Dec 042011
Authors: Cris Tiller, Kevin Lytle

Note: To see Steve Fairchild’s full statement, click here.

Following three straight 3-9 seasons, CSU football coach Steve Fairchild was fired Sunday by new Athletic Director Jack Graham.

The announcement comes one day after the Rams lost 22-19 to the University of Wyoming to finish the season with eight straight losses for CSU.

“I appreciate all that Steve has done for Colorado State University,” Graham said in a press release announcing the firing. “As a former player, graduate, assistant and head coach, Steve took great pride in our football program and university. He will always be a valued member of the Ram family.”

A leading national search firm, Spencer Stuart, has been retained to assist in the process. Graham will also consult with CSU President Tony Frank on how to best engage the campus community in finding CSU’s next head coach.

The former CSU quarterback was hired by former Athletic Director Paul Kowalczyk on Dec. 12, 2007 as the 19th coach in school history. He replaced legendary coach Sonny Lubick.

His first season as head coach was also his most successful. He led the team to a 6-6 regular season record which gave the Rams an appearance in the New Mexico Bowl.

CSU won the 2008 New Mexico Bowl 40-35 over Fresno State behind 375 total yards from running back Gartrell Johnson.

His seven wins were the most ever for a first-year coach at CSU. It was also the team’s first winning season in five years.

Fairchild was unable to build on his first-year success however.

Early in the 2009 season it looked like the Rams were building off of the bowl victory. CSU won its first three games, including one of the best wins in Fairchild’s tenure when the Rams upset CU-Boulder in Boulder and CSU fans in attendance stormed the field.

But CSU lost its final nine games of the season to finish 3-9.

The Rams losing streak reached 12 games after losing the first three games of 2010 before finally beating the University of Idaho to snap the skid.

The season didn’t finish well, however, as CSU finished 3-9 again including defeats of 39 and 44 points in the final two games of the season.

Fairchild spent seven years as a coach in the NFL prior to his hiring at CSU. During that time he served as the offensive coordinator for both the Buffalo Bills and St. Louis Rams.

His coaching career started in 1982 as the offensive coordinator of San Diego Mesa Community College. He then coached at Ferris State, San Diego State and New Mexico State before returning to CSU where he was a starting quarterback and captain.

From 1993-2000 Fairchild served on Lubick’s staff as a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.

Fairchild came to CSU as a player in 1978 as a junior-college transfer. In his first season he led the Rams in passing while splitting quarterback duties. In 1980 he was named starter and team captain and went on to be named second-team all-conference.

Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Lytle can be reached at

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