After being called on to restart a football program in 2007, John Wristen has quickly built Colorado State - Pueblo to 10-0 and a legit DII national title contender.
Before coming to Pueblo, Wristen served on offensive staffs at Colorado, Northwestern and UCLA for 17 years. With only 13 months to prepare for his first season (and a limited number of scholarships) with the ThunderWolves program (which included holding open tryouts on campus, and having to borrow uniforms and helmets from local high schools for spring practice), he led the team to a 4-7 start, followed by a 7-4 season in only their second year of existence. In 2010 Wristen led to the team to a 9-2 finish, narrowly missing a conference title and national playoff appearance.
Defensively, Pueblo is very impressive. The ThunderWolves defense is ranked 5th in both rushing defense (83.8 yards per game) and passing efficiency (94.68), and has the top scoring defense in DII allowing only 9.3 points per game.
In only their fourth year of existence, Wristen has led the program to a #3 ranking in Division II and is primed for a conference title as they wrap up their season against 4-4 Western New Mexico Saturday.
Taking a look at what he has accomplished during his short time with the ThunderWolves, it would not surprise us to hear Wristen's name included in the conversation for some bigger head coaching openings.