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September 14, 2023

When it comes to American Football, most people love to watch the NFL. We cannot really blame them though. This is where the magic happens....

BREAKING: Tom Hilbert to join CSU football staff for 2020-21 season

Taking a critical look around the Colorado State University athletics department, it’ll be difficult to find someone who’s been more consistent in their time in Fort Collins than volleyball coach Tom Hilbert. The Rams’ longest-tenured head coach has enjoyed a stretch of success not many collegiate coaches can boast. 

Entering year 24 at the helm of CSU volleyball, the Rams have appeared in the NCAA tournament every year with Hilbert as head coach. Last year, the Rams rallied off 28 straight wins to end the 2019 season with a record of 29-2 and a flawless conference mark of 18-0. Hilbert also has 12 Mountain West Coach of the Year awards in his trophy case. 


“With Tom (Hilbert) coming on as a member of my staff, I think we’ll be able to shake things up in the Mountain West this year,” CSU football head coach Steve Addazio said. “We’ve got the Rocky Mountain Showdown the first week; that’ll be how we set the tone for the season.”

On the flip side, CSU football has endured a few underachieving seasons that led to the departure of former head coach Mike Bobo, who’s now been succeeded by new hire Addazio.

Steve Addazio tells the audience that the team he wants to build will “represent you and this University in the highest regard” during his introductory press conference Dec. 12 at Canvas Stadium. (Devin Cornelius | The Collegian)

Addazio has yet to take the field at Canvas Stadium for a scheduled game, but news of a new member joining his coaching staff to help bring a winning touch back to the football program has come to light. For the 2020-21 season, Tom Hilbert will serve as an associate head coach for Addazio and the CSU football team.

“I’m very excited to see what Tom (Hilbert) can bring to CSU football,” athletic director Joe Parker said. “He seems to have that winning touch that can change a program for the better. Football could use some of the magic that volleyball has enjoyed for so long.” 

In most cases, it’s unlikely that success in one sport can effectively transfer to another. Even Michael Jordan couldn’t crack the big league during his brief switch to baseball after claiming three straight NBA championships.

Nevertheless, the time for CSU football to restore pride to the program is now: a group of new coaches, a relatively new stadium and now a familiar face with a successful pedigree to help sell this next season to the Ram faithful.

the coach talks to two players
Coach Tom Hilbert talks to Katie Oleksak and Breana Runnels during a timeout in the game against UNC Wilmington. (Ashley Potts | The Collegian)

Hilbert’s experience and winning record against CU should help the football team. The Rams have lost five straight games against the Buffs, but Hilbert owns a record of 4-3 against CU since 2010.  

“I honestly have no idea how to coach a football team,” Hilbert said. “I watch football sometimes on weekends when I’m not coaching volleyball, but that’s my qualification. I also add oil to my car when it’s low too, but that doesn’t mean I’m a mechanic.” 

Turning a football program into a perennial contender in the Mountain West or any conference is no easy task. Even more fuel to the fire of hype that surrounds CSU football this coming season comes with the addition of Hilbert. It’s a bold strategy Cotton; let’s see if it pays off for ’em. 


Ryan Loberger can be reached at or on Twitter @LobergerRyan 

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About the Contributor
Devin Cornelius, Digital Managing Editor
Devin Cornelius is the digital managing editor for The Collegian. He is a fifth-year computer science major from Austin, Texas. He moved to Colorado State University and started working for The Collegian in 2017 as a photographer. His passion for photography began in high school, so finding a photography job in college was one of his top priorities. He primarily takes sports photos, volleyball being his favorite to shoot. Having been on The Collegian staff for 4 1/2 years, he's watched the paper evolve from a daily to a weekly paper, and being involved in this transition is interesting and exciting. Although Cornelius is a computer science major, his time at The Collegian has been the most fulfilling experience in his college career — he has loved every second. From working 12-hour days to taking photos in Las Vegas for the Mountain West Conference, he cannot think of a better place to work. Working as a photographer for The Collegian pushed him outside of his comfort zone, taking him places that he never expected and making him the photographer he is today. As the digital managing editor, Cornelius oversees the photos, graphics and social media of The Collegian along with other small tech things. Working on the editorial staff with Katrina Leibee and Serena Bettis has been super fun and extremely rewarding, and together they have been pushing The Collegian toward being an alt-weekly. Outside of The Collegian, he enjoys playing volleyball, rugby, tumbling and a variety of video games. When in Austin, you can find him out on the lake, wake surfing, wake boarding and tubing. You can expect that Cornelius and the rest of The Collegian staff will do their best to provide you with interesting and exciting content.

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