Darrin Chiaverini (Comm’99) played on three bowl-winning Buffs football teams and in the NFL. The Twitter-friendly coach and former Buffs captain rejoined Colorado from Texas Tech early this year. He aims to inject a fresh shot of Type-A mojo into the Buffs as the new co-offensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach. He observes that the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl in each of the last three years he’s lived in Colorado...
It’s hard to recruit effectively when the team has struggled for years. But it can’t get better until it gets elite players. How do you break that cycle?
You have to get a group of players who want to come in and change the culture together. You can flip it with one or two classes. You really can. You put those classes together, they’re hungry, they want to play together, then something special can happen. It’s happened before.
You’re very active on Twitter (@CoachChev6). How important is that tool for both recruiting and getting fans fired up?
I believe social media is one of the most powerful instruments we have in today’s society. It’s time for people to know what Colorado has been, what we’re about and where we’re trying to go. The kids nowadays, they don’t remember the great [Colorado] teams. They weren’t even born yet. This place has great pride and great tradition. It’s time for the nation to know that again. We have won a national championship, we’ve won a Big 12 championship, we’ve won bowl games, we’ve produced firstround (NFL) draft picks, we’ve won a Heisman Trophy.
Tell us about the amount of time you spent on the road leading up to signing day in February.
In the last week, I went from Denver to California, California to Lubbock (Texas), Lubbock to Dallas, Dallas to San Antonio, San Antonio to New Jersey, Jersey to Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale to Denver. Talk about getting your frequent-flyer miles.
With you sharing offensive coordinator duties with Brian Lindgren, how do you two work out any differences you might have?
Coach Lindgren is a really good person. We have different philosophies on certain things, but he’s been real open to looking at what we did at Texas Tech, [and I’m] looking at what they did at Colorado, and we’re trying to find out what do we do best. What do we have the personnel for, [so that] we can play more up-tempo football? We have very different personalities — I’m more aggressive and Type-A and I think coach Lindgren is more laid-back — but we’ve meshed well. We complement each other. We’re going to have differences of opinion, there’s no question, because we come from different styles of football background.
What do you bring to the table that can make a tangible difference in turning things around for CU?
I know Colorado football. I know how great this place has been and I know it is dying to be great again. I think I can bring some of that tradition. Also, I’m very aggressive in recruiting and I want kids to see how special this place is. But also it’s about us scoring points offensively and helping bring that to our offense. I’d rather have coach Mac [Mike MacIntyre] tell me, ‘Hey Chev, back off a little bit’ than have to motivate me. You don’t have to motivate me. I’m self-motivated in everything I do. That’s why I’ve been successful.
You’ve moved about a dozen times since you last lived in Boulder in the late ’90s. Tell us about that.
It’s been crazy but the journey is worth it. I enjoy teaching young men life skills through football. This is more than just football and winning and losing. I want to win as bad as anything that I do in life, but I also know there’s more to it than that. It’s about developing young men, developing them as people, so that once they leave this university, they’ll be successful in life. Football has given me the avenue to do that.
Condensed and edited by Gary Baines (Jour’83).
Photo by Glenn Asakawa