John Leyba / The Denver Post
Colorado head football coach Mel Tucker has officially hired his offensive and defensive coordinators.
On Saturday, CU announced that Jay Johnson has been hired as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, while Tyson Summers has been hired as defensive coordinator.
Both hires were reported earlier this week, but not announced until Saturday as CU had to wait for background checks to clear.
CU also officially announced that Darrin Chiaverini, Ross Els and Darian Hagan, all a part of previous head coach Mike MacIntyre’s staff, will remain on staff with Tucker.
Hired Dec. 5 by CU after three years as the defensive coordinator at Georgia, Tucker worked with Johnson and Summers last season.
Johnson, 49, spent the past two years as the offensive quality control analyst at Georgia. Prior to that, he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Minnesota in 2016 and held the same position at Louisiana from 2011-15.
“Jay brings a tremendous amount of experience and is very well respected in the coaching community for his ability to develop quarterbacks,” Tucker said in a press release. “He has a reputation for his offenses being both efficient and effective on a consistent basis. He shares my philosophy of playing complimentary football with offense and defense, the two working together. He’s had a strong history of producing balanced offenses that are able to finish drives. Our players will enjoy playing for Jay.”
A native of Lakeville, Minn., Johnson has been coaching since 1993. During his career, he has been offensive coordinator at Southern Mississippi (2005-07) and Truman State (1995-96). He has also coached at Central Michigan, Louisville and Kansas. At various times, he has coached quarterbacks, running backs and tight ends.
In 2012, Johnson’s offense at Louisiana set school records for total yards (5,914) and points (461).
As a player at Northern Iowa, Johnson earned all-conference honors three times as a quarterback. He led his team to a 31-8 record, with three conference titles, throwing for more than 8,000 yards and 58 touchdowns.
Summers, 38, worked this past season as the defensive quality control analyst at Georgia and will be returning to the Centennial State. During the 2015 season, he was the defensive coordinator and safeties coach at Colorado State.
Summers was the head coach at Georgia Southern from 2016-17, going 5-13. He was fired midway through the 2017 season after an 0-6 start.
“Tyson shares my defensive philosophy, is a great teacher of the game and an excellent motivator who knows how to develop players,” Tucker said. “He’s a great family man, and that carries over to how much he tremendously cares about the student-athletes as people first and about their overall well-being. There’s no one I’d rather have coordinating our defense and teaching these young men than Tyson.”
At CSU in 2015, Summers’ defense allowed 390.9 yards per game, the Rams’ best number over the last nine seasons.
Prior to his year at CSU, Summers was Central Florida’s defensive coordinator from 2012-14. During his time with the Knights, they went 31-9. In 2014, UCF was fifth nationally in total defense (allowing 298.5 yards per game) and ninth in scoring defense (19.2 points per game). They were 17th in scoring defense in 2013 (21.3).
A native of Tifton, Ga., Summers played linebacker at Presbyterian College from 1998-2001 and began his coaching career in 2002. He has made coaching stops at Troy, Georgia, Georgia Southern, Alabama-Birmingham and Central Florida.
Chiaverini will coach the Buffs’ receivers and remain in his role as recruiting coordinator. He had been the Buffs’ co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach the past three years and was the offensive play-caller this past season.
Hagan, who quarterbacked the Buffs to the 1990 national title, will remain in his role as running backs coach. He has coached running backs the past three seasons. He was also the Buffs’ running backs coach from 2006-10, and worked in a non-coaching role in the athletic department from 2011-15.
Els has coached CU’s inside linebackers the past two seasons and will remain in that role. He has also worked with special teams. His coaching career, which began in 1989, has included stints as defensive coordinator at Hastings College, New Mexico State and Purdue.
Tucker and the Buffs still have five assistant coaching positions to fill, officially, and CU said additional hires are expected to be announced next week.
On Friday, it was reported and then confirmed by BuffZone.com sources that Chris Kapilovic will be hired as the offensive line coach. Kapilovic has spent the last seven seasons at North Carolina, including the last three as offensive coordinator. He coached the Tar Heels’ offensive line throughout his tenure there, and added the associate head coach title in 2015.