PUEBLO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - Jan. 9, 2013) - CSU-Pueblo has hired former Colorado State quarterbacks coach, Daren Wilkinson, as its offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, CSU-Pueblo head coach John Wristen announced.
Wilkinson will replace former pass game coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Mike Babcock, who departed in December to assume the head coach position at McKendree (Ill.) University.
Wilkinson, who last coached with the Rams under Steve Fairchild from 2008-12 and also served as the Rams' Assistant Recruiting Coordinator, helped lead Colorado State to the New Mexico Bowl championship in 2008. He has coached quarterbacks that have set Mountain West Conference freshman passing records and coached one NFL player, Billy Farris, who was with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2009.
He joins a staff that, like himself, comes from a Division I pedigree and approaches its day-to-day operations from a Division I mindset, which helps explain why CSU-Pueblo has finished each of the past two seasons ranked in the top ten nationally.
"Anytime you get an opportunity to coach at a place where the expecation is to win a national championship, that's a place you want to be," Wilkinson said. "That's the type of mentality they have in that program. I'm excited to be part of a program that comes from that line of thinking, [and with Wilkinson's Division I background], it won't be a huge transition."
Wilkinson has coached for 15 years at the collegiate level, beginning as an offensive graduate assistant at Colorado State in 1997 and 1998 after quarterbacking the Rams for two seasons, leading them to the 1995 Western Athletic Conference title.
He then served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Eastern Arizona College from 1999-2000, then moved up to Division II Fayetteville State (N.C.), where he was the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach from 2001-03, helping to lead the squad to a playoff berth in 2002 and two conference titles.
In 2004, he arrived at South Dakota State prior to their first season in transition to a Division I program, serving as offensive coordinator, quarterbacks and wide receivers coach. He helped SDSU have a smooth transition to Division I as the team had a winning record each season he led the offense, culminating in the 2007 Great West Conference championship. It was this success that led to his return to Fort Collins, joining Fairchild's staff in 2008.
Wristen said Wilkinson is a good fit for the program and will help it ascend to its goals of a national title.
"I've known Daren for six years, and he's not only a quality coach that has the same philosophies as myself, but he's a great person, great father and a great husband. He will be a great fit for us and help us go to the next level."
Daren and his family, including his wife of nearly 20 years, Ann, and his three children, Alexa, Macy and Jet, will join the ThunderWolf family immediately as the heavy recruiting season gets underway in January.