Courtesy of Texas Tech New Colorado co-offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator Darrin Chiaverini, a Buffs player from 1995-98, spent the past two season as an assistant coach at Texas Tech.
Darrin Chiaverini has been in Boulder barely long enough to display a few family pictures in his office and get equipped with Colorado football gear.
The Buffaloes’ new co-offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator moved into his office just a few days ago, so it may take a while for him to get settled.
When it comes to selling CU, though, the former Buffs’ receiver is already in a groove.
“This is Colorado football, and it’s time for the nation to see this again, because there’s nothing like this place,” said Chiaverini, who played at CU from 1995-98 and coached at Texas Tech the past two years. “It’s beautiful. You’ve got the Flatirons, you’ve got Folsom Field, you run behind Ralphie; the tradition, the great players that have come through this program, the championships that have been won.
“It’s time for people to respect Colorado football again. We’re heading in the right direction; we just have to continue to build it.”
Chiaverini is back in Boulder in part to improve upon the building project, and he’s hitting the ground running.
National signing day (Feb. 3) is just three weeks away and Thursday ends the NCAA recruiting dead period. Chiaverini and several other staff members are either on their way out of town, or soon to be out of town, to visit recruits and make that final push for what figures to be a critical signing day.
It won’t be a huge class this year, since CU currently has only about 10 open scholarship spots, but Chiaverini said, “I’m excited about his class. We’re building for the future and you’ve got to continue to recruit and develop and retain talent. If you do that consistently, you’ll be successful. I believe in that.”
Chiaverini has a passion for CU, but also brings a recruiting philosophy that he believes will mesh well with head coach Mike MacIntyre’s vision.
“We’ll have some discussions and talk about how he sees things and how I see things and what’s best for Colorado football,” Chiaverini said.
The 38-year Chiaverini is keenly aware of the role social media plays in recruiting today’s athlete, and anyone who follows him on Twitter realizes how active he is on that platform.
“It’s got to be one of your main components of your recruiting philosophy,” Chiaverini said. “We have to have a major presence so people can see us, see what Colorado football is all about.”
Ultimately, Chiaverini said, recruiting comes down to relationship building.
“I think it’s important to really get out there, evaluate talent early and cultivate those relationships early in the process and make sure that the position coaches are recruiting their positions,” he said.
Each member of CU’s staff has an area of the country in which to recruit, and that will continue, but Chiaverini is a big believer in the position coach being the person to close the deal on a recruit. That would represent a bit of a change for CU. For example, in CU’s 2015 class, defensive back Isaiah Oliver was primarily recruited by Gary Bernardi, the Buffs’ offensive line coach.
“It think it’s really, really important for the area coach to go out there and find talent, but it’s the job of the position coach to take it over,” Chiaverini said. “At the end of the day, you want to be held accountable for your room.”
Chiaverini said it’s important for CU to continue recruiting in-state, in California and other places, but he hopes to make CU a bigger factor in Texas.
“When I played here, a lot of great players from the state of Texas played at the University of Colorado,” he said. “It’s time for us to re-establish those relationships in Texas, which I know we can.”
Over time, Chiaverini is hoping he can make a difference at CU, especially in recruiting, and his impact is already being felt.
His arrival in Boulder was instrumental in quarterback Sheriron Jones transferring from Tennessee to CU this past week, because of a prior relationship with Jones and Jones’ high school coach, Pete Duffy. If former Texas Tech quarterback Davis Webb winds up in Boulder, it’s a good bet Chiaverini will be the main reason.
Chiaverini loves the talent CU has and is recruiting, but he also knows it can get better, and he won’t ever stop trying to get elite players to Boulder.
“You can never have too many good players, so we’re going to recruit the best players,” he said. “At the end of the day, this is Division I college football and you have to compete. Nothing is given to you. There’s no entitlement.
“Whenever you add talent to (position) rooms … it’s going to make the room better. It’s going to make the competitors in the room compete daily. If they don’t, they’ll be passed up.”
Over the past decade, CU has been passed up by a lot of schools. Chiaverini said it’s time to reverse that trend.
“I know this place can be great again and we’re not that far away,” he said. “We’re building something special.”
Brian Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.