After season, MU assistant open to head coaching jobs elsewhere

Monday, November 24, 2008 | 7:37 p.m. CST; updated 8:21 p.m. CST, Friday, November 28, 2008
MU offensive coordinator Dave Christensen

COLUMBIA — If the right opportunity presents itself, Missouri offensive coordinator Dave Christensen will listen.

Christensen expressed interest Monday in pursuing a head-coaching position. Over the past week, Christensen has been mentioned as a possibility for jobs at New Mexico and Wyoming. Last December, Christensen was a finalist for the Washington State position filled by Paul Wulff.

“If a great opportunity came when the season is over, then I would be interested in listening to them,” Christensen said. “Everybody wants to advance their career. I would like to be a head coach some day.”

Christensen has served as Missouri’s offensive coordinator since coach Gary Pinkel arrived in Columbia before the 2001 season. Previously, Christensen acted under Pinkel as Toledo’s offensive coordinator (1997 to 2000) and offensive line coach (1992 to 1996). Christensen played offensive line at Washington from 1980 to 1982 under longtime coach and Pinkel mentor Don James. In 1983, Christensen began his career at Western Washington as a running backs coach and later worked in various capacities at Sehome (Wash.) High School, Everett (Wash.) High School, Eastern Washington, Spokane Falls Community College, Washington and Idaho State before joining Pinkel in Toledo.

Christensen has been credited with Missouri’s transition to a no-huddle spread attack that debuted in 2005. Since then, the Tigers are 36-14 and will make their fourth consecutive bowl appearance – the program’s longest postseason streak since berths from 1978 to 1981.

In his online resume, Christensen emphasizes a no-huddle spread philosophy and outlines his potential defensive approach. He calls his offense “exciting … for the players and the fans, both because of its speed and because it produces wins.” He writes that he would implement a 4-3 base defense that showcases a Cover-2 secondary scheme. He also cites that his offense set the school single-season record for points scored (558) and led Missouri to its first No. 1 BCS ranking in 2007.

“I want my staff to advance,” Pinkel said. “It opens up opportunities internally. I think it’s very healthy. I think you anticipate it after success.

“You want them to go out and take what they have learned and have their shot, because it’s so hard to get a job.”

On Nov. 17, New Mexico coach Rocky Long resigned after an 11-year career in Albuquerque. He finished with a 65-69 record and led the Lobos to five bowl appearances in seven seasons since 2002, including a career-best nine victories last year.

On Sunday, Wyoming athletic director Tom Burman announced the firing of sixth-year coach Joe Glenn. The Cowboys finished the season 4-8 with a 1-7 record in the Mountain West Conference, good for eighth place in the nine-team league. Glenn closed his career with a 30-41 overall record and a 15-31 mark in conference play.

The Cowboys struggled offensively. They rank No. 107 in total offense, managing 296 yards per game, about 65 more than last-place Central Florida. Wyoming scored fewer than 21 points in all but two games this season.   

“We’re not saying this has to be a BCS-level guy or it can’t be a Football Championship Subdivision coach,” Burman said of his next hire on Monday in a teleconference. “We’re going to look all over the country to find the right fit for the University of Wyoming.

“We know where we were offensively. We feel like we have better players than that. Offense is important, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to hire an offensive guy. If we do hire a defensive guy, they’re going to have to demonstrate to us a strong commitment to offense.”

Christensen said he remains committed to his current position. Once the season ends, he will consider his future.

“We still have three more football games to play, so I have to put my focus on the job that I have,” he said.

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