National coach of year MacIntyre’s schedule gets crazy, and CU boss loves it.
Mike MacIntyre can be forgiven if he has feeling a little road weary these days.
Such is the life of a coach in demand in December.
MacIntyre went straight from the news conference in Boulder announcing Colorado’s berth in the Alamo Bowl on Sunday to the recruiting trail, accompanying members of his staff as they made in-home visits with prospects.
MacIntyre was then in San Antonio Thursday morning for a charity golf tournament and joint news conference with Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, previewing the Dec. 29 game that will be televised nationally on ESPN. From there, the Colorado coach was set to jet to Atlanta to receive his award as the Home Depot national coach of the year.
Then it would be back to Boulder on Friday as CU begins preparations for the Alamo Bowl. Catch all that?
“It’s a lot better than sitting home, for sure,” MacIntyre said. “It’s exciting for our program and does get our name out there. This game being televised on a Thursday night, national television against a great opponent. It will be exceptional for our football program and for our school.”
While he has been a busy man the past five days, MacIntyre said he has had an opportunity to dig deeper into the kind of challenge No. 11 Colorado (10-3) will face in No. 13 Oklahoma State (9-3). He was effusive in his praise for the Cowboys’ offense, which is ranked 17th in the country at 492.1 yards per game.
“Watching Oklahoma State on tape, their quarterback (junior Mason Rudolph), wow, you need to make sure he stays in (the pocket). He’s excellent. Their offense, they do everything. They can throw the deep ball so well. Their running back, a freshman (Justice) Hill, he is amazing. They do a great job there.”
Rudolph’s 3,777 yards are the eighth-most in the country and more than any CU opponent has thrown for this season besides Washington State’s Luke Falk. Hill has rushed for 1,042 yards in his debut season.
But CU presents a challenge, Gundy said, similar to the one posed by one of the top defenses in the Big 12.
“With (defensive coordinator Jim) Leavitt and his history, their style of play would be somewhat like TCU,” Gundy said. “We’ve had a brief meeting but feel like this could be the best secondary that we may have faced as a group throughout the year. They have a tremendous pass rusher, with pressure inside. Overall the closest would be, over the last three or four years, TCU’s style of play in our league.”
MacIntyre’s whirlwind week included receiving the news Tuesday that one of Colorado’s most iconic players, 1994 Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam, had passed away.
“Rashaan always had a great smile,” MacIntyre said. “I always loved talking to Rashaan and being around him. He meant a tremendous amount to our program. We have a locker that we’ve always had in our locker room that is Rashaan Salaam’s locker from him winning the Heisman. It means a great deal to our program. A lot of our guys know him.
“Definitely a sad day losing Rashaan. But I always think of him. I choose to think of him with his big smile, his great personality.”
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, left, joins CU’s Mike MacIntyre in San Antonio on Thursday. The Alamo Bowl is Dec. 29 there. Eric Gay, The Associated Press