Steve Fairchild, offensive coordinator for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, is CSU’s new head football coach.
Athletic director Paul Kowalczyk confirmed the hiring through a release by the athletic department Wednesday morning.
“Steve Fairchild has a long-standing history of success at Colorado State,” Kowalczyk said, “both as a student-athlete and coach. I know that he has great passion for this university, this program and this community.”
Fairchild, who will remain with Buffalo for the team’s last three regular season games, has already began his search to find candidates for his coaching staff.
Fairchild brings a long history of success as a CSU Ram with him, having been a quarterback for the team in 1980s and an assistant coach under Sonny Lubick from 1993-2000.
Farichild’s career as a player for the Rams saw him earn second-team all-conference honors in 1980. In 1993 Fairchild joined Sonny Lubick’s original staff as a quarterbacks coach. In 1997 he was promoted to the offensive coordinator’s position, where he would oversee some of the most prolific offenses in the program’s history.
The offense under Fairchild set the school record for points (442) and touchdowns (59) in 1997 and would lead the team to two top 25 finishes (16th in 1997 and 14th in 2000).
“When you examine history,” Kowalczyk said, “when Steve was an assistant at CSU, we typically had the most prolific offense and top performers in the conference.”
After leaving CSU in 2001, Fairchild became the running backs coach of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. From there he moved on to become the offensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams in 2003. Last year he returned to the Buffalo Bills as an offensive coordinator, helping to turn Bills quarterback J.P. Losman into the 11th best passer in the league.
Fairchild came highly recommended by former CSU head coach Sonny Lubick, who was fired from the position on Nov. 17 after 15 years on the job. In 1999 Lubick recommended Fairchild for the Frank Broyles Award, awarded annually to the nation’s best assistant coach.
Junior running back Kyle Bell said that having an offensive-minded coach, especially one who has been a running backs coach and offensive coordinator in the NFL, is very exciting.
“He was (at CSU) when they had their most dominant offenses,” Bell said. “He brings a lot of credibility with what he has done in the past.”
Bell went on to say that while there may be some similarities in the coach Farichild and coach Lubick’s style due to their history, he knows that the new coach will come in with specific ideas of how to turn the program around.
“He’s obviously going to come in here and have a mindset of the way that he wants things,” Bell said. “It’s kind of exciting.”
President Larry Penley, who commented in the release, said that from the university’s standpoint, Fairchild will bring a proven level of success to the CSU community.
“We are pleased that Steve Fairchild, with his significant coaching expertise and history at Colorado State, is going to return to his roots as a champion for our football program,” Penley said. “His positive reputation precedes him – I’ve talked with several people who know him as both a seasoned leader and a man of character and integrity.”
Penley went on to praise the effectiveness of the search for the new coach, which lasted little more than one week after Lubick announced that he was removed from the position.
“Paul Kowalczyk has done an outstanding job in managing this search quickly and quietly, while dedicating himself to finding someone who is a great fit for CSU and committed to the success and well-being of our student-athletes,” Penley said.
Fairchild’s coaching career:
Colorado State – Head Coach (2008- )
Buffalo Bills – Offensive Coordinator (2006-07)
St. Louis Rams – Offensive Coordinator (2004-05)
St. Louis Rams – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks (2003)
Buffalo Bills – Running Backs (2001-02)
Colorado State – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks (1997-2000)
Colorado State – Quarterbacks (1993-96)
San Diego State – Quarterbacks (1990-92)
New Mexico – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks (1987-89)
San Diego State – Tight Ends/Recruiting Coordinator (1986)
Ferris State – Offensive Coordinator/QBs/RBs (1984-85)
San Diego Mesa CC – Offensive Coordinator/QBs/RBs (1982-83)