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McElwain to direct Tide’s offense in title game

Jim McElwain AP

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.

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3 Responses to “McElwain to direct Tide’s offense in title game”
  1. burntorangehorn says: Dec 13, 2011 3:10 PM

    Sometimes a guy mentally checks out, even if he’s still coaching in the game. Seems like that might’ve been the case with Kevin Sumlin in the CUSACG, for example.

    By the way, is anyone else surprised that McElwain didn’t land a BCS AQ job? I would’ve expected the guy to be a candidate for a job at Ole Miss, Arizona State, Illinois, or some other major conference team.

  2. lasseter1113 says: Dec 13, 2011 4:31 PM

    I think he would be crazy not to want to coach Bama’s offense one final time in the National Championship Game and get another ring. When it is all said and done I wish him and his family all the best at his new coaching job in Colorado. I hope Coach Saban finds an Awesome new Offensive Coordinator to replace him…..

  3. florida727 says: Dec 14, 2011 10:11 AM

    I know it’s not precedent-setting, but I thought it was kind of unusual that he’d coach in the title game after being named a head coach somewhere else.

    Interesting question for debate though… better to be an OC for a perennial national power, or a head coach for a struggling program? (I guess every coach, eventually, has his sights set on the ‘corner office’ at some point.)

    Although money may not have factored into it, the $1.35 million at CSU couldn’t be that far off from what he was getting at ‘Bama, could it? OC in Tuscaloosa has to be a pretty lucrative gig, I would think.

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