Rebuilding a football program isn’t an easy task.
One of the first things that Coach Mike MacIntyre did after being hired as the new Head Football Coach at the University of Colorado was to surround himself with coaches that he was familiar with, coaches that had helped him turn around a bad San Jose State team into a 11 win team last fall.
BuffPlayBook.com will be doing a series of features on MacIntyre’s coaching staff, allowing all Buff Fans to get to know their new coaches.
For one California native and one of the youngest coaches on MacIntyre’s staff the decision to follow his head coach to Colorado was an easy one.
32 year old Andy LaRussa grew up in California and coaching in the Pac 12 has been a life long dream of his.
“I’m living a dream,” LaRussa said. “This is an incredible opportunity to coach at a school with so much tradition. The University of Colorado is a phenomenal place to coach and live.”
LaRussa came to CU from San Jose State, where he coached the defensive backs, in particular the corners, he also served as assistant special teams coordinator for MacIntyre.
Prior to joining MacIntyre at SJSU, the talented coach spent two years at Northern Arizona.
At San Jose State his cornerbacks helped the team nearly double its turnovers gained (18 to 33). San Jose’s top corner that season Peyton Thompson, signed a free agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons. In 2012, he helped coach first-team All Western Athletic Conference Bene Benwikere, who tied for second in the NCAA with seven interceptions.
LaRussa is quick to point out what a honor it is to continue coaching with MacIntyre.
“You can count on our team being well coached and well prepared under Coach Mac,” LaRussa said. “He demands a tremendous effort on the field and our players will play a very physical brand of football.”
One of the mainstays of a MacIntyre defense is creating a lot of turnovers, that’s something that LaRussa takes pride in.
“We will teach all of our players how important it is to create turnovers,” LaRussa said. “We will play a fun brand of football.”
LaRussa loves coaching for MacIntyre and being a part of the special turnaround that they created at San Jose State.
“It was a special thing to be a part of what happened at San Jose State,” LaRussa said. “Seeing the kids in the locker room after the bowl game made everything, all the hard work worth while.”
What is it about coaching with Coach MacIntyre that LaRussa truly enjoys?
“The biggest thing is that Coach Mac truly cares about his players,” LaRussa said. “All of our coaches also care about our players as young men and not just football players. Sometimes it’s tough love, other times it’s nice love, but whatever it takes, the players realize how much we care. Coach is very passionate and he demands a lot from his players and his coaches.”