After almost six seasons in Boulder, Colorado has decided to move on from head coach Mike MacIntyre. After coming from San Jose State in 2013, MacIntyre amassed a 30-44 record over his tenure with the Buffs. This doesn’t tell the entire story though, as he inherited a 1-11 team and within four years won a Pac 12 South divisional title and National Coach of the Year.
In that magical 2016 season, MacIntyre got the Buffs to their first bowl appearance since 2007 under Dan Hawkins and their first division title since 2005 in the Big 12 North. It seems as if the administration saw that season as an outlier without a clear trajectory going forward. Last year Colorado slipped to 5-7 before starting 5-0 this year and making it seem like the program was re-energized. At that point this year the Buffs got up to 19th in AP Poll and were considered strong contenders for the Pac 12 South title. Since then, Colorado has lost six straight and will need to defeat Cal this upcoming weekend in order to become bowl eligible.
It’s hard telling what Colorado sees here. Maybe there’s some behind the scenes thing we don’t know about. If this firing is for on-field performance, I am a bit confused. While Colorado hasn’t be anything more than average over the past two years, that is much better than they had been in the close to a decade time span before he arrived. The coaching market is very weak this year so unless they have a replacement pegged, I’m not sure what direction they would even go. Colorado will have to learn that they are not the same program that contended for national titles over 20 years ago. If they fired MacIntyre because they have higher on-field expectations, then they may have a rude awakening if they don’t nail this next hire.