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CU Buffs hire offensive line coach

Former Super Bowl starter Kyle DeVan to lead Colorado in trenches

New Colorado offensive line coach Kyle DeVan worked at Arizona for two seasons, in 2019-20. (Mike Christy/Arizona Athletics)
New Colorado offensive line coach Kyle DeVan worked at Arizona for two seasons, in 2019-20. (Mike Christy/Arizona Athletics)

A former Super Bowl starter with Pac-12 roots will lead the Colorado offensive line.

On Tuesday, CU announced that Kyle DeVan has been hired as the Buffaloes’ offensive line coach. He replaces Mitch Rodrigue, who was fired on Oct. 24.

DeVan, 36, spent this season as an offensive analyst at Michigan, helping the Wolverines to a Big Ten title and spot in the College Football Playoff. He was the offensive line coach at Arizona the previous two seasons.

Colorado offensive line coach Kyle DeVan

CU head coach Karl Dorrell is now bringing DeVan to Boulder to work with an offensive line that struggled throughout this past season. The Buffs were tied for 10th in the Pac-12 in sacks allowed (32) and placed 10th in rushing yards (126.33 per game).

“Kyle came highly recommended to me by several people,” Dorrell said in a press release. “He is a rising up-and-comer in the coaching ranks, has a great personality and a lot of energy, and is someone his players enjoy playing for.  He knows the Pac-12 from being a player and coach, and also has five years of NFL experience he brings to the position.  He will be a great addition to our staff.”

After Rodrigue was fired, with five games remaining, the Buffs showed some improvement in the next three games while being led by interim line coach William Vlachos. They struggled in the final two games, however.

The Buffs’ line is losing starting center Colby Pursell and left guard Kary Kutsch to graduation, but three starters return: left tackle Jake Wiley, right guard Casey Roddick and right tackle Frank Fillip.

“I am really excited to be joining the Colorado football family, and I want to especially thank Karl Dorrell, (athletic director) Rick George and (CU Boulder chancellor) Phil DiStefano,” DeVan said in a press release. “It will be special for my family and I to join the Pac-12 conference once again, where I have so many memories as a player and coach.  I do want to thank (Michigan head coach) Jim Harbaugh and (athletic director) Warde Manuel for the opportunity they gave me and for my time here at Michigan.”

DeVan added, “I want a (offensive line) room full of players who play smart, fast and physical.  And above all, we will be a tough unit.  It all starts in the trenches.”

DeVan’s hiring is subject to the approval of the CU Board of Regents. He is slated to join the Buffs after Michigan’s season comes to a close. The No. 2 Wolverines face No. 3 Georgia in the College Football Playoff semifinals on Dec. 31. If they win that, they would play in the championship game on Jan. 10.

A California native, DeVan starred at Vacaville High School and then played collegiately at Oregon State. He lettered four years (2004-07) and started 38 consecutive games at center for the Beavers. He earned All-Pac-12 honors three times, including second-team as a junior, and helped the Beavers win three bowl games.

In DeVan’s last three years with the Beavers, his offensive coordinator was Danny Langsdorf — currently the quarterbacks coach of the Buffs.

DeVan went undrafted in 2008 and had a couple of practice squad stints with Washington and the New York Jets. When those didn’t pan out, he began working as a substitute teacher in his hometown.

He went back to football early in 2009 with the Boise Burn of the Arena Football League’s development league. While with the Burn, he was offered a tryout for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts in April of 2009. The Colts signed him and he wound up starting at right guard for nine games during the regular season and all three in the playoffs, protecting quarterback Peyton Manning.

A year after working as a substitute teacher, he was a starter in Super Bowl XLIV for the Colts.

DeVan spent three more seasons in the NFL, with the Colts, Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans. He played 40 games, with 26 starts in his NFL career.

When his playing days ended, he got into coaching, with his alma mater. He was a graduate assistant working with the Oregon State tight ends — and for Langsdorf — in 2013.

Since then, he has continued to progress in his coaching career. He was a graduate assistant with Southern California in 2014 and then worked as the assistant offensive line coach for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints in 2015.

From 2016-18, he was the offensive line coach at Ball State. He was promoted to assistant head coach for his final two seasons with the Cardinals.

In 2016, Ball State ranked 30th nationally in rushing offense, with 220.0 yards per game — the Cardinals’ best average since 1978.

After three years at Ball State, DeVan was hired by Arizona in 2019 and spent two seasons with the Wildcats. In 2019, he worked with current CU cornerbacks coach Demetrice Martin, who coached the Arizona secondary that season.

Kopp joins herd

Also on Tuesday, CU officially announced that quarterback Maddox Kopp, a transfer from Houston, will join the team. Kopp announced Monday that he would be transferring to CU.

A 2021 graduate of St. Thomas (Texas) High School, Kopp played less than one season with Houston before putting his name in the transfer portal on Nov. 14.

The 6-foot-5, 210-pound Kopp  was a three-star prospect out of high school. In his career at St. Thomas, he threw for 6,334 yards, 59 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

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