BERKELEY, Calif. — There will likely be a day when Jay MacIntyre will look back on his college football career and focus on the positives.
This was not a week to search for the silver lining, though.
Six days after his father, Mike MacIntyre, was fired as Colorado’s head football coach, Jay played his final game in a CU uniform on Saturday. The senior receiver finished without a catch in the Buffaloes’ 33-21 loss to California at Memorial Stadium.
“It was an emotional week,” Jay said. “It was really emotional.”
After spending five seasons playing for his father, Jay played his final week without Mike, who didn’t attend Saturday’s game. The Monarch High School graduate wasn’t happy about how his father’s tenure came to an end, but did his best to play on.
“I don’t think it was done the right way, but at the same time, it is what it is,” he said of his father’s dismissal. “You have to go ball and you have to do what you have to do on this team. That’s what I did. I showed up to practice, worked hard, gave it my all tonight. We came up short.”
It was a bitter end for Jay, who completed his career with 86 catches for 1,035 yards and six touchdowns.
This season, he had 20 catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns – both against Nebraska on Sept. 8. After a strong start to the season, Jay missed two full games and most of two others during the second half of the season because of concussions.
“I didn’t have the year I wanted; we didn’t have the year we wanted as a team,” he said. “It was a tough year for me specifically. I pretty much didn’t play much the second half of the season because I was concussed two different times. You can’t control that stuff.”
He also couldn’t control what happened in the past week, and that wound up being tougher to deal with than his own personal struggles.
“It was horrible,” he said of playing his final week without Mike. “It’s as simple as that. It was hard. Pretty much blood, sweat and tears for that man (for five years); a lot of those guys (on the team) felt that way.”
Jay paid tribute to his father during the game by writing “MM” with eye black on both of his cheeks.
Despite the rough ending his career and Mike’s tenure, Jay said he knows one day the MacIntyres will be proud of what they did at CU.
Mike was the national coach of the year in 2016 after leading the Buffs to a 10-4 record and Pac-12 South division title. Jay was a three-year starter at slot receiver and also returned punts early in his career.
“We’re going to leave here happy with what we accomplished and all the relationships we made, all the people we influenced and all the people that influenced us,” Jay said. “I think that’s bigger than football. We’re not really going to let these last couple of weeks define what we know this place to be.
“That’s life. It doesn’t always go the way you want it to. I worked my butt off these last five years. I feel like crap right now, but in a couple years, I’ll look back at it and be happy about everything that we did and be happy that I wore the black and gold. Emotions are flying, but at the same time when I leave this place I’m going to be happy I was a Buff.”