Former Wyoming football coach Dave Christensen was hired Friday as Utah’s offensive coordinator.
Not a big surprise.
Christensen and Utah coach Kyle Whittingham are long-time friends and colleagues. Both were assistant coaches at Idaho State in the early 1990s.
“As one of the pioneers of the spread offense, Dave Christensen is an innovative coach and was the architect of one of the top offenses in the country during his time at Missouri,” said Whittingham in a statement from the school Friday. “We feel fortunate he was available and interested in joining our program, and he will be a great fit with our staff. We want an explosive offense and that’s been a trademark of Dave’s throughout his career as an offensive coordinator.”
Wyoming’s head coach from 2009-13, Christensen was named the Mountain West Coach of the Year in his third season. Before Wyoming, he served 17 years as an assistant for Gary Pinkel at Toledo (1992-2000) and Missouri (2001-08). Christensen coached the offensive line at both schools and was the offensive coordinator from 1997-2008, including his entire stay at Missouri.
Christensen was 27-35 at UW, and was fired on Dec. 1.
“I am thrilled at the opportunity to work with Kyle again,” said Christensen in the statement. “We were assistants together many years ago at Idaho State and I have great respect for him and what he has accomplished since then. I am also excited to be back coaching at the BCS level and at the University of Utah in particular, where I think there is a great opportunity for success. I have experience in the Pac-12 as a player and a coach at Washington (player and graduate assistant from 1988-89) and it is exciting to be back in one of the premier conferences in the country.”
Any thoughts on this, folks?
What was interesting about this hire was how Whittingham shuffled some of his current staff.
Dennis Erickson (another former UW head coach) and Brian Johnson were co-offensive coordinators last season. Erickson now coaches the running backs and Johnson the quarterbacks. I can’t see Erickson sticking around at Utah. Johnson, a former Utah quarterback, seems to be seeing his coaching career going backwards at this point.