The vocabulary of Mike MacIntyre
By Michael Krumholtz
Mike MacIntyre has a few favorite words..
“As you get to know me you will say one thing about Mike MacIntyre: ‘He has passion,’” he said at the press conference introducing him as Colorado’s 25th head coach. “You might say a lot of other things, but you’ll say he has passion.”
His southern tongue is rolling out phrases and slogans faster than an up-and-coming creative director at J. Walter Thompson.
“The word I use instead of patience is perseverance. There’s a big difference. Perseverance (means) you’re working continuously everyday.”
“My slogan is ‘No excuses, no regrets.’”
He is a breathing motivational poster. MacIntyre, the charismatic and ardent 47-year-old, comes to Boulder via San Jose State, where he finished the regular season with a 10-2 record and a No. 24 ranking.
Born the son of a coach, he brings bags full of NFL and FBS coaching experience on his move to Colorado. He remembers how he looked up to his father George, a former coach of the year recipient at Vanderbilt, and molded himself in reflection of that visage.
“I saw a man who cared about people. He was a life changer,” MacIntyre said. “That’s what I like to do. I love to win football games. But I like to help change lives to get them where they want to be.”
MacIntyre coached as an assistant in the pros with the Cowboys and the Jets, as well as having stints with Duke, Ole Miss, and Temple before taking the head coaching job at San Jose State.
In common opponents with this year’s CU team, MacIntyre’s club fared much better than the Buffs. The Spartans lost by three to eventual Pac-12 champ Stanford (who, if you will allow it back into your memory, shutout the Buffs) and beat Colorado State by 20. They also boasted one of the nation’s best passing offenses, one that should translate to CU after some time for installation.
But how much time? Immediately succeeding Jon Embree’s two-year experiment, MacIntyre still trusts athletic director Mike Bohn and the rest of the administration to give him needed time.
“I felt a sense of total commitment to getting it done,” he said. “When I was growing up and playing ball, Colorado was special and I definitely think they can get there again.
“Yes we’ve got a long way to go but I’ve been there before.”
MacIntyre confirmed he would be bringing the pistol offense to Boulder. It’s the same offense employed by Chris Ault’s great rushing attacks at Nevada. And if you watch the BCS National Championship, you’ll notice a certain SEC program run it on occasion. Defensively, MacIntyre will use a base 4-3 scheme. He also mentioned that he will interview interested coaches at San Jose State for prospective spots on his staff at CU.
Just when he finally settles down into his new office, the diligent coach will rush out to the recruiting trail. And he knows exactly which trails to go down in his quest for gaining Pac-12 competitiveness.
“We’re going to absolutely blanket Colorado. And we’re going to absolutely blanket California. I look at California as in-state,” he says with an open grin.
The newest Coach Mac knows what made Bill McCartney’s old teams so successful: start with the best players from the state, then branch out to California and Texas.
“We’re going to win this state in recruiting. That is one of our big goals.”
In his past, he was responsible for recruiting future NFL Pro Bowlers Eli Manning and Patrick Willis to Mississippi. Now, in his uncertain future, his ability to succeed in recruiting may define his CU coaching tenure. Planned facility upgrades included in his contract should help attract recruits who also need reassurance that CU is ready to compete again.
For now, it’s irrelevant to say whether this was a “good hire” or a “bad” one. Those are determinations to come. At least it must be some relief to know the Buffs have a proven head coach on their sidelines after guys without prior coordinator experience were asked to run the program.
MacIntyre rattles off San Jose State team and players’ statistics in the self-fulfilling way a boastful bachelor lists his accomplishments. The numbers remain stuck in his head along with those all-encompassing phrases and uninterrupted coaching memories.
He is asked about his team back in San Jose. Will he coach in the bowl game? Or will he begin invaluable time recruiting, assembling a staff, and becoming familiar with players? His uncomplicated answer may have just given some insight into that passion and perseverance he was talking about.
“I’ve got a lot of work to do,” MacIntyre said. “My heart is at the bowl game. But my mind and body are here working.”