Bob Stitt, who has become a bit of a cult hero in the college football coaching world over the last few years, is moving on up. Oklahoma State will reportedly add Stitt as an offensive analyst, according to a report from Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated, via Twitter.
Stitt was fired by Montana after this past season after missing the FCS playoffs for a second consecutive season and a second-round exit in his first season with the program in 2015. Stitt had become a rising star in the lower levels of college football after reshaping the offensive strategies with Colorado Mines in Division 2. The Nebraska native has coached a Harlon Hill Trophy winner (Division 2’s equivalent to the Heisman Trophy) and has coached Colorado Mines to three conference championships. Stitt gained notoriety after being given credit for his offensive strategies by West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen.
Stitt being let go by Montana came as a bit of a surprise after just three seasons with the program. Offensively speaking, Oklahoma State rarely needs any assistance in moving the football and scoring, but Mike Gundy is wise to bring in a mind like Stitt to add to the expanding of the offensive schemes in Stillwater.
As an offensive analyst, Stitt will be prevented from doing any on-field coaching and instead will focus on prepping the game plan and breaking down film. However, having Stitt on the staff in some capacity leaves a door open for a future position on the 10-man coaching staff should a position open at some point.
Get ready for a battle of western heavyweights. Well, sort of. The Montana Grizzlies of the FCS Big Sky Conference have added some future Pac-12 opponents to the schedule. Montana will play Oregon in 2019 and Washington in 2017 and 2021.
Oregon will host Montana on September 14, 2019. Oregon holds a 7-0-1 edge in the all-time series, with the most recent victory coming in 2005. Washington will host Montana on September 9, 2017 and again on September 4, 2021. Washington owns a 16-1-1 lead in the series, which has not been played since 1951.
“I think it’s exciting for our kids,” Montana head coach Bob Stitt said in a released statement. “As much as we recruit the West Coast, especially Washington and Oregon, I think our players are going to be fired up to go out there and play, number one, against a Pac-12 opponent, but the big dogs in their home state. So it should be very exciting for us.”
Oregon, Washington and Montana used to share a conference home. Before the early days of the Pac-8 Conference (which has since grown to be the Pac-12), the Pacific Coast Conference was the big west coast conference. Oregon and Washington were charter members of the PCC in 1915, along with California and Oregon State. Montana joined the conference in 1924, at which time Washington State, Stanford, Idaho, and USC were already members. UCLA joined the conference four years later. Montana actually left the conference a year before scandal started to crumble the conference. Montana’s board of education voted to de-emphasize sports, forcing the university to cut back on athletics spending which held it back from competing with the likes of its PCC rivals. Montana then joined the Mountain States Conference in 1951 and later joined the Big Sky Conference in 1963.
Helmet sticker to FBSchedules.com.
Saturday may not have been a great day for Colorado State, but another Colorado program achieved the ultimate glory on the field. Colorado State University-Pueblo shutout offensive juggernaut Minnesota State to win the Division 2 national championship. The ThunderWolves scored a 13-0 victory in Kansas City to win the first national championship in program history.
Colorado State-Pueblo scored 10 points in the second quarter, which proved to be more than enough with the way the defense played. Chris Bonner completed a touchdown pass of 18 yards to Paul Browning in the final minute of the first half to put the ThunderWolves up 10-0. Kicker Greg O’Donnell kicked two field goals. The story was the defense though, with Colorado State-Pueblo holding Minnesota State to just four third down conversions out of 16. Defensive end Darius Allen was all over the field to lead the defense. He ended the season with 15.5 sacks
The last time the Division 2 national championship was a shutout was in 1997 when Northern Colorado blew away New Haven, 51-0. Perhaps it is something in the water in Colorado. This was the first time since 1997 played for the Division 2 title. This was also the first appearance in the championship game for Minnesota State. The game was the lowest scoring Division 2 championship game since Brian Kelly‘s Grand Valley State team defeated North Dakota 10-3 in the 2003 championship game. The CSU-Pueblo program was relaunched in 2008 after a period of inactivity from 1985 through 2007. It did not take long to rebuild the program from scratch into a national title program.
Will Colorado State-Pueblo head coach John Wristen be the next coach to make a move up in competition? Wristen is now 68-16 in seven years as head coach with four straight Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championships and playoff appearances. Now with a national championship on his résumé, perhaps Wristen will begin to gain some traction in some coaching carousel news.
Remember that another Division 2 coach from Colorado just got a new opportunity. Colorado School of Mines head coach Bob Stitt was recently named the head coach at Montana. Maybe the state of Colorado is becoming the next fertile ground for rising coaches.
As for that other Colorado State? The Rams went down in flames against Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl.