Colorado coach Jon Embree met with assistant coaches who have worked under Dan Hawkins in Boulder over the past five seasons on Tuesday and informed some of them they won't be retained as part of his staff.

Sources said Embree told defensive coordinator Ron Collins, tight ends and special teams coach Kent Riddle, defensive line coach Romeo Bandison, offensive line coach Denver Johnson and wide receivers coach Robert Prince they would not be retained.

All of Hawkins' assistants and staff members have been told they will be paid through Feb. 1.

Embree has yet to decide whether running backs coach Darian Hagan, secondary coach Ashley Ambrose and offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau will be retained.

Kiesau is under contract for next season and will likely remain on staff at least through the end of the 2011 recruiting cycle in early February. It is also possible he could be retained to coach wide receivers or quarterbacks, sources said.

If Kiesau is not retained, the school will have to pay him for next season. He makes approximately $220,000 annually but would probably walk away with less than that after negotiations.

CU sources and a source close to the Arizona football program said Arizona defensive line coach Mike Tuiasosopo will join Embree's staff to coach defensive tackles, the same role he has filled with the Wildcats.

Tuiasosopo is a 47-year-old product of American Samoa with 14 years of experience as an assistant coach at the Football Bowl Subdivision level.

The same sources said Embree is talking with Greg Brown about returning to CU to serve as defensive coordinator.

Brown left CU a year ago to become co-defensive coordinator for the Wildcats under coach Mike Stoops. Brown has twice served as an assistant coach in Boulder under Bill McCartney in the early 1990s and the first four seasons of Hawkins' tenure.

Texas wide receivers coach Bobby Kennedy, a Boulder native, is rumored to be considering leaving the Longhorns to return to Boulder as an offensive assistant for Embree, but it remains only a possibility at this point.

24/7Sports.com, a new Web site covering Texas sports, reported that Kennedy is in the mix for the head coaching job at Kent State. Kennedy is believed to be waiting for a decision there before he addresses any opportunity he might have to join the Buffs.

If Kennedy does come to Boulder, he would give Embree's staff a strong recruiting link to Texas.

Kennedy might not be the only staff member at Texas to come to Boulder.

Jeff Madden, assistant athletic director for strength and conditioning at Texas, also could be in the mix to return to Boulder.

Madden, or "Mad Dog" as he is known among some of his former players, was the strength and conditioning coordinator under Bill McCartney from 1989 to 1992, including the national championship season in 1990.

Embree's brother, Sean Embree, will not have a role on the coaching staff. Sean Embree is a former CU tight end and works as an assistant football coach at Fairview High School.

Embree also began meeting with returning players as well on Tuesday and will continue to meet with players on an individual basis over the coming weeks.

Spring practices

to start March 5

CU has tentatively scheduled the start of spring practices for March 5 with the spring game to be played in Folsom Field on Saturday, April 9. The schedule could be moved back a week or two, but that decision might not be made until January.