Quite a few aspects of Kurt Roper's life are changing — or in the process of changing.

Colorado's new quarterbacks coach, who was hired this week, is joining a new team, with a new staff, in a part of the country he's never worked or lived. He has to move his family, which includes his wife and two children, across the country. He will even have a different job description than he's been used to for the better part of a decade.

Roper, however, takes comfort in the one thing that isn't changing: he's still coaching football.

"For me, football is football," he said. "You pick up and you take another job and you just walk into a new building and walk into a different meeting room, but you're still doing football."

A 22-year veteran of coaching, Roper, 45, was fired last month from his job as the co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at South Carolina. After spending nine of the past 10 years as a coordinator, including six years at Duke, one at Ole Miss and two at South Carolina, Roper could have held out for another coordinator job, but said he liked the opportunity to come to Colorado and be reunited with Buffaloes head coach Mike MacIntyre. The two have worked together in the past, at both Ole Miss and Duke.

"I know Mike and I know his competiveness and his nature on the practice field and game field," Roper said. "The first thing is working with somebody I know and I'm really familiar with and comfortable with. We're truly friends and our families are close. When you can get into an environment like that in this profession, that's really good."


Although he won't be in a coordinator role, Roper doesn't believe he'll have a problem adjusting because he's been in non-coordinator roles before.

"Those were really good experiences for me to sit back and see how somebody does it differently," he said. "Obviously we always can learn.

"Any situation you go into, you're excited about and as a coach, what you want to do is win. What Mike and the staff has done here to build that environment, that's what I'm really excited about being in. The best way to win football games is all be on the same page and be excited about the process. I think it's a great fit. I'm looking forward to working with all of these guys."

Roper will spend a large chunk of his time working with CU's quarterbacks, a group that includes returning starter Steven Montez, who will be a junior.

Still new on the job, Roper said he hasn't had much of an opportunity to get familiar with the players, other than watching a bit of film of Montez on Wednesday.

"You see an athletic guy that's tough, that competes and has the ability to throw the ball," Roper said. "Mike has said a lot of really good things about him and (co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini) the same thing. They believe he has the right mindset and toughness, so I'm looking forward to working with him and all those guys."

In teaching the Buffs' quarterbacks, Roper said the fundamentals and learning the offensive system are important, but added, "Quarterback is much more than that.

"I have a belief, and what I try to tell my guys all the time is, 'When you chose quarterback, you didn't choose a position, you chose a lifestyle.' That's the most important thing. That's the biggest thing with a quarterback; a guy has to do things the right way."

As is the case with all coaches, Roper will also spend a lot of his time recruiting, and, in fact, has "hit the ground running" with recruiting this week, he said.

Although he has worked almost his entire career in the southeast, Roper has done a lot of recruiting in the areas CU targets most: Southern California, Texas, Arizona and Colorado.

"At Duke, you have to be a national recruiter and quarterbacks they end up anywhere in the country," he said. "I signed kids out of Phoenix, signed kids out of LA, out of Dallas.

"Recruiting is about relationships. It's more hard work than it is anything else. If you're willing to work at it, you have a great place to sell here (at CU) and people are going to want to come."

Roper now knows that first hand. He was sold on the Buffs and sold on Boulder.

"Everybody I talked to said this is one of the premier areas to live, so we're looking forward to it," he said.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33