Colorado State coach Jim McElwain brought it up first on Tuesday, and all Wyoming coach Dave Christensen could was laugh.
It was the mid-1980s and both were assistant football coaches at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Wash. McElwain was the quarterbacks coach, Christensen was a graduate assistant.
Both dropped a recruit off at the airport in nearby Spokane and were headed back to Cheney. The roads were icy, Christensen was driving and in his words: “I took him for a little joy ride and went off an embankment. Luckily (the vehicle) was front-wheel drive. I put it back in gear, pulled us out of the ditch and away we went. It was quite a spin.”
Eastern Washington was Christensen’s first coaching experience at a FCS school (known then as I-AA). He said McElwain was good to him while he was there. Both have stayed in touch, although not on an every-day basis.
Nearly 30 years since that joy ride in Washington, both will face each other as head coaches Saturday in Laramie. McElwain is in his first season at CSU.
It’s the second time since Christensen got into coaching that he’s gone against a guy as head coaches he used to work with at another school. The first was Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. Both he and Christensen were assistants at Idaho State in the early 1990s.
“There’s a bunch of guys out there I’ve coached with that are very successful coaches at a lot of different places,” Christensen said. “I want everybody in this profession to be successful. It’s a tough business and I wish everyone success except for the ones playing against us on Saturday.”
Some other news and notes Tuesday:
–Former UW running back C.R. Davis (2002-04 letterman) spoke to the team prior to practice. Davis is an academic counselor, was 1-2 in the three Border War games. Christensen said there could be other staff members of UW’s athletics department he may have talk to the team as the week progresses.
–UW has been playing recordings of the last three CSU games — all wins for the Cowboys — on television monitors around the football complex and locker rooms this week.
–Scout team members wore green pull-overs over their jerseys in practice, likely to remind those who will play that green is one of CSU’s team colors.
–True freshman running back D.J. May was listed as day-to-day on UW’s injury report Monday. He was at practice with a walking boot on his left foot.