Christensen meets new team

Monday, December 8, 2008 | 8:49 p.m. CST; updated 11:52 p.m. CST, Monday, December 8, 2008
MU offensive coordinator Dave Christensen

LARAMIE, Wyo. — When new Wyoming coach Dave Christensen met with the team Monday and discussed his expectations, including attention to detail, he noticed one player with his eyes closed.

“I had to wake one guy up,” Christensen said. “I think I woke the whole team up.”

Christensen later gained the attention of some 200 boosters, fans, staff and others in his first public appearance at Wyoming since he was hired as the new football coach on Dec. 1.

To their delight, Christensen, 47, said he’s not looking to use Wyoming as a stepping stone to bigger coaching jobs like other UW coaches in the past.

“I don’t know how many more years I got in me to coach,” he said. “I know one thing, I’m excited about being here. I want to be the football coach at Wyoming. I want to build a winning program. ... If I finish my career as a head football coach here at the University of Wyoming, and I’m taking this team to bowl games, then I can finish my career here also.”

Christensen replaces Joe Glenn, who was fired after four losing seasons in six years. Christensen comes to Wyoming from Missouri, where he was the offensive coordinator.

Christensen said he’ll be busy shuttling between Laramie and Missouri until after he helps coach the Tigers in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29.

He is still assembling his staff, announcing that he has retained Marty English, who has coached UW linebackers the past six seasons under Glenn, as his defensive coordinator.

“You can expect to see a disciplined, hard-nosed, physical football team, much like they’ve been in the past, and we want to continue that tradition of playing great defense here,” Christensen said.

Christensen, the architect of Missouri’s high-powered offense, said he will install the same fast, no huddle, spread offense at Wyoming. The Cowboys ranked last among the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams in scoring.

“The nice thing about it is at 7,200 feet it’s hard to keep up with (the offense),” he said. “And so we’re going to press the other teams. We going to stretch the field from sideline to sideline and end zone to end zone, and it’s going to be an exciting style of offensive plan, and it’s also exciting to recruit to.”

Christensen said he expects Wyoming to compete for the Mountain West Conference title and become bowl eligible.

Cowboys quarterback Karsten Sween said he was impressed with Christensen.

“I think coach Christensen knows exactly what this program needs,” Sween said. “I think he knows exactly how to go about it.”

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said he will wait until after the Alamo Bowl to decide on a new offensive coordinator.

“We’ve lost one coach in the last eight years, so I’m kind of rusty at this right now,” Pinkel said. “I don’t really have a time frame right now, really haven’t had time to think about it.”

Missouri leaves for San Antonio on Dec. 23, and Pinkel said practice might resume this weekend just ahead of final exams.


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Nate Ratcliff December 9, 2008 | 3:53 a.m.

My hat is off to Coach Christensen. He helped put Mizzou football back on the map. I do, however, hope that Coach Pinkel sees the need for more balance in the offense when selecting the next coordinator(i.e., great teams can control the offensive tempo and have a true run-pass attack). Likewise, a "score as fast as you can" approach only works if your defensive coordinator can figure out how to stop somebody/ anybody.
This season is representative of our collective futures unless Mizzou finds some offensive balance and some defensive existence. Mizzou has been here before, a few good years and then return to an "also ran" status. I have lived in this cycle far too long and I do not care to go back. Our best chance to break this cycle is to find new energy in the offensive and defensive coordinator positions.
Control the clock, score on most drives, actually have and execute a defensive plan and we remain at the next level. Continue to play predictable offense and uncoordinated defense-- well, we will be lucky to see future Alamo Bowls.

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