University of Wyoming football coach Dave Christensen decided a month ago to become more active in the Cowboys’ offense next season. That included taking over play-calling duties on game days.
So when Gregg Brandon announced last Friday that he was leaving his offensive coordinator’s duties at UW for the same job at New Mexico State, Christensen spent the weekend restructuring his staff.
On Wednesday he announced that assistant head coach Pete Kaligis and run-game coordinator Jim Harding have been promoted to co-offensive coordinator positions.
Harding also will continue coaching the offensive line; Kaligis still will work with the running backs.
“Nothing has really changed as far as what we’ve been doing the last month,” Christensen said in his first comments since Brandon’s announcement. “I decided then I was going to take over the play-calling duties and have more of a hand in what we’re doing offensively.”
Christensen, who was offensive coordinator at Missouri before coming to UW, said he wasn’t surprised by Brandon’s decision to take another job.
“Anytime someone leaves and they have the opportunity that they feel is a better fit for them or a better opportunity for where they want to go and what they want to do in their career, I have no issue with that,” he said.
In another coaching addition, Nick Danielson has been promoted to tight ends/H-backs coach. He spent last season as an offensive graduate assistant for the Cowboys.
Christensen said his main reason for taking more of a hands-on approach with the offense is simply the love of coaching.
“I miss that aspect of (it), being on the field, strategizing, teaching and the challenge of calling plays on Saturdays,” he said.
Christensen added that he eventually sees either Kaligis or Harding step into the play-calling role.
“They’re both guys who have been with me since day one on the staff,” he said. “(They have) worked extremely hard and have been extremely loyal and have put themselves in position to be coordinators.
“We’re all on the same page. We’ve spent a lot of hours in that room and it’s exciting going forward. It’s nice to be in there and have six offensive coaches all on the same page.”
Christensen said the Cowboys now are back to full staff.
He announced on Feb. 6 that Jason Gesser was hired as quarterbacks coach and Jamar Cain as defensive line coach. Gesser was offensive coordinator and interim head coach at Idaho this past season; Cain coached the defensive line at Cal Poly.
Christensen also announced several administrative appointments for next season.
Matt Rahl will be UW’s director of recruiting. He held that position in 2009 and 2010 before coaching the defensive line the last two years.
Brent Vernon has been elevated to the director of football operations. Vernon had served as UW’s assistant at that position last year.
Danilo Robinson will be UW’s director of player Personnel. He spent last season as director of player personnel and recruiting.