Colorado and new head coach Mel Tucker officially announced two additions to the football coaching staff on Thursday evening.
Travares Tillman has been hired as defensive backs coach and Al Pupunu as tight ends coach. Both hires have been previously reported, but not made official by CU until Thursday.
Tillman, 41, who played in the NFL from 2000-07, spent the past three seasons working under Tucker at Georgia. Tillman was a graduate assistant for two years before working this past season as a defensive quality control assistant.
“He is a great teacher and has played the game at a high level in college and professionally,” Tucker said in a press release from CU. “He relates well to the players and is very knowledgeable about the game. He’s also an excellent recruiter and really brings a lot to the table.”
Tillman is a native of Georgia and graduate of Georgia Tech.
“I am thrilled to be at Colorado, it’s a beautiful place, and I am really excited to continue to work with Coach Tucker, who I have the most respect for, both as a coach and a person,” Tillman said. “I’m looking forward to doing what I can do to add to the football tradition at Colorado.”
Pupunu, 49, who played nine years in the NFL, coached tight ends the past two seasons at Weber State, his alma mater. Prior to that, he was the tight ends coach at Idaho for seven seasons.
“He is a veteran coach who was an outstanding player who played for several years in the NFL,” Tucker said. “He, too, is an excellent teacher and relates well to the student-athlete. His strong ties to the west coast will be vital in recruiting. He has great energy and is a straight shooter, and he’ll be creative in utilizing the tight end in our offense, both in blocking and receiving.”
Pupunu was a record-setting tight end at Weber State, posting 93 catches for 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns in 1991. That’s the second-best single-season reception total for a tight end in FCS history.
“I’m overwhelmed, totally excited to join coach Tucker at Colorado,” Pupunu said. “I really believe there will be a lot of good things we can accomplish and it’s going to be awesome. Tight ends can be a big part of our offense, and when they’re utilized to both block and be flexed out, you can really create mismatches on the line of scrimmage.”
CU also announced that Cymone George has been hired as recruiting coordinator, while Geoffrey Martzen has been hired as director of player personnel.
George spent the past three years as director of on-campus recruiting at Georgia Southern.
Martzen was the director of player personnel at UCLA this past season and held the same position at Colorado State from 2015-17.
Tucker still has one full-time assistant coaching position to fill, likely an outside linebackers coach.