Throughout his career as a player and coach, Ashley Ambrose has spent just three seasons in Colorado.
That was enough to know he wanted to come back.
"I always felt like this was home," said Ambrose, who last week was hired by Colorado to coach the Buffaloes' cornerbacks. "I knew once I came here the first time that I would end up staying here, so we just got house and every vacation moment we had we came back. Now we get to stay in the house, so it's good."
A former All-Pro who played 13 years in the NFL, Ambrose returned to CU after spending the past two seasons coaching corners at Boise State.
For Ambrose, it's a return to where his coaching career began. Working under then-head coach Dan Hawkins, Ambrose was a technical intern in 2008 and 2009 and then was hired to coach defensive backs in 2010.
Ambrose left CU after the 2010 season when Hawkins and the rest of the staff was let go.
"It was my first collegiate job, my first opportunity to be in coaching and I feel like I've always been a Buff and always will be," Ambrose said. "It's a perfect situation, and I think we have a really good chance of being good."
While Ambrose is returning to CU, the staff is entirely different. He has never worked with Buffs' head coach Mike MacIntyre or defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot, but is excited about the opportunity.
"They're an excellent group of guys," he said of CU's coaching staff. "I felt like we jelled together even on the interview. We talk a lot of the same language and I've been in the system before. (Secondary coach ShaDon Brown) is a great coach. I'm excited to be working with him. He has a lot of knowledge and I'm going to learn a lot of things form him, as well as coach Eliot."
Ambrose had met Eliot a couple of years ago, he said, when he interviewed for a coaching position at Kentucky, where Eliot was the defensive coordinator.
He had also met MacIntyre in the past and has paid close attention to MacIntyre's five seasons in Boulder.
"I was always a fan of his, especially watching him change the program at CU, because I always looked at CU football," Ambrose said."He did a great job. I thought it would be a good thing to try to work with him."
Last season, the Buffs hired Brown to coach the entire secondary. MacIntyre, a highly regarded secondary coach, helped out, as well.
A position for Ambrose opened up when the NCAA approved Football Bowl Subdivision teams to hire a 10th assistant coach. Adding Ambrose will allow MacIntyre to focus more on head coaching duties. Still, Ambrose said he's excited to have MacIntyre's expertise as a resource.
"I told him I wanted to pick his brain on different things, too," Ambrose said. "He's known for defensive back play and he's one of the best out there. I'm excited to be working with him, just to see how he does things. It's always good to get extra tips from other people."
In the past two years, the Buffs have sent three cornerbacks — Chidobe Awuzie, Kenneth Crawley and Ahkello Witherspoon — to the NFL, and Isaiah Oliver is set to join that group. Oliver is foregoing his senior year to enter the draft and is projected by some as a first-round pick.
The last CU defensive back drafted in the first round was Jimmy Smith in 2011. Ambrose coached Smith — and 2011 fourth-round pick Jalil Brown — during his previous stint at CU.
Other than watching a little bit of film, Ambrose, who has been on the road recruiting, has yet to get much of a chance to evaluate CU's current corners, but Buff fans are hoping he can mold current players into the next great corners to come out of Boulder.
"I hope that happens, as well," he said. "We've got to keep this thing going.