Mike MacIntyre had spent the entirety of his college football life in the Eastern portion of the United States. The Miami native played at Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech before climbing the ladder at Georgia, Davidson, Tennessee - Martin, Temple, Ole Miss and Duke (with a pair of NFL stops mixed in). Then, in 2010, he moved as far west as you can go in the continental United States when he became the head coach at San Jose State.
Not only did he move to an area with which he had no familiarity, he took over a program that went 2-10 in the year prior to his arrival and had enjoyed just two winning seasons since 1992. In a recent interview with SB Nation's Bill Connelly, MacIntyre was asked the obvious question: why did you take that job?
"I realized there were only seven Division I [FBS] schools in California," MacIntyre said. "I felt like the supply and demand, the ability to get players there, was extremely good. I felt we could recruit and be successful. And I felt like the athletic director, Tom Bowen, and everybody from the top down wanted to be successful and was ready to be successful. I felt it was the right time to hit it."
That answer makes it obvious, MacIntyre is not just an excellent coach. He's college football's most successful stock broker, buying low and selling high. With that in mind, what does MacIntyre think of his current post as the head coach at Colorado?
"From our president [Bruce Benson], to our chancellor [Philip DiStefano], to our athletic director [Mike Bohn] – everybody is lined up. All the alumni are buying in, wanting to be successful again. This school has a great, great history, and it’s time to spring back," he said. "I think the footprint of the Pac-12 is good for Colorado. People look at me like I'm crazy when I say that, but I really do. You can recruit out of the state of California – again, there are just not a lot of schools there."
Of course, any coach would say something similar about his new program; but MacIntyre's quote brings extra credibility considering his track record.
Now in Boulder, MacIntyre will be tasked with repeating what he did at San Jose State, bringing the Buffaloes from the Pac-12 basement to the penthouse. This time, though, he thinks the Pac-12 infrastructure can give him a faster rise.
"When we were at San Jose State we were fighting and clawing for everything we had. We did not have a lot of the things we have here at Colorado. Doesn’t make it any better or worse, but when the Pac-12 is able to give you a $22 million check each year, there’s a difference in the things the kids have at their disposal -- academics, chow, et cetera."