Brian Lindgren and Darrin Chiaverini sat together in Lindgren’s office recently, sounding like old friends as they casually talked about all things football.
“Our personalities seem to mesh pretty well,” Chiaverini said.
The Colorado football program is banking on the two of them displaying that same level of comfort on a daily basis, because if the Buffaloes are to break their 10-year run of losing seasons, they need to get better on offense.
After a 2015 season that Lindgren described as “frustrating,” CU head coach Mike MacIntyre made a change in the offensive leadership.
Lindgren has been CU’s offensive coordinator the past three years, but in December, MacIntyre hired Chiaverini away from Texas Tech. Chiaverini, a former CU receiver, and Lindgren will now operate as co-coordinators.
The new brain trust of the CU offense can’t wait to see what they can do in Boulder after a sputtering offense contributed to the Buffs finishing 4-9 (1-8 Pac-12) this past season.
“I’m excited Darrin is here,” Lindgren said. “He’s bringing a lot of good ideas and some confidence and some new blood in here. I think that’s going to be really good for us.
“I think it’s going to make me a better coach and I think it’s going to make us a better program, so I’m for it.”
Chiaverini has mutual admiration for Lindgren.
“He’s a great guy and he’s got good energy,” Chiaverini said. “I was impressed with him; he’s a very smart guy.”
Some may view the co-coordinator situation as a demotion for Lindgren, but he sees it as an opportunity for CU to get better and finally start winning.
“The bottom line is we weren’t as good as we needed to be on offense,” said Lindgren, who offered no excuses for CU’s decline on offense, despite a rash of injuries in 2015. “We’ve got to score more points and win more games.
“(Chiaverini) is going to bring in good players, he’s going to bring some knowledge of an offense that has really had some success and I’m going to have the ability to have access to that and learn from that. It was kind of a no-brainer of, ‘What is it going to take to get him?’ “
At the moment, CU’s staff is primarily focused on recruiting, as they prepare for national signing day on Feb. 3, but Chiaverini and Lindgren have started the process of developing a plan on offense.
Lindgren said the two have only “scratched the surface a little bit,” and that most of their work will have to wait until after signing day. Because of that, it’s too early to say what the CU offense will look like next fall, but it’s sure to be a hybrid of what CU and Texas Tech did this past year.
“We’ll have to come to a compromise for what we feel is best for the team,” Chiaverini said. “It’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m excited for the challenge.”
Chiaverini said he loves the two-back sets used at Texas Tech, and he’s a big believer in up-tempo play. Texas Tech is one of the most up-tempo teams in college football.
“I really do like going fast and dictating what the defense does,” he said. “I don’t like the defense to dictate what the offense does. I want to be able to go fast and put our players in space and let them make plays.”
Chiaverini also said he’s excited about incorporating the tight end — a position CU uses frequently, but Texas Tech uses rarely.
Like Chiaverini, Lindgren is eager to see how they can bring their ideas together after he has studied Texas Tech from afar over the years.
“He’s been in that system now for a couple of years,” Lindgren said. “I think the ideas and the opportunity for me to have a little bit of insight into some of the things they are doing to move the football, it’s great.
“I’ve got to be open to changing (the offense) a little bit, but I think it’ll be for the better. I think Darrin is going to bring a lot to the table and I think ultimately it’s going to make me a better coach.”
Perhaps just as important, Lindgren believes Chiaverini will add some confidence to the CU offense.
“Those guys (at Texas Tech) had a swagger and a way of going about it that I think will be good for our wideouts and will be good for our whole offense to get someone in here — just a little new blood that can provide some confidence and provide some swagger,” Lindgren said.
After 10 consecutive losing seasons, CU could use a jolt of confidence. Chiaverini and Lindgren are hoping they can do their part by getting the Buffs rolling on offense.
“I came here three years ago and I feel like I have a lot invested here with the players and the program and coach MacIntyre, and I would really like to see it turn around,” Lindgren said.
“To be able to get that over the hump, I’m really excited about that.”
Brian Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.