FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – The Rams have found their new head football coach.
Colorado State University introduced Jim McElwain at their indoor practice facility on campus in Fort Collins on Tuesday afternoon.
“Coach McElwain’s arrival at CSU does mark the beginning of the bold new era for CSU football,” new Athletic Director Jack Graham said. “He’s had a diverse and very successful coaching career that spans about 25 years.”
McElwain is currently the offensive coordinator at Alabama and will coach his final game with the Crimson Tide when they meet LSU in the national title game. He’s 49 and is one of the most sought after coaches for colleges right now.
Graham said McElwain has been in some of the smallest colleges in the U.S. that have had minimal resources to the biggest and the best.
“I’m excited to be a Ram,” said McElwain, who attended the news conference with his wife and three children.
McElwain also has NFL experience as a former assistant with the Oakland Raiders.
“As the vision goes, and there will be some questions in the near future; we put the calendar together and we need to hit the ground running,” McElwain said. “We need to get the word out about what our plans are and what our visions are.”
Watch McElwain’s news conference in the below:
He said one of the visions is being able to think big.
“And within that process, not being afraid to be great. That’s the direction we need to head,” McElwain said. “Let’s make sure we go forward with the message, ‘We are Colorado State University, and here we come.’ “
On Dec. 1 CSU fired Athletic Director Steve Kowalczyk and hired Graham as his replacement. Three days later they fired head football coach Steve Fairchild, who had a 3-9 record as the coach in the past three seasons. McElwain mentioned Fairchild in the news conference.
“I know Steve personally. He’s a great person, a great human being and he’s done a wonderful job here,” McElwain said.
McElwain’s 5-year contract calls for an annual base salary of $1.35 million and he can earn an additional $150,000 in bonuses.
“In this bold new era, I’m excited to lead. I’m excited to see what direction we can take this.”