The Colorado Buffaloes football program represents the University of Colorado Boulder in the Pac-12 Conference South Division of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The team has had 25 head coaches since it started playing organized football in 1890. The university adopted the nickname Buffaloes in 1934 after previously being known as the Silver and Gold, Silver Helmets, Yellow Jackets, Hornets, Arapahoes, Big Horns, Grizzlies and Frontiersmen.[1] Colorado played without a head coach during their first four years. The team first joined a conference in 1893 when they became a member of the Colorado Football Association. They joined the Colorado Faculty Athletic Conference in 1909, immediately followed by the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in 1910. Before the 1938 season, Colorado joined the Mountain States (Skyline) Conference. They joined the Big Seven Conference in 1948, which was renamed the Big Eight Conference in 1958 when Oklahoma State joined/rejoined the Conference.[2] The Buffaloes became a charter member of the Big 12 in 1996 when the Big Eight disbanded.[3] The Buffaloes have played in 1,139 games during their 120 seasons. In those seasons, nine coaches have led Colorado to postseason bowl games: Bunny Oakes, Dallas Ward, Bud Davis, Eddie Crowder, Bill Mallory, Bill McCartney, Rick Neuheisel, Gary Barnett, and Dan Hawkins. Nine coaches have won conference championships with the Buffaloes: Fred Folsom, Myron Witham, William Saunders, Oakes, Jim Yeager, Sonny Grandelius, Mallory, McCartney, and Barnett.

McCartney is the all-time leader in games coached, with 153, and total wins, with 93. Folsom had the longest tenure as head coach, remaining in the position for 15 seasons. Harry Heller and Willis Keinholtz are tied for the highest overall winning percentage. Each served a single season and won eight of his nine games for a winning percentage of .889. Of coaches who served more than one season, Folsom leads with a .765 winning percentage. Jon Embree is, in terms of overall winning percentage, the worst coach the Buffaloes have had with a .160 winning percentage. Former Colorado head coach Bill McCartney was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2013 and is the only CU coach to have won several national coach of the year honors, with all of them coming in 1989. Barnett won conference coach of the year honors in 2001 and 2004. Mike MacIntyre was hired on December 10, 2012.[4]

Key

Key to symbols in coaches list
General Overall Conference Postseason[A 1]
No. Order of coaches[A 2] GC Games coached CW Conference wins PW Postseason wins
DC Division championships OW Overall wins CL Conference losses PL Postseason losses
CC Conference championships OL Overall losses CT Conference ties PT Postseason ties
NC National championships OT Overall ties[A 3] C% Conference winning percentage
dagger Elected to the College Football Hall of Fame O% Overall winning percentage[A 4]

Coaches

No. Name Term GC OW OL OT O% CW CL CT C% PW PL CCs Awards
1 Harry Heller 1894 9 8 1 0 .889 5 0 0 1.000
2 Fred Folsom 1895–1899, 1901–1902, 1908–1915[A 5] 103 77 23 2 .765 37 13 1 .735 10
3 T. C. Mortimer 1900 10 6 4 0 .600 1 2 0 .333
4 Dave Cropp 1903–1904 19 14 4 1 .763 7 1 0 .875
5 Willis Keinholtz 1905 9 8 1 0 .889
6 Frank Castleman 1906–1907 17 7 6 4 .529 4 3 2 .556
7 Melbourne "Bob" Evans 1916–1917 15 7 7 1 .500 5 7 0 .417
8 Enoch J. Mills 1918–1919 11 4 6 1 .409 3 5 1 .389
9 Myron Witham 1920–1931 96 63 26 7 .693 50 20 7 .695 2
10 William Saunders 1932–1934 24 15 7 2 .667 13 7 0 .650 1
11 Bunny Oakes 1935–1939 41 25 15 1 .622 24 6 1 .790 0 1 3
12 Frank Potts 1940, 1944–1945 25 16 8 1 .660 9 2 1 .792
13 Jim Yeager 1941–1943, 1946–1947 43 24 17 2 .581 16 8 2 .654 2
14 Dallas Ward 1948–1958 110 63 41 6 .600 31 29 4 .516 1 0
15 Sonny Grandelius 1959–1961 31 20 11 0 .645 15 5 0 .750 1
16 Bud Davis 1962 10 2 8 0 .200 1 6 0 .143 0 1
17 Eddie Crowder 1963–1973 118 67 49 2 .576 39 37 1 .590 3 2
18 Bill Mallory 1974–1978 57 35 21 1 .623 18 16 1 .529 0 2 1
19 Chuck Fairbanks 1979–1981 33 7 26 0 .212 5 16 0 .238
20 Bill McCartney 1982–1994 153 93 55 5 .624 58 29 4 .659 3 6 3

Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award (1989)[9]
AFCA Coach of the Year (1989)[10]
Paul "Bear" Bryant Award (1989)[11]

21 Rick Neuheisel 1995–1998 47 33 14 0 .702 19 12 0 .613 3 0
22 Gary Barnett 1999–2005 88 49 39 .557 34 22 .607 2 2 1 Big 12 AP Coach of the Year (2001, 2004)[12][13]
23 Dan Hawkins 2006–2010 49 16 33 .327 10 22 .313 0 1
24 Jon Embree 2011–2012 25 4 21 .160 3 15 .167
25 Mike MacIntyre 2013–2018 74 30 44 .405 14 39 .264 Pac-12 Coach of the Year (2016)[14]

Walter Camp Coach of the Year (2016)[15]

26 Mel Tucker 2019 12 5 7 .417 3 6 .333
27 Karl Dorrell 2020–present 18 8 10 0.444 6 7 0.462

Notes

  1. ^ Although the first Rose Bowl Game was played in 1902, it has been continuously played since the 1916 game, and is recognized as the oldest bowl game by the NCAA. "—" indicates any season prior to 1916 when postseason games were not played.[5]
  2. ^ A running total of the number of head coaches, with coaches who served separate tenures being counted only once. Interim head coaches are represented with "Int" and are not counted in the running total. "—" indicates the team played but either without a coach or no coach is on record. "X" indicates an interim year without play.
  3. ^ Overtime rules in college football were introduced in 1996, making ties impossible in the period since.[6]
  4. ^ When computing the win–loss percentage, a tie counts as half a win and half a loss.[7]
  5. ^ Folsom became Colorado's head coach before the second game of the 1895 season. The team had no head coach in the season opener, a 42–0 victory over Denver Manual High School.[8]

References

General
  • "Colorado Buffaloes Coaching Records". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on February 16, 2010. Retrieved March 11, 2010.
  • "Colorado Buffaloes Football 2009 Media Guide" (PDF). CUBuffs.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 6, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2010.
Specific
  1. ^ "What's in a Name? Colorado Buffaloes Ralphie a sight to remember". The Denver Post. December 25, 1995. p. C6. Retrieved April 27, 2010. Before 1934, CU athletic teams generally were referred to as the "Silver and Gold," after the student newspaper. But other nicknames included Silver Helmets, Yellow Jackets, Hornets, Arapahoes, Big Horns, Grizzlies and Frontiersmen.
  2. ^ "Okla Aggies Accepted; Big Seven Becomes Big Eight as New Member Is Added". The New York Times. May 18, 1957. p. 15. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  3. ^ "The Big 12 Conference - Outstanding Success". Big12Sports.com. July 18, 2008. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
  4. ^ Kyle Ringo (2012-12-10). "Football: CU Buffs hire San Jose State's Mike MacIntyre to lead football program". Archived from the original on 2012-12-13. Retrieved 2012-12-10.
  5. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) (2011). Bowl/All-Star Game Records (PDF). Indianapolis, Indiana: NCAA. pp. 5–10. Archived from the original on August 22, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
  6. ^ Whiteside, Kelly (August 25, 2006). "Overtime system still excites coaches". USA Today. McLean, Virginia. Archived from the original on November 24, 2009. Retrieved September 25, 2009.
  7. ^ Finder, Chuck (September 6, 1987). "Big plays help Paterno to 200th". The New York Times. New York City. Archived from the original on October 22, 2009. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  8. ^ "2010 Colorado Football Information Guide & Record Book" (PDF). University of Colorado Buffaloes. p. 129. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 16, 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  9. ^ "Walter Camp Football Foundation Awards". Walter Camp Football Foundation, Inc. Archived from the original on May 13, 2008. Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  10. ^ "AFCA Coach of the Year Award – Past Winners". American Football Coaches Association. January 15, 2008. Archived from the original on December 5, 2010. Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  11. ^ "Sports People: College Football; McCartney Honored". The New York Times. The Associated Press. January 20, 1990. Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  12. ^ "AP All-Big 12 Team". The Victoria Advocate. Victoria, Texas. The Associated Press. November 30, 2001. p. 5B. Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  13. ^ "Embattled Barnett selected Big 12 Coach of the Year". The Southeast Missourian. Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The Associated Press. December 1, 2004. p. 5B. Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  14. ^ Nick Kosmider (November 29, 2016). "Colorado Buffaloes' Mike MacIntyre named Pac-12 football coach of the year". Denver Post. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  15. ^ Bailey, Jeff (December 2016). "Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre named Walter Camp Coach of the Year". Denver Post. Retrieved 1 December 2016.