes defeated the Wildcats 48-29. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado’s longest-tenured full-time assistant in school history for any sport (23 years), Brian Cabral claims an impressive list of mentees including Matt Russell, Greg Biekert, Chad Brown, Ted Johnson and Jordan Dizon.

Assistant coach 2: Lou Tepper

Photo courtesy of University of Colorado Athletics

Lou Tepper was a defensive coordinator and later an associate head coach for a total of five seasons. He was best known for his 3-4 defense.

Assistant coach 3: Gary Barnett

Nov 25, 2005; Boulder, CO, USA; Colorado Buffaloes head coach Gary Barnett watches from the sidelines during the second quarter against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Folsom Field. Barnett lost his job after leading the Buffaloes to a 7-5 record in 2005. Mandatory Credit: Photo By Byron Hetzler-USA TODAY Sports Copyright (c) 2005 Byron Hetzler

Gary Barnett spent seven years as an assistant coach on Bill McCartney’s staff before being promoted to offensive coordinator prior to the 1991 Orange Bowl. Barnett would take on head coaching duties at CU in 1999 and soon led the Buffs to a Big 12 title in 2001.

Assistant coach 4: Bob Simmons

Photo courtesy of University of Colorado Athletics

Bob Simmons spent seven years at CU, coaching both the outside linebackers and defensive line. His accomplishments include coaching the dynamic duo of Alfred Williams and Kanavis McGhee.

Story originally appeared on Buffaloes Wire