If I had $20 for every time someone asked me since the middle of last season who the next Colorado football coach will be, I`d probably be able to pay the first year of that man`s salary.

Well, OK, maybe the first month.

My usual response is that I`m not sure who it will be, but I know what kind of person the school should go find.

Obviously he`s going to have to be a solid Xs and Os man, but one who trusts his assistants to do their jobs and doesn`t constantly tinker. He has to be a people person and someone who stays true to that even when times are tough, make that especially when times are tough. He has to be a guy who stands up without being coaxed into it and takes responsibility when his program falls short whether he truly believes it`s his fault or not. And he has to be a guy who doesn`t allow that to happen too often.

He has to be someone who understands -- and I mean truly understands -- that Colorado has its own standards for the kind of students it wants to bring to campus. The next coach should know right up front that he`s going to have to fight to get some exceptions into school and that the school will only allow so many of them. And he has to be a guy that makes sure that those players do all the right things when they do get here so the school continues to be willing to make those exceptions in the future. 

    He has to understand that the state of Colorado limits the number of multi-year contracts schools can enter into to six and that will present challenges in hiring a retaining great assistant coaches. He has to be someone who overcomes that and doesn’t complain about it because, let’s face it, no one at CU has the power to change it.

    The next coach should be someone who embraces CU and its peculiarities and not someone who whines about them and insists that because something was done one way at XYZ University so should it be in Boulder.

    This would be a good time to mention that the leaders at CU have a responsibility not to sugarcoat some of the issues they know have been challenges to coach Dan Hawkins, coach Gary Barnett, coach Rick Neuheisel and so on.

    Most importantly, the next football coach at Colorado has to be someone who truly wants to be here. It can’t be a stepping-stone job for the guy. Sure, plenty of coaches probably view Colorado as the pit stop between their current job and an opportunity at Oklahoma, USC, Florida, Michigan or the NFL down the line if they do well here. Tough to blame them for that based on the recent history around here. But the next coach has to see this place as his Oklahoma, USC, Florida or Michigan.

    It’s coincidental that Colorado is playing host to Iowa State this week as it embarks on its quest to find the next coach. A little less than two years ago, Iowa State found itself in a similar position after former coach Gene Chizik bolted for Auburn after a two-year stay in Ames.

    It’s still early in his tenure, but Iowa State seems to have found the right man for its job in coach Paul Rhoads. I’m not saying that because Rhoads has the Cyclones in the top-25 polls. He doesn’t. But he has them believing in themselves and playing good, tough competitive football and he truly wants to be at the school.

    He almost beat Nebraska for the second year in a row last week on a bold 2-point conversion try in overtime.

    Rhoads grew up right down the road from Ames. He has the area and the school in his heart even though he is not an alum.

    I’m not necessarily advocating the hiring of a former Buff or someone with ties to the CU program or Boulder. There are plenty of good coaches who could come to Colorado and right the ship without having roots here. Temple’s Al Golden, Oklahoma associate head coach Brent Venables and Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen all have the appropriate football credentials.

    Plenty of coaches will want the job because Boulder is a beautiful place to live and Colorado is a BCS school moving into the Pac-12 Conference. After all, this is still the place Barnett called “a gold mine” when he departed five years ago next month.

    But who really wants to be here the way Rhoads seems to be embracing the Iowa State job?

    The program finally will begin to turn around when CU finds that man.

Kansas State game time/TV

    The Nov. 20 game between Colorado and Kansas State will not be televised and will begin at 12:10 p.m., at Folsom Field. It will be the final Big 12 Conference game played in Boulder.