On Sunday morning, University of Colorado athletic director Rick George announced his decision to relieve head coach Mike MacIntyre of command.
There had been much speculation regarding MacIntyre’s future at CU as the Buffaloes’ season spiralled out of control following a 5-0 start to the season. At the time, Colorado was ranked No. 19 in the country, but since Week 5, the Buffs have lost six straight games.
Now, in similar fashion to 2017, the Buffs will enter their final game of the regular season fighting for bowl eligibility. The 5-6 Buffaloes will need to beat Cal Berkeley this Saturday to qualify for a bowl game.
In 2016, MacIntyre led the Buffs to a 10-4 record and a berth in the Alamo Bowl, where they were defeated by the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Much disappointment surrounded the program last year as Colorado finished 5-7 and did not qualify for the postseason.
Overall, the Buffaloes have maintained a 30-44 record with MacIntyre at the helm from 2013 to now.
“I met with coach MacIntyre this morning and informed him that I’d made the decision to bring new leadership for our football team,” George said at a press conference earlier today. “What this came down to is that I wanted to see more consistency with winning seasons. Mike had an amazing 2016 season and we really hoped that type of achievement would be continuous, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.”
Kurt Roper, the Buffs’ quarterbacks coach, was named as interim head coach. Roper notably was the quarterbacks coach at Ole Miss from 1999-2004, during which time he mentored the New York Giants’ Eli Manning.
Roper’s first gig in the coaching world was as a graduate assistant at Tennessee from 1996-98, where he worked with former NFL great Peyton Manning.
“This is a tough day for a lot of people associated with Colorado football,” Roper said on Sunday. “We have another week in this football season and we have an opportunity to go out and win another football game.”
Details regarding Colorado’s impending matchup with Cal Berkeley will be forthcoming; the contest may very well be rescheduled or moved to a different location due to the wildfires and their impact in the state of California.
MacIntyre’s seat has arguably been heating up since the end of last season, when his Buffaloes failed to match the level of success achieved in 2016.
“I was disappointed in last season” George said. “I don’t think anybody around me doesn’t know that, because I want to win. I want our student-athletes to win [and] I want them to be successful … six weeks ago we were 5-0 and were one of the talks of the country. That’s where Colorado should be every year in every season. We’re not there and that’s why I made the decision.”
For Roper and the Buffaloes, focus will be key over this upcoming week as the team’s hope of making a bowl game , despite the last six weeks of football, remain very much alive.
“My job right now is to try to prepare this team to win a football game,” Roper said. “You look at each day as its own day. We’ll have a plan to prepare for Monday and then we’ll go through the week. Right now, [there’s] a pretty singular focus [on] ‘let’s figure out how to win a football game.'”
Details of Colorado’s game this Saturday versus Cal will be determined in the days to come.
Contact CU Independent Head Sports Editor Justin Guerriero at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @TheHungry_Hippo.