Rip Scherer is in his second year as the assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach, joining CU on January 24, 2011 as the final hire by Jon Embree to complete his first staff. Scherer returned to the college ranks after spending six seasons in the National Football League with the Carolina Panthers and Cleveland Browns and in all has 33 years of full-time coaching experience, 27 at the college level.
In his first CU season, he tutored senior Tyler Hansen, who threw for 2,883 yards and had a 20-to-11 touchdown to interception ratio. He helped develop Hansen into a free agent signing with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Scherer, 60, worked the two seasons prior to joining the Buffs (2009-10) for the Carolina Panthers, where he was the quarterbacks coach after spending the previous four seasons (2005-08) with the Cleveland Browns. Prior to that, he had logged time at 11 different schools from coast to coast in just over three decades in the collegiate ranks.
At Carolina, Scherer was integral in the development of Matt Moore, who led the Panthers to a 4-1 record starting the last five games of the 2009 season and generating a 104.9 quarterback rating after veteran Jake Delhomme sustained an injury. With injuries taking their toll on the 2010 stable of quarterbacks, Scherer and the Panthers used four different quarterbacks under center throughout the season.
In Cleveland, he served as the quarterbacks coach all four seasons from 2005-08, the final two adding assistant head coaching duties to his responsibilities. In his time there, he helped develop Derek Anderson, who was selected to the 2007 Pro Bowl after throwing for 3,787 yards and 29 touchdowns as the Browns boasted the eighth-best offense in the NFL in terms of scoring and passing yards per game.
He entered the professional ranks after he had coaching stints in the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC, including two stops as a head coach at James Madison and Memphis. Prior to joining the Browns, he was an assistant coach at Southern Mississippi in 2003-04 where he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He held the same title at Kansas for the 2001 season, when he coached a game in Boulder against several of his current colleagues including Embree, Eric Bieniemy, Brian Cabral and Steve Marshall during the Buffs' Big 12 Championship run (CU won that game, 27-16, in the first contest for both following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks).
He went to Kansas from Memphis, where he served as head coach from 1995-2000, compiling a 22-44 record. He coached the Tigers to the school's first-ever (and still only) win over Tennessee, 21-17, with the Volunteers ranked No. 6 at the time in 1996, a victory that was tabbed the "Upset of the Year" in college football by several news organizations (Memphis had been 0-15 against the Vols in its history). Prior to coaching at Memphis, he was the head coach at James Madison from 1991-94, during a time when the Dukes set or tied over 140 school records and helped them to a 10-3 record in 1994 and 29-19 record in four years.
He was also the offensive coordinator at Arizona, Alabama and Georgia Tech. He was in Tucson from 1988-90, the first season as the director of football operations and then the offensive coordinator the final two years. Prior to that, he was the offensive coordinator at Alabama in 1987 and Georgia Tech in 1986, where he was on staff from 1980-86, first as the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator in 1980-81 and running backs coach and run game coordinator from 1982-84. He was also an assistant athletic director at Georgia Tech in 1985 before returning to the field the next season.
He started his coaching career at Penn State under legendary coach Joe Paterno as a graduate assistant in 1974-75 and then moved to North Carolina State, where he was the quarterbacks coach in 1976 before moving on to Hawai'i as the running backs coach in 1977-78. He coached the quarterbacks at Virginia in 1979 before going to Georgia Tech.
Scherer earned his bachelor's degree in Physical Education from William & Mary in 1974, where he lettered three times at quarterback under coach Lou Holtz from 1971-73.
He was born August 3, 1952 in Pittsburgh, Pa., and graduated from Toms River (N.J.) South High School, where he lettered in football. He is married to the former Michele Ragone, and the couple has three children, Scott, Melanie and Ryan (who played wide receiver at Penn State and is now a technical intern on the CU staff). His father, Rip Sr., was a long time high school football coach in Pittsburgh.
TOP PLAYERS COACHED (COLLEGE): Numerous; most notable: All-American TB Bobby Humphrey (1987, while offensive coordinator at Alabama).
RECORD: He has coached in 309 college football games as a full-time coach, 261 on the Division I-A/FBS level and 48 in Division I-AA. At nine previous FBS schools, he coached the most games, 66, at both Georgia Tech and Memphis. He has coached in five bowl games (all in different time zones: Hall of Fame, Copper, Aloha, Liberty, New Orleans), including one New Year's Day.