Mike Bobo insists he is Colorado State Ram, through and through. Even if he may have gotten his old school and his new one mixed up in his introductory press conference.
Tuesday afternoon, CSU president Tony Frank announced the 40-year old Bobo as the 22nd head coach in Colorado State football history in front of roughly 150 people in the Bob Davis Hall inside Moby Arena. Bobo, who has signed a term sheet with the university, will begin with a base salary of $1.35 million in 2015 that will increase by $100,000 each year before any bonuses or incentives. In all, Bobo will receive $7.75 million over five years at Colorado State.
“When we hire a head football coach, we’re making a big decision,” Frank said. “We’re hiring somebody who will create a lot of first impressions for Colorado State University. I am extremely confident that in Mike Bobo, we have found the exact right man to lead Colorado State University in that effort.”
Bobo, who spent the last seven seasons as the offensive coordinator at the University of Georgia, inherits a program that finished 10-3 in 2014 and reeled off a nine-game winning streak. The Rams boasted a Manning Award semifinalist in senior quarterback Garrett Grayson, a consensus All-American and Biletnikoff Award finalists in Rashard Higgins and statistically, the best offense in school history.
In Bobo’s time at Georgia, the Bulldogs totaled 135 victories, including two Southeastern Conference championships, five SEC Eastern Division titles and eight bowl victories. Winning is something he has become accustomed to, and something he expects to continue at Colorado State.
“We’re going to get after it, we’re going to coach them hard and we are going to be demanding,” Bobo said of his expectations at Colorado State. “There’s no doubt about it, I hate to lose.”
After interviewing a total of “12 or 13” candidates, Frank and interim athletic director John Morris narrowed the pool of candidates down substantially before interviewing Bobo in Las Vegas and eventually offering him the job.
“He was on my list from the very beginning, and one of the few that was,” Morris said of Bobo. “Then through the interview process he easily made it into our final round and then after the final round when Tony [Frank] and I got together, he just rose to the top, and he’s the one we offered the job to.”
After working on the recruiting trail for the University of Georgia over the past few weeks, Bobo will do the same thing at Colorado State, while simultaneously interviewing and hiring a new staff to work under him. According to Morris, the salary pool for Bobo’s assistants will be around $2.4 million, just over $200,000 more than it was for former head coach Jim McElwain. Though he admitted he has some ideas for who he would like to hire, Bobo didn’t rule out the possibility of retaining some of the previous staff whom McElwain hired.
“Do I have a couple key guys in mind? Yes. Have I filled out my entire staff? No. Quite frankly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t want to talk to some of these guys on this staff right now,” Bobo said. “Everybody here knows that Coach McElwain did an outstanding job, but Coach McElwain didn’t win 10 games by himself; his staff had a lot to do with it. I want to talk with those guys. Again, I want guys who want to work with me, and I want guys who want to be at Colorado State.”
Collegian Sports Editor Keegan Pope can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @ByKeeganPope.