As a 17-year-old growing up in California, Darrin Chiaverini was sold on the idea of coming to Boulder.

As a 38-year-old working in Lubbock, Texas, Chiaverini was sold on the idea of returning to Boulder, with the same goal in mind.

"I'm excited to help win some football games," Chiaverini said.

A former Colorado receiver, Chiaverini was hired this week as the newest assistant coach on the CU football staff. After spending the past two seasons at Texas Tech, Chiaverini will join CU as the co-offensive coordinator, receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.

"When I talked to (head coach Mike) MacIntyre, it was something I wanted to see in person and sit down with him and sit down with some of the guys on the staff and see if it was the right fit for me," Chiaverini said. "I love Colorado football and I bleed black and gold and obviously I played there, but you also want to make sure it's the right fit."

After Colorado expressed interest in flying him in for an interview, Chiaverini was nervous about telling his current boss, Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury, that he was thinking of leaving. Kingsbury immediately put Chiaverini's concerns to rest.

"He said, 'There's nothing like going home,' " Chiaverini said. "I really appreciate coach Kingsbury for his advice. He's a great man and he's been good to me and my family. I can't thank him enough for the opportunity to come home."


CU is not the same place it was when Chiaverini played here from 1995-98. He signed with a Buffs team coming off an 11-1 season. He played all four years for Rick Neuheisel, who coached CU to a 33-14 record in those years. Chiaverini went to three bowl games, winning all three, as a player.

Now, Chiaverini joins a Buffs team that went 4-9 this past season, has posted 10 consecutive losing seasons, hasn't been to a bowl game in eight years and hasn't won one in 11 years.

It's still the same campus where Chiaverini grew up, though, and that holds a special place in his heart.

"I'm Italian, so I'm very loyal," he joked. "When you're loyal, you want to help get things right."

Chiaverini will have plenty to do to help CU get it right.

As co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach, he'll work directly with Brian Lindgren, who is now the co-offensive coordinator after three years of holding that spot alone. Chiaverini said he is eager to see how they work together.

"I sat down with him for a couple hours while I was up there," Chiaverini said. "You can tell he's a great person and he has great energy. I'm excited to work with him. He's had a lot of success with what he's done and we've had a lot of success with what we do here at Texas Tech."

Because Chiaverini is still working at Texas Tech (he will coach the Red Raiders in the Texas Bowl on Dec. 29 before starting at CU), he has not had a chance to evaluate CU's personnel or dive into how the Buffs want to approach their offense in 2016.

"I think it's yet to be determined," he said. "Once we get in a room together and start watching film of what they did last year, what we do here and maybe merging some of the things (a plan will develop). It's really early in the process as far as what we're going to be looking like next year. We'll see what's best for Colorado football."

Chiaverini, who has coordinated Texas Tech's special teams the past two years, said he also expects to be involved in that area at CU.

"I think there will be some (special teams work), probably working with the return units to help that phase of the game," he said.

Just as important as his coaching duties is Chiaverini's title of recruiting coordinator. It's a job he takes very seriously as he looks to help the Buffs win again.

"It all starts in recruiting," he said. "That's something I'm passionate about; it's something I believe in. It's the lifeblood of any program that you have to get out there and you have to recruit good young men that can play football at a high level, but also can bring something to your program and to your city. If you do that, good things are going to happen."

Chiaverini said CU's new football facilities are "the best I've ever seen, and I've been to a lot of places."

While the facilities will help in recruiting, Chiaverini said he's looking forward to selling recruits on the school that Neuheisel sold him on nearly 22 years ago.

"I'm excited about showing them what I saw as a 17-year-old kid coming out of Corona, Calif.," he said. "I know once they see the passion and they see what we're about, there's going to be a lot of guys who want to come to Colorado."

Brian Howell:, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.