Steve Addazio is different than Mike Bobo. Here’s how.

Ethan Lee

Colorado State University’s recent hire of Steve Addazio has come with mixed feelings from many Rams fans. Most of the fans’ hesitation spawns from the endless amount of articles and tweets referring to Addazio’s less-than-inspiring stint at Boston College. However, when you compare Addazio’s resume to that of Mike Bobo and the other potential candidates the Rams passed on, it becomes clear that Addazio was the best choice for the program’s future. 

“Colorado State University is a world-class institution, and Fort Collins is an incredible city to live in and to be able to recruit to. Our program will be one built on toughness and passion, and we will work tirelessly to develop men of character to return championship-level football back to Colorado State.” – Head coach Steve Addazio 

 

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In his nine-year tenure as a head coach, Addazio has achieved bowl eligibility seven times, a feat Bobo accomplished only three times during his stint at CSU. Additionally, Addazio has actually managed to win multiple bowl games, compared to Bobo, who failed to bring home any hardware while leading the Rams.

Aside from bowl appearances/victories, program trajectory is also an important factor to consider when analyzing the success of a head coach. Coming into the 2013 season, Addazio’s first at BC, the Eagles were still ailing from a horrific 2-10 season the previous year. In just one season, coach Addazio was able to revitalize the lowly Eagles into a 7-6 bowl-eligible program. In the following seasons at BC, winning became the norm, as the Eagles got a record of .500 or better in six out of seven seasons. 

In comparison, Bobo took over the Rams after a very successful 10-3 campaign in 2014 and did little-to-nothing with the excitement and momentum former coach Jim McElwain had created. During his first three seasons in charge, Bobo managed to achieve a winning record, but he brought home next to nothing in terms of rivalry and bowl game trophies. In the following two seasons, Bobo led the Rams to a dismal record of 7-17. Here’s Addazio’s record by season as a head coach. 

Joe Parker, Steve Addazio, and Joyce McConnell, smile for the cameras during new football coach Steve Addazio announcement on Dec 12 at Canvas Stadium
Joe Parker, Steve Addazio and Joyce McConnell smile for the cameras during new football coach Steve Addazio announcement on Dec 12 at Canvas Stadium. (Devin Cornelius | The Collegian)

Head Coaching Record:

2011 – Temple – 9-4 (5-3 MAC); First bowl victory for Temple in 32 years

2012 – Temple – 4-7 (2-5)

2013 – Boston College – 7-6 (4-4); AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl

2014 – Boston College – 7-6 (4-4); New Era Pinstripe Bowl

2015 – Boston College – 3-9 (0-8)

2016 – Boston College – 7-6 (2-6); Quick Lane Bowl champions, First BC bowl win since ‘07

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2017 – Boston College – 7-6 (4-4); New Era Pinstripe Bowl

2018 – Boston College – 7-5 (4-4); SERVPRO First Responder Bowl

2019 – Boston College – 6-6 (4-4); Birmingham Bowl

Another important distinction to make when comparing the resumes of Bobo and Addazio is the level of competition each coach has faced. Rams fans have been quick to point out that Addazio finished 44-44 in the alleged “weak” Atlantic Coast Conference rather than acknowledging the clear upgrade from a coach who finished 28-35 in the undoubtedly weaker Mountain West.

7-6 means something completely different when you’re playing Power-Five competitions each Saturday as opposed to a lighter Mountain West schedule. Addazio’s five seven-win seasons should not scare Rams fans away. Rather, they should appreciate a coach that can promise annual bowl appearances, something Bobo was unable to do.

Other candidates that the Rams were considering included Butch Jones and Tony Alford. While each had impressive resumes, Addazio was still the Rams’ best option. 

Jones boasted Southeastern Conference coaching experience and a winning record as a head coach but is currently dealing with Title IX allegations that date back from his time at Tennessee. The allegations facing Jones are something that CSU did not want to associate themselves with, and ultimately, Joe Parker decided the potential risk did not outweigh any reward Jones would have brought. 

Alford, on the other hand, had no black spots on his resume. The decision to pass on him in favor of Addazio boiled down to longevity. When I say longevity, I am referring to the number of years CSU could expect to have with a young and successful coach like Alford.

Much like Jim McElwain in the early 2010s, Alford is expected to climb the coaching ladder relatively quickly, and CSU was not looking to serve as a stepping stool in his pursuit for high-profile positions. Addazio, on the other hand, is not expected to be headed anywhere anytime soon, allowing the Rams to build a much-needed culture in pursuit of college football relevancy. 

In summary, Rams fans need to appreciate what coach Addazio brings to the table rather than using surface-level statistics to belittle his legacy. One of the best parts of being a sports fan is coming into each new season with an unwavering sense of optimism, which is exactly what this CSU football team needs. If the community can rally around our beloved Rams and usher in the Addazio era with enthusiasm and trust, the future will be undoubtedly brighter than in seasons past. 

Ethan Lee can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @EthanLee_99.