The University of Colorado might be willing to include a promise for football facilities upgrades in the contract of its next coach if doing so helps land the right man for the job.

"That is one model we're looking at," athletic director Mike Bohn said.

CU hired former men's basketball coach Jeff Bzdelik away from Air Force in 2007 by including a clause in his contract promising to break ground on facilities improvements at the Coors Events Center by the start of the fourth year of Bzdelik's deal.

Current CU basketball coaches Tad Boyle and Linda Lappe are reaping the rewards of the roughly $12 million spent to two new practice courts and a volleyball locker room at the Events Center. They were built because of the promise to Bzdelik, who was a hot coaching candidate when CU hired him after building Air Force into an NCAA Tournament team and coaching the Denver Nuggets.

The football facilities at CU are considered among the worst in the Pac-12 Conference and the worst at the BCS conference level and are likely so aged they would prevent some coaches from even taking the CU job seriously.

The school needs to make a splash with its hire to get fans and recruits excited about the program again and that likely means paying big money -- anywhere from $2 million to $3 million -- for a recognizable name. A coach like that will probably want assurances in writing that CU will invest in its football infrastructure relatively early in his tenure.


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One coach thought to be on CU's radar was former Cal coach Jeff Tedford who was fired earlier this month after the Bears struggled this season. A source close to Tedford said he has no interest in the CU opening because he views the job as a difficult place to win. It's possible the state of CU's football facilities are one reason why Tedford has that opinion.

CU has added a multi-purpose practice bubble and remodeled the team's locker room in recent years, but it hasn't spent at nearly the level on football that most of its competitors are. For instance, Cal recently completed a massive renovation project to Memorial Stadium and Washington is in the process of a $250 million project at Husky Stadium.

"I think any time you can make a commitment which drives a sense of urgency is good," Bohn said of the possibility of including a facilities clause in the next coach's contract. "That certainly was helpful in basketball."

Making a promise to upgrade football facilities wouldn't be much of a risk for CU because it has already started down the path to making improvements. Bohn promised last spring he would make an announcement about "transformational" facilities in and around Folsom Field in September. But the bureaucracy of the school has delayed that time table.

CU officials are now waiting on the completion of a feasibility study that will tell them what they can expect to generate in private donations toward the upgrades and they plan to have more concrete plans to announce in January or February.

An indoor practice facility, possibly with a parking garage underneath it, an expansion of the Dal Ward Center, enclosing the north end of the stadium and adding suites, seats and a new press box on the west side are all possible parts of the project. The indoor facility and expansion of Dal Ward are seen as the most vital.

The search for Jon Embree's successor continued Wednesday. Sources said CU is gauging the interest of Utah State coach Gary Andersen, whose team is 10-2 and won the Western Athletic Conference championship this year. Andersen is 29-31 in four years coaching the Aggies.

He previously served as defensive coordinator for Utah (2005-08) and helped the Utes beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl in his last season in Salt Lake City. Andersen has not returned messages left for him through a Utah State spokesman.

Tom Dienhart, a writer for the Big Ten network, reported Wednesday that Colorado and former Kansas coach Mark Mangino had talked about the CU vacancy twice. Bohn said there is no truth to the report.