Colorado State football added two key members to its coaching staff during the offseason, bringing in experience and the desire to win.
New wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator Dan Hammerschmidt and tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Todd Stroud join the Rams for the 2010 campaign in search of the success they have come to expect.
Hammerschmidt spent last season with rival Wyoming and 2008 with Rice University, but was on Sonny Lubickâ€™s CSU coaching staff from 1996 to 2007 as both wide receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator. He also had a long career with CSU as a player.
His biggest reason for returning is the love he has for the university and the area.
â€œI just like the people at CSU and being here,â€ Hammerschmidt said. â€œI just like the Front Range. Itâ€™s a nice place to live.â€
Stroud, on the other hand, has no previous ties to the school. He spent the last three years coaching under Bobby Bowden at Florida State. Prior to FSU, he coached at North Carolina State from 1999 to 2006, helping to produce NFL players like Phillip Rivers.
â€œItâ€™s a new opportunity,â€ Stroud said. â€œA challenge and a chance to coach offense, work for coach Fairchild and a great opportunity for my family as well.â€
Stroud sees this yearâ€™s team in the same way he saw FSU before they became a national powerhouse.
â€œI kind of liken this program to where (FSU was) in the mid to late â€˜80s,â€ Stroud said. â€œWeâ€™re starting to find an identity and build some things, getting new facilities. Weâ€™re very similar.â€
Players have already felt Hammerschmidtâ€™s impact, especially the younger ones still feeling their way around their positions. One of these includes sophomore Lou Greenwood, who said he appreciated the teachings of the new wide receivers coach.
The Rams have accepted Stroud as one of their own, making the move seem not quite as large.
â€œItâ€™s been a very easy transition,â€ Stroud said. â€œThe players here are great. Everyone is focused. Everyone is committed and professional.â€
The new coaches are fitting in, but it didnâ€™t go unnoticed that Hammerschmidt is coming back to CSU from Wyoming.
â€œI personally just found out about it a few weeks ago,â€ Greenwood said. â€œI gave him a little hell about it, but he said he was on the right side of the border now anyway, so weâ€™re all good.â€
Football beat reporter Cris Tiller can be reached at email@example.com.