For the first time in school history, the 2012 CSU football team will have co-defensive coordinators.
Coach Jim McElwain hired Al Simmons on Thursday and paired him with Marty English to run the defense.
Simmons comes to CSU from the University of Texas-El Paso, where he coached the safeties in 2011. The three seasons prior to that he spent as defensive backs coach at the University of California.
English, who was named to McElwainâ€™s staff on Feb. 7, will run the defensive line.
McElwain, soon after being hired, began to think that co-coordinators would be the way to go. And he expects that Simmons and English will combine their strengths to create one unit.
â€œWith Alâ€™s extensive background in the back end, and obviously Marty up front, weâ€™re going to be able to mesh that together,â€ McElwain said. â€œWe just felt that bringing those two together is really going to be important.â€
Simmons, who will be 49 at the time of CSUâ€™s first game of 2012, has 26 years of coaching experience. All of those years came with him coaching in the secondary.
He also spent parts of six seasons coaching in the NFL.
McElwain said that one of the things that attracted him to Simmons, in addition to his coaching resume, were his ties to the Northern California area for recruiting purposes.
English was named to the staff after coaching at the University of Wyoming since 2003. He has spent all of his 28 years in coaching on the defensive side of the ball, many of them on the defensive line.
When asked whether the defense would play 3-4 or 4-3, McElwain said, â€œI hope they (CSUâ€™s opponents) donâ€™t know when we go into our first game.â€
Neither Simmons or English were available for comment.
The two hires complete McElwainâ€™s inaugural coaching staff. In addition to naming the co-defensive coordinators, Jeff Hammerschmidt was named special teams coordinator and running backs coach, and Tim Duffie was named defensive secondary coach and recruiting coordinator.
â€œThe exciting thing for me is that weâ€™re hiring the right guys,â€ McElwain said.
Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Lytle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
26 years of experience (all on defensive side of ball)
Spent parts of six seasons coaching in the NFL
Coached at Wyoming since 2003 until being hired at CSU
Won consecutive National Championships as an assistant at Northern Colorado