It was changes abound during the holiday season for CSU football.
Head coach Steve Fairchild filled his final full-time coaching responsibilities for the 2010 season, including the new addition of Dan Hammerschmidt as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator.
Hammerschmidt, 45, returns to his Alma mater, where he spent four years as a player and 13 seasons as an assistant coach. After graduating from CSU in 1985, Hammerschmidt coached as a student assistant under Leon Fuller in 1986 and then returned in 1996 to coach wide receivers under Sonny Lubick.
Hammerschmidt coached quarterbacks and shared offensive coordinator duties from 2001 to 2007.
He is excited for his return to CSU.
â€œItâ€™s a chance to come home for my family and me,â€ Hammerschmidt said. â€œItâ€™s my alma mater, where I coached with Steve.â€
â€œBut I also honestly believe this is the best time to be a Ram, with CSUâ€™s new facilities and the foundation Steve has put in place. The future of the program hasnâ€™t been brighter than it is now.â€
After leaving CSU in 2007, Hammerschmidt spent one season at Rice and last year at Wyoming.
Fairchild, the Ramsâ€™ quarterbacks coach from 1993 to 1996 and offensive coordinator from 1997 to 2000, is glad to bring back his old coaching companion.
â€œDan and I worked together during the best offensive years in CSU history,â€ Fairchild said. â€œHeâ€™s a coach of impeccable character, someone who will fit in well with our staff. Iâ€™m very confident in his ability to recruit outstanding players to our program, and Iâ€™m also excited about having another CSU grad on our team.â€
The addition of Hammerschmidt gives the Rams six coaches who played and graduated from CSU: Fairchild, running backs coach Anthoney Hill, quarterbacks coach Daren Wilkinson, graduate assistant Darrel Ballard and newly named offensive coordinator Pat Meyer.
Meyer will serve as the teamâ€™s offensive coordinator as well as offensive line coach. Meyer, 37, officially joined the CSU staff on Jan. 14, 2008.
â€œPat Meyer is quietly among the best coaches in the country, and weâ€™re fortunate to have him here at his alma mater,â€ Fairchild said in a university press release. â€œSince day one, he has been a cornerstone in our offense. Heâ€™s had a lead role each of his two years here on our staff.â€
Meyer coached an offensive line this season, which produced team MVP Cole Pemberton, one of four CSU offensive linemen who received all-conference mention. Pemberton, Shelley Smith, Tim Walter and Adrian Martinez all are expected to challenge for spots on NFL rosters this spring.
Fairchild filled his final coaching position by naming tight ends coach Marc Lubick recruiting coordinator. Greg Peterson was the teamâ€™s recruiting coordinator last season, but will not return to the program in 2010.
Lubick, 32, enters his 11th season in coaching and his ninth at Colorado State. Heâ€™s in his third year as a Fairchild assistant, officially named to the new staff on Dec. 12, 2007.
â€œMarc Lubick has been a fierce recruiter his entire career,â€ Fairchild said. â€œIâ€™ve known him a long time, and Iâ€™ve been extremely impressed with his organizational skills. Iâ€™m excited that heâ€™ll be coordinating our recruiting operations moving forward.â€
Football beat reporter Stephen Meyers can be reached at email@example.com.