With one spot left to fill on staff, Mel Tucker’s staff is shaping up to a mix of familiar faces, holdovers, and some unique experiences.

Tucker brought a few guys with him from Georgia, including both of his coordinators in Jay Johnson (OC / QBs) and Tyson Summers (DC / Safeties) and Travares Tillman who it appears will coach the corners for the program. He also opted to retain a few guys in Darrin Chiaverini (WRs), Ross Ells (ILBs), and Darian Hagan (RBs) while also bringing in quality coaches with some outside ideas in Chris Kapolovic (OL / run game coordinator), Al Pupunu (TEs) and Jimmy Brumbaugh (DL).

Both Brumbaugh and Kapolovic made the move to Boulder after having previously served in coordinator roles, Kap on the offensive side of things at UNC and Brumbaugh on defense as a co-coordinator at Maryland.

According to the CUBuffs website, Tucker has formally announced nine of his ten assistant coaching spots, with outside linebackers (who were coached by defensive coordinator DJ Eliot the last two seasons) appearing to be the lone vacancy left on staff. While there’s certainly some flexibility among the current staff, it’s still worth noting that the website officially lists both Summers and Tillman as coaching the safeties, however, numerous outlets have pointed out Tillman will work with the corners.

Thanks to a tweet from Brian Howell, we now get a look at what some of Tucker’s assistants are set to be paid.

When his contract was approved back in mid-December, Tucker was given an assistant salary pool of $3.2 million.

Mel Tucker Head Coach 5-yrs – $14.8 million
Jay Johnson Offensive Coordinator / QBs 3-yrs – $591,667
Tyson Summers Defensive Coordinator / Safeties 3-yrs – $500,000
Darrin Chiaverini Receivers / Recruiting Coordinator 2-yrs – $400,000
Ross Els Inside Linebackers 2-yrs – $275,000
Darian Hagan Running Backs
Chris Kapolovic Offensive Line / Run Game Coordinator 2-yrs – $425,000
Al Pupunu Tight Ends
Travares Tillman Corners
Jimmy Brumbaugh Defensive Line 2-yrs – $312,500
Drew Wilson Director of S&C


Chiaverini, who held a co-coordinator title last season, will make $100k less than he did in 2018 without those responsibilities, while Els will get a small bump in pay from $250k to $275k this season. Hagan, the other coach retained from Mike MacIntyre’s staff, didn’t have his contract details shared in the tweet, but the USA Today Salary Database points out that he made $200k last season.

The figures are set to be voted on by regents today, Howell points out.

Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.


Content manager - Doug took the reins in 2011 and the website has been better ever since. A former college player and small college coach, Doug now serves as the head coach at Ravenna HS (MI).