Blog Entry

Report: Colorado State to hire Bama OC McElwain

Posted on: December 12, 2011 8:26 pm

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Colorado State has reportedly found its new head coach. According to the Denver Post, CSU will hire Jim McElwain, Alabama's offensive coordinator. The contract is estimated to be a five-year deal, worth $1.5 million per year. McElwain will replace Steve Fairchild, who was ousted earlier in December.

The deal represents a substantial step up in both salary and prestige for the 49-year-old McElwain; this will be his first head coaching gig at any level, as he worked his way through the collegiate assistant ranks after graduating. Additionally, McElwain's salary will be nearly tripled from the $510,000 per year he was making at Alabama

McElwain's Alabama offense has improved its standing in the SEC for every year that he's been there; in 2007, Nick Saban's first at the helm of Alabama and the year before McElwain arrived, the Tide was ranked seventh in the SEC in total offense; in his first year, it was sixth, followed by finishes at fourth, third, and second in the ensuing years. In the one year McElwain spent as Fresno State's offensive coordinator, the Bulldogs went 9-4 (6-2) with a win over Georgia Tech in the Humanitarian Bowl, scoring nearly 33 points per game in the process. In addition, the Crimson Tide has scored over 30 points per game on average in every season McElwain has been at the helm of the Alabama offense; the Tide has averaged 36 points a game this year.

Colorado State has not officially announced the hire at this point, but the Post says the school will announce the hire at a Tuesday press conference. Meanwhile, Izzy Gould of has reported that Saban met with his coaching staff on Monday to discuss McElwain's departure.

Stay on top of all the latest coaching changes around the country and which coaches might be the best candidates to take over in the college football coaching carousel.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview


Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: December 13, 2011 11:54 am

Report: Colorado State to hire Bama OC McElwain

So far, none of Saban's former assistants have had any real success as HC's.  Maybe McElwain will be different, but I have my doubts.  Bama did not show a lot of innovation with their offense; they just line up and out-man you.  They have one of the top recruiting classes every year and simply have more talent that the vast majority of the teams they play.  To say this guy is finding diamonds in the rough or whatever and turning them into stars is just silly.  What is the lowest rated class they have brought in since Saban arrived?  Saban is a great coach and he will always be successful at the college level.  That does not mean that his assistants will.  But, I can surely see why he would take this position.  He can triple is salary and get a lot more security for he and his family.  Of course, this cannot be good for Bama and its bowl prep, even though it does not have to be that big of a deal either.  Pelini did the same thing at LSU prior to our win in 2007 when he took the Nebraska job and our defense did just fine.   

Since: Mar 17, 2009
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:57 am

Report: Colorado State to hire Bama OC McElwain

I would rather be OC for Alabama then be the head coach of Colorado St.

Since: Nov 6, 2009
Posted on: December 13, 2011 9:06 am

Report: Colorado State to hire Bama OC McElwain

mark my words gumps--  Saban will bolt to UTexas for $7mil/yr the day after LSU runs you out of the Dome!!!

Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 8:28 am

Report: Colorado State to hire Bama OC McElwain

Sounds as if your using the Obama math here. If you score 36 and hold opp. to around 8 pts per game you win. Okay now if you run up 56 but then give up 62 you may have scored more but yet you still lose. Maybe we are on to something here, is this why you guys have so much of a problem winning games? You only need to score 1 more then your opponent to win, get it now? Wink

Since: Jan 19, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 8:04 am

Report: Colorado State to hire Bama OC McElwain

"Just not worth it to taxpayers."

Just to make sure that you understand, the University of Alabama's Athletic Department does not receive any tax revenue. 

Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 7:47 am

Report: Colorado State to hire Bama OC McElwain

His ability to sniff out the underrated talent and work them into award winning players is awesome. His offenses produce, look at his resume. At FSU they average around 500 yards per game with little to no talent. While at Bama he has one national title and his offense is playing for another this year. In his time at Bama his offense has broken almost every record they have, produced 1 Heisman and placed 3rd this season. Now as far as him walking away from other offers well I can tell you for sure that the reason he is not at Memphis right now is they went cheap at the last minute and took someone with less experience (less of a buyout).

Since: Sep 7, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 6:21 am

Report: Colorado State to hire Bama OC McElwain

It is obvious that you have no idea what you are talking about.  I'm glad you are so "wise" to know what is too much for other people to earn.  With that kind of knowledge/insight, you should be in charge of all earning and compensation in the FREE market.  Wow, just wow.

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2011 3:54 am

Report: Colorado State to hire Bama OC McElwain

I don't know if you are aware, but, the football program at Alabama is self sustaining. Enough money is made in one game to pay the coaches salaries for a year, including Saban. Not only that, but, it is also the football program that supports all the other sports at the University of Alabama, not to mention whats left over for the rest of the school. If you want to when you have to commit fully. And when you do win it all takes care of itself. I am aware that most football programs operate in the red, but, not this one. It's a very competitive market for the best coaches and when one of your assistants gets a Head coaching job it gets noticed. There will be a long line of the best OC's in the country applying for this position, not only for the money, but, also at the prospects of a future head coaching job.

Since: Oct 29, 2009
Posted on: December 13, 2011 12:26 am

Report: Colorado State to hire Bama OC McElwain

McElwain deserves more credit that what people give him. A Heisman winner, another Heisman nominee, an Outland Trophy winner, 8 All-Americans, a wide receiver that went #5 in last year's draft, a Doak Walker winner, etc. Everyone wants to take the LSU game as the norm. They are the #2 defense in the country. Bama faced 7 of the top 50 defenses in the country this year and still aeraged 38 ppg. One of his best achievements was getting AJ McCarron to a 150 QB efficiency this year. Just imagine if Mark Ingram and Julio Jones had stayed this year instead of leaving early - Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, Julio Jones, Barrett Jones, Will Vlachos...

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: December 12, 2011 11:10 pm

Report: Colorado State to hire Bama OC McElwain



What make you think this coach would go 6-6, the season has not started as of yet.

@32zone &huskeyfever1

We are speaking of Alabama, not the University of Alabama Birmingham. There is a difference.

Under this coach Alabama has improved the scoring to some were around 35 or 36 points per game. Under his tutelage he has produce a Heisman trophy running back, you know the one that is currently playing for New Orleans.

This team has been in the national championship game for the last 2 of 3 years.

If you would want a coach that is worth anything there is a price to pay. You either pay the price or become non-existent in the broad scheme of things in the sports world.

What layman do you know that would be able to coach a football team to a winning season?

 I wish Colorado well with it’s new head coach if this actually is finalized to everyone’s liking.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or