At the annual Buffs4Life golf tournament and awards dinner on Monday at the Omni Interlocken, I had a chance to catch up with former Colorado tight end and head coach Jon Embree.

Embree is the founder of Buffs4Life, which has been around for 11 years and helped a lot of former Buffs, as I wrote about in this story.

I always enjoy talking with Embree, who was great to cover during his two-year run as CU's head coach in 2011 and 2012. A very loyal Buff, Embree grew up in the Denver area, played at CU from 1983-86 and then worked as an assistant coach for the Buffs from 1993-2002.

In addition to talking to him about Buffs4Life, I asked Embree about a few other topics.

1. Embree has a good relationship with current CU head coach Mike MacIntyre, who replaced Embree when he was fired after the 2012 season. He talked a bit about that relationship:

"From the first time I came back for Buffs4Life before his first year (in 2013), we usually get together once in the month of July between our vacations, whether it's breakfast or coffee or whatever, just get together and talk about different things tied in with the program."

2. Embree had a tough two years as head coach, going 4-21 overall and 3-15 in the Pac-12. Those were CU's transition years to the conference.


Going through that, Embree said he enjoyed watching the Buffs go 10-4 and win the Pac-12 South last season:

"It was great, because a lot of those kids were committed to us when I was fired and some of those kids you had seen and been on campus with and met their families. It was good to see them have success. It's always good to see the Buffs win. Hopefully they continue and get the big ring; get the Pac-12 and get in that final four and keep it moving."

3. In the offseason, Embree left his job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to become the assistant head coach and tight ends coach for the San Francisco 49ers:

"It was hard to leave Tampa, because I think they're going to be really good. But the opportunity to work with (new 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan) and the promotion, and being closer to home made it easy to do."

4. After the NFL Draft in April, the Bucs signed former Buffs quarterback Sefo Liufau, who Embree had recruited to CU but never coached. Embree talked about Liufau's opportunity in Tampa:

"I knew they were really interested in him before I left and had talked with him. I didn't leave (the Bucs) until right after the Super Bowl, so we had talked about some draft things and some kids and that was one of the kids I knew they were really interested in. I talked to one of the coaches about Sefo before the draft, so I felt good - I didn't know who else was interested in him, but I thought it would be a good opportunity. It'll be a great spot for him because he has a lot of qualities (Bucs starting QB Jameis Winston) has, as far as intangibles off the field, as far as leadership, so he'll fit in well. Jameis will do a great job of helping him. Then, it's just a matter of getting acclimated to the game and doing things, mechanics or whatever it is they want him to work on. All these guys, whether they are the first pick or undrafted, there's a lot of mental gymnastics they have to do. It's going to be a learning process for him, but he's got some good guys there."

5. Embree's new team has two players from last year's CU team: cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (3rd round pick) and outside linebacker Jimmie Gilbert (signed as an undrafted free agent). Embree recruited Gilbert to CU, and talked a bit about having those two in San Francisco:

"Jimmie sits in front of me in team meetings all the time, so I see his knucklehead all the time. It's good seeing him and Ahkello. I see (Ahkello) in passing here and there with him being on defense. We expect a lot of good things from both of those guys."

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