For CSU football, the off-season has been anything but a time of dormancy, as two coaches left for greener pastures and a former Buff made his way north to Fort Collins.
Just over two weeks ago, CSU defensive coordinator Larry Kerr left the Rams to accept a similar position at UCLA. Kerr served as the inside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator for the Bruins in 1989.
The move ends Kerr’s 10-year run as CSU’s defensive coordinator and linebacker’s coach that began in 1993, when he was brought on board by then-first-year coach Sonny Lubick.
“I’m happy for Larry that he has this opportunity,” Lubick said in a statement released shortly after Kerr’s departure. “I think that it says a lot about what we’ve accomplished at Colorado State when other programs look at our staff members because of our success. I’m proud that people around the country have recognized what has been happening at Colorado State is very special.”
Though the announcement came as a surprise to most of the Fort Collins community, Kerr had reportedly been looking into other opportunities such as the head coaching vacancies at Utah and Wyoming before joining new Bruins coach Karl Dorrell in Los Angeles.
Departures within the Rams’ coaching ranks didn’t stop with Kerr. Secondary coach Marvin Sanders left shortly after Kerr to become the secondary coach with the University of Nebraska, Sanders’ alma mater. Sanders had been with the Rams for two years.
Like he had done with Kerr, Lubick wished Sanders well in his new endeavor.
“This was an opportunity to return to his alma mater as an assistant coach, and that is something that is very special to any person in our profession,” Lubick said in a statement. “I’m happy for Marvin and his family and wish them the best of luck in Nebraska.”
Lubick told media he doesn’t expect to have replacements for the vacated positions in place until after Feb. 5, national signing day for recruits.
Houston heads north
Marcus Houston, the former Colorado running back and one of the state’s most highly-recruited prep athletes, announced his intentions to transfer to CSU.
A standout at Denver’s Thomas Jefferson High School, Houston showed signs of brilliance in his first three games as a freshman with the
Buffaloes, but injuries derailed a once-promising start and put him deep down the depth chart of a loaded CU backfield.
Transferring will mean Houston will not be eligible to play for the Rams until 2004.
Lubick told the Denver Post that Houston made a good impression on him in his first conversation with the high-profile transfer since he officially enrolled at CSU.
“He recruited us,” Lubick said. “He has a great passion and love for football and a desire to play football. We’ll do what we can and hope he has a good experience here.”
Houston’s arrival has already been welcomed by some CSU’s students, such as senior speech communication major Zach Schmitz, who waved a “Houston 4 Heisman in 2004” sign at the CSU-New Mexico men’s basketball game Jan. 13.
Athletic department officials were unable to comment further on Houston’s situation until he actually attends classes today.
Houston, who was moving to Fort Collins over the weekend, was unavailable for comment.
Sapp shines in Senior Bowl
Former Ram standout Cecil Sapp shined in the 2002 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Jan. 18, scoring the game’s first points on an 8-yard touchdown run for the North, which went on to shut out the South squad, 17-0.
Sapp, who is expected to be chosen in this April’s NFL draft, said he was looking to the game as a showcase for scouts.
“Scouts want to see it all, they want to see that you can block, run and catch,” Sapp told media following the game. “I think I proved my point this week.”