DENVER — Mike MacIntyre turned around the San Jose State football program in short order and will be asked to do the same at the University of Colorado.
On Monday, MacIntyre signed a five-year deal to coach the Buffaloes. His hiring ends a two-week search by Colorado that included a rejection by its first choice, Butch Jones.
MacIntyre inherits a program that’s had seven straight losing seasons, including a 1-11 record this year under Jon Embree that was the worst in the 123-year history of the program.
“You’re trying to change everything in a positive light,” MacIntyre said. “They’re hurting a little bit and they should be. They want to prove themselves. … I saw the same thing at San Jose State.”
The Spartans (10-2) are ranked No. 25 in the BCS and are heading to the Dec. 27 Military Bowl in Washington, D.C., to face Bowling Green (8-4), two years after a 1-12 showing in McIntyre’s first season. This is the first 10-win season in a quarter century for the Spartans, who are ranked 24th in both the AP and coaches’ polls.
MacIntyre, the son of former Vanderbilt coach George MacIntyre, is 16-21 in his three years a coach at San Jose State after serving as Duke’s defensive coordinator and working as a secondary coach for the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets.
The 47-year-old MacIntyre took over a Spartans program still reeling from limited scholarships following academic penalties by the NCAA stemming from problems before previous coach Dick Tomey arrived. After the 1-12 season featuring a heavy schedule of ranked teams, the Spartans went 5-7 in MacIntyre’s second season.