Hours after Yahoo Sports first reported that Norvell was expected to be CSU's choice, the school confirmed that Norvell is indeed the Rams' new coach.
Norvell’s hire will make a big ripple within the Mountain West, where Norvell has turned Nevada into one of the most consistent and explosive teams in the league. Nevada plays in a different division within the Mountain West than Colorado State, but Norvell’s team won 52-10 in Fort Collins on Nov. 27.
That was the final game of former Colorado State coach Steve Addazio’s career in Fort Collins, as he went 4-12 in two seasons there. Norvell comes in with a distinctly different track record in the league, as he's gone 33-26 overall and 30-17 over the past four years. That run includes victories over Cal, Purdue and Oregon State.
Nevada went 8-4 this season and Norvell put together one of the most prolific offenses in the country. Nevada finished first in the Mountain West in scoring offense with 36.7 points per game and quarterback Carson Strong developed into one of the country’s top NFL draft prospects.
Colorado State’s hire shows the school’s grand ambitions, as it debuted a $220 million stadium and have ambitions to join the Big 12. The stadium has struggled to draw fans since opening in 2017, and the expected hire of a proven coach in the league would seemingly put a high-octane team on the field that can attract fans.
"I am humbled, thankful, but most importantly excited to begin this process of building Colorado State into the championship contender we all know it can be. My family and I are ecstatic and cannot wait to get to Fort Collins to get started," Norvell said.
Norvell, 58, is a longtime college coach who has had assistant coaching stops at numerous places including Nebraska, UCLA, Texas, Arizona State, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Iowa State. He’s also spent time in the NFL with the Colts and Raiders.
"From the outset, the interest in our coaching position was significant, but one name and resume stood above the rest from the very beginning – Jay Norvell," Colorado State AD Joe Parker said. "When you combine his wealth of coaching experience as an assistant at programs like Nebraska, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Texas, as well as five years as a successful head coach in the Mountain West, the choice was clear."