Colorado's Darrin Chiaverini

What: Co-offensive coordinator/receivers coach/recruiting coordinator

Age: 38

Playing experience: College — Colorado (1995-98); NFL — Cleveland Browns (1999-2000); Dallas Cowboys (2001); Atlanta Falcons (2002); Arena League — Austin Wranglers (2004-06)

Coaching experience: Mt. San Antonio College (2007: receivers; 2008: co-offensive coordinator); UCLA (2009: assistant special teams); Riverside City College (2010-13: associate head coach/co-offensive coordinator/special teams); Texas Tech (2014: special teams coordinator; 2015: special teams coordinator/outside receivers).

Notable: Chiaverini is the 26th former CU player to return as an assistant coach. ... During his playing career, he caught 97 passes for 1,199 yards and six touchdowns for the Buffs. ... Chiaverini was taken in the fifth round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns and played four seasons in the NFL. ... CU was 3-0 in bowl games and 33-14 overall in his playing career. ... Chiaverini will coach Texas Tech against LSU during the Texas Bowl on Dec. 29 and will begin his duties at CU after that.

Since early September, the Colorado football team has been looking for some sort of jolt to its offense.

The Buffaloes couldn't find it during the season, but they're hoping they did on Tuesday.


Head coach Mike MacIntyre announced that the Buffs have hired former CU receiver Darrin Chiaverini to take the place of the departed Troy Walters, now the offensive coordinator at Central Florida.

Chiaverini, who coached special teams and receivers at Texas Tech, will take Walters' spot as the Buffs' receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.

MacIntyre and the Buffs appear to have landed on their feet after losing Walters, who, by all accounts, was one of the sharpest assistants on the CU staff the past three years.

Chiaverini, 38, has been a coach for nine seasons, including the past two at Texas Tech. Like Walters, Chiaverini was an exceptional receiver in college and he played in the NFL, so he brings years of experience to the position.

Chiaverini also has credentials to lead CU's recruiting efforts. He was instrumental in Texas Tech beating CU for three-star receiver Tony Brown last year, and he has helped the Red Raiders get a verbal commitment from 2016 receiver prospect T.J. Vasher, a four-star recruit from Wichita Falls, Texas.

With a passion for the CU program, Chiaverini would appear to be an ideal fit for a team that needs to get more talent into the fold.

"It's something that's been burning inside me and is obviously close to my heart," he said in a press release about returning to CU. "I can't really put into words how excited I am to come back to a place I call home."

The Buffs are hoping Chiaverini's passion pays off in recruiting.

This hire was much more significant than just filling Walters' shoes, though. Chiaverini will also be the co-offensive coordinator, moving Brian Lindgren into a co-coordinator role.

Many fans were ready to show Lindgren the door after watching CU's offense sputter through the 2015 season.

Instead, MacIntyre went out and got Lindgren some help.

Lindgren and Chiaverini will now work together to revive the CU offense, which slipped to 24.6 points per game, down from 28.5 in 2014. Even more troubling is that CU averaged just 19.7 points in the Pac-12, down from 29.2 in 2014.

While injuries, especially to several offensive linemen, quarterback Sefo Liufau and tailback Michael Adkins, played a role, the offense was in need of a spark, and Chiaverini could provide it.

He comes from a Texas Tech offense that ranks second nationally in yards (594.5 per game) and points (46.6 per game) this season.

While Lindgren will continue to call plays, MacIntyre said, Chiaverini will play a significant role in game planning. He also figures to bring some of the spread concepts he works with at Texas Tech to Boulder.

Bringing their ideas together could lead CU to having a more explosive offense in 2016.

In a press release, MacIntyre also said that moving Lindgren to a co-coordinator role will allow Lindgren "more time to focus on coaching the quarterbacks."

That, alone, could be significant for CU.

Liufau, a three-year starter, is expected to be sidelined for several more months with a foot injury. Even when healthy, though, the senior-to-be took a step back from 2014 and could benefit from more coaching.

Behind Liufau is a set of inexperienced quarterbacks: true freshman Steven Montez, redshirt freshman Cade Apsay and junior Jordan Gehrke. All of them could benefit from more time with Lindgren, too.

The added bonus to bringing Chiaverini to the staff is his experience in special teams. At UCLA, Riverside City College and Texas Tech, he's been working with special teams for seven years.

Under Chiaverini's direction, the Red Raiders went from the 107th ranked special teams unit in 2014 (according to ESPN) to No. 12 this year. Chiaverini is likely to work with CU's return units and lend a hand on special teams.

Only time will tell if Chiaverini will make a positive impact on the Buffs. Tuesday's announcement, however, was a clear indication that MacIntyre is willing to mix things up on his coaching staff as he looks to snap the Buffs' 10-year run of losing records.

Brian Howell:, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.