Travis Bell / South Carolina Athletic Department
Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Get to know Kurt Roper
Hometown: Ames, Iowa
Alma mater: Rice (1995)
Family: Wife, Britt; daughter, Reese; son, Luke
Notable: Like CU head coach Mike MacIntyre, Roper is part of the coaching tree of David Cutcliffe, the current head coach at Duke. Roper and MacIntyre have previously spent six seasons working together, all under Cutcliffe. … As a player at Rice, Roper was a quarterback and defensive back. … After earning his bachelor’s degree from Rice, Roper spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Tennessee, earning his master’s degree from there in 1998.
Tennessee (1996-98): Graduate assistant
Ole Miss (1999-2004): Quarterbacks
Kentucky (2005): Quarterbacks
Tennessee (2006-07): Running backs
Duke (2008-13): Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
Florida (2014): Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
Cleveland Browns (2015): Senior offensive assistant
South Carolina (2016-17): Co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
It didn’t take Darrin Chiaverini long to realize that Kurt Roper was going to be a good fit with the Colorado football team’s offensive coaching staff.
As the Buffaloes were searching for a new quarterbacks coach, they brought in Roper for an interview and Chiaverini knew he could work with him.
“I can tell right away we’ll mesh well together,” said Chiaverini, the Buffs’ co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach. “I told (head coach Mike MacIntyre) that during the interview process.
“I really like his personality. I think it meshes well with our room. You can tell he’s a good guy and I’m excited about that. In this business you work a lot of long days, a lot of long hours and you want to be around good people and you can tell he’s a good guy.”
The Buffs are banking on Roper not only being a good guy, but a good mentor to their quarterbacks.
On Wednesday, CU made it official that it has hired Roper to coach quarterbacks. He has more than 20 years of experience, most recently spending the last two seasons as the co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at South Carolina.
“Kurt brings a tremendous amount of quarterback coaching experience and has tutored some of the great ones like Eli Manning at Ole Miss and Thaddeus Lewis at Duke,” CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said in a press release from the school. “He has great offensive knowledge and we are extremely excited to have a coach of his caliber on our staff to work with our quarterbacks.”
This will be the third time Roper, 45, and MacIntyre have worked together. They were both assistants at Ole Miss (1999-2002) and Duke (2008-09).
“Getting back with coach MacIntyre is obviously really appealing,” Roper said in a CU press release. “We have a great relationship, have spent a lot of time together and I know how talented and how hard he works at putting together great teams. I am really looking forward to being a part of this group.”
Roper replaces Brian Lindgren, who was the Buffs’ offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for the past five years, but left CU for a similar position at Oregon State last month.
“I’m really excited to work with Kurt,” Chiaverini said. “Obviously his background and reputation speaks for itself. Just excited to have his presence and his input on what we’re doing.”
Chiaverini is going into his first season as CU’s play caller and believes having Roper’s experience will be beneficial.
“I think it’s great,” Chiaverini said. “I can bounce ideas off of him. He’s seen good days and bad days as a play-caller, so he knows what things work, what things might not work.
“The more input you can have during the week and formulate the plan (the better) and then Saturday you have to go out and execute it and I’ve got to be the one that calls it and do a good job doing that.”
Roper’s overall experience, including nine years as a coordinator, should be an asset for Chiaverini, going into his third year as co-OC and offensive line coach Klayton Adams, going into his first season as co-OC.
“One thing I like about Roper is he’s coached quarterbacks every year of his career,” CU athletic director Rick George said. “He’s had Eli Manning and had some good quarterbacks. He’s been a coordinator, he’s got experience, he’s been in the SEC, been in some big leagues. I think he can add a lot, and having young coordinators like Chev and Klayton, I think he’ll be a support mechanism for those guys.”
Most importantly, Roper, who helped Manning become the No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft, is expected to help the Buffs’ young quarterbacks develop.
CU’s quarterback group is led by junior Steven Montez. In his first season as the full-time starter, Montez completed 60.5 percent of his passes (228 of 377) for 2,975 yards, 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions, while also rushing for 338 yards and three touchdowns.
“I think he’ll definitely help (the quarterbacks) with the technique and fundamentals of the position,” Chiaverini said.
Roper’s hire completes CU’s coaching staff for now. There could still be some changes on the staff, and beginning on Tuesday, Football Bowl Subdivision teams will be allowed to hire a 10th assistant coach for the first time.
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at email@example.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.