BOULDER — Mike MacIntyre, who led San Jose State to its first 10-win season in 25 years, has been named the 25th head football coach at the University of Colorado, athletic director Mike Bohn announced Monday.
MacIntyre agreed to a five-year deal with a salary of $2 million annually; as with all hires of this nature, the contract is subject to final approval of CU’s Board of Regents.
He replaces Jon Embree, who was dismissed as Colorado head coach on November 25; Embree was 4-21 in two seasons at the reins of the program.
MacIntyre, 47, led San Jose State to a 10-2 record this fall, with a final regular season ranking of No. 24 in the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls as well as in the final BCS Standings. The Spartans earned a berth in the Military Bowl opposite Bowling Green on December 27.
He assumed the SJSU position in December 2009, compiling a 16-21 record with the Spartans; he took over a team that had gone 2-10 in 2009, but began instilling a different culture despite a 1-12 record his first season in San Jose. His second Spartan team went 5-7, but closed the year with thrilling wins over Navy and Fresno State. His SJSU team has thus won 12 of the last 14 games.
San Jose State’s most impressive wins this fall came over San Diego State (38-34), Navy (12-0), BYU (20-14) and Louisiana Tech (52-43), teams that otherwise combined to go 30-12 in 2012. Louisiana Tech was an offensive powerhouse (led the nation in scoring, second in total offense and fourth in passing), but Tech personnel felt MacIntyre and his staff put together the best plan to disrupt its high-octane offense of any of its opponents, including Texas A&M. The losses were to Stanford (20-17 in the season opener, as the Cardinal won on a fourth quarter field goal) and to Utah State.
The 2012 season under MacIntyre is one of the best in San Jose State’s nearly 120-year football history. In recording their first 10-win season since 1987, the Spartans did it with a highly-productive offense that scored 423 points, a defense that ranked among the national leaders in many statistical categories and reliable special teams.
His third Spartan saw a SJSU single-season record 16 players earn All-Western Athletic Conference honors, which came in a year that 36 school and conference records either were tied or broken.
MacIntyre’s San Jose State teams performed in the classroom as well. In 2011, the school had a record number of Academic All-WAC team members – 13 – while defensive end Travis Johnson became the Spartans’ first player in 30 years to get Academic All-America recognition this fall. In addition, San Jose State’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) score in the last reporting period was 981, second best in the WAC.
Before his 2010 head coaching debut, MacIntyre instituted a comprehensive recruiting plan and initiated a “Summer Bridge” program for his first recruiting class to provide his newcomers a smooth transition into life as a college football player. Facing five nationally-ranked teams early in the season, the Spartans rebuilt themselves repeatedly, and were positioned late for victory in four of their final five games before finishing with a 1-12 record.
The 2011 Spartans produced the fourth-best positive turnaround in their football history with a 4½-game improvement. San Jose State exhibited the resiliency and resourcefulness to find a winning way.
Four of the team's five wins were in the final minute of the fourth quarter. The opportunistic Spartans were the co-national leaders with their 20 fumble recoveries, tied for fourth in turnovers gained with 33, were disciplined as the second least penalized team in the Football Bowl Subdivision and were ranked in the top-25 in passing offense (23rd) for the first time in eight years.
After the season, San Jose State was so pleased with the direction of the program that they extended his contract through 2017.
A veteran coach of 22 seasons, MacIntyre arrived at San Jose State after two years as the defensive coordinator at Duke University, where he was reunited with head coach David Cutcliffe from earlier in his coaching days. Those Blue Devil defenses were among Duke's best statistically over a 20-year span, and in 2009, Duke's five wins were the most in a season by the Blue Devils since 1994. The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) named him its 2009 FBS Assistant Coach of the Year.
Prior to returning to college ball, MacIntyre spent five seasons in the National Football League with the New York Jets (2007) and Dallas Cowboys (2003-06) coaching defensive backs. Working for legendary coach Bill Parcells, the Cowboys returned to the NFL playoffs in 2003 and again in 2006 after missing out on postseason competition during the 2000 through 2002 seasons.
MacIntyre has coached on both sides of the ball, spending four years at Ole Miss (1999-2002) where he started as the wide receivers coach for two seasons and the defensive secondary coach in his final two years. The Rebels posted a 29-19 record in that time with bowl appearances in the 1999 and 2002 Independence Bowls and the 2000 Music City Bowl. The 2001 Rebels ranked fifth nationally in pass defense, allowing just 161.3 yards per game.
At Mississippi, among his recruits were two high profile student-athletes that one could sign to letters-of-intent, quarterback Eli Manning and linebacker Patrick Willis. And along his coaching trail, he has mentored many current and former NFL players including recently retired former Dallas and Cincinnati safety Roy Williams, a five-time Pro Bowl player. At Dallas, he also tutored Terrence Newman, the former Kansas State cornerback who longtime CU fans certainly remember.
He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Georgia, working two years (1990-91) in that capacity. He then coached one year as the defensive coordinator at Davidson (1992), four years at Tennessee Martin (1993-96) and two seasons at Temple (1997-98) before he joined Cutcliffe’s staff at Ole Miss.
A 1989 graduate of Georgia Tech, he lettered twice (1987-88) at free safety and punt returner for legendary head coach Bobby Ross. Prior to becoming a Yellow Jacket, MacIntyre played two seasons (1984-85) at Vanderbilt for his father, George, the head coach of the Commodores from 1979-85. The elder MacIntyre was the national coach of the year in 1982 when Vandy beat Alabama on its way to an 8-4 record.
MacIntyre earned a bachelor's degree in Business Management from Georgia Tech and his master's in Education with an emphasis on Sports Management from Georgia in 1991.
He was born George Michael MacIntyre on March 14, 1965, in Miami, Fla., and he and his wife, Trisha, have three children, Jennifer, Jay Michael and Jonston.