Ross Els
Ross Els

Colorado has filled the final vacancy on its football coaching staff.

On Friday afternoon, CU announced that Ross Els has been hired to coach the Buffs' inside linebackers.

Els, 51, comes to CU from Purdue, where he worked as the defensive coordinator last season.

"Coach Ross Els brings a lot of energy," CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said in a press release. "He has great experience as a coordinator, positions coach and special teams coach, and we're really excited about having his expertise in those phases in our program."

In addition to coaching linebackers, Els is expected to help with special teams.

Els completes the reconstruction of CU's defensive staff, as three of the four assistants are new this spring. Coordinator D.J. Eliot and secondary coach ShaDon Brown were both hired last month. Eliot will also coach the outside linebackers.

Line coach Jim Jeffcoat is the only defensive assistant returning from last year.

According to CU, Els' paperwork was completed in time for him to join the Buffs for their second practice of the spring on Friday morning.

Els, who began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Northern Iowa in 1989, has spent 27 years as a college coach.


"I'm extremely excited to be a part of a class program like Colorado that does things right and wins football games," Els said. "Coach MacIntyre's reputation - of doing things right and the success he's had at San Jose (State) and here - was a draw obviously, as well as being able to work with D.J. Eliot, who's done a great job wherever he's been. It's really a quality staff with a bunch of good people that win games."

A native of Lincoln, Neb., Els coached at Nebraska from 2011-14, working with linebackers and spending his final three seasons as the special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator for the Cornhuskers.

During the 2015 season, he worked as an assistant coach at Lincoln Southwest High School, where his son, Bo, was a senior.

A 1988 graduate of Nebraska-Omaha, Els has also worked at Northern Iowa, Nebraska-Omaha, Hastings College, New Mexico State and Ohio University.

Els was the head coach at Hastings College from 1997-2000, going 32-9 and making the NAIA playoffs twice. He has been an assistant coach every other year of his career.

Els and his wife, Jane, have two daughters and a son. One of his daughters, Taylor, recently completed her freshman season on the volleyball team at Northern Colorado.

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