When reports surfaced Monday that Jim McElwain would be named as Colorado State’s head coach Tuesday, the biggest questions was whether the coordinator would be coaching Alabama’s in the BcS title game against LSU next month.
For those Tide fans in favor of continuity through the big game, that’s exactly what you’ll get.
In a press release officially announcing the hiring, the school also confirmed that, while McElwain will be their new head coach effective immediately, he “will return to Alabama Dec. 23 to continue coaching for the BCS National Championship Game Jan. 9, where he will serve as offensive coordinator for the game against LSU.” Tide football players are off for finals this week, so McElwain returning to Tuscaloosa late next week is not as big of a deal as it may seem at first blush.
As far as the CSU job goes, the school wrote in the release “ that more than 50 coaches were considered as part of the search, which quickly narrowed to a pool of about 10 strong candidates.” McElwain had been heavily mentioned in connection to openings at Memphis and Fresno State before landing the Rams job.
“In Jim McElwain, we have a coach who has throughout his career demonstrated the level of excellence we’re aiming for at Colorado State, and we’re confident he’s the right man to lead us to a bold new era for Rams football,” new athletic director Jack Graham said. “Not only has Jim excelled at the very highest levels in college football, but he’s spent time in the NFL, he’s been part of rebuilding programs and he’s a native Westerner. He really is the right coach at the right time.”
McElwain has been Nick Saban‘s offensive coordinator since 2008. This will be his first head-coaching job at this level of football.