Release: February 22, 2007
By: David Plati, Associate AD/Sports Information
Photo Courtesy: CUBuffs.com
BOULDER – Jeff Grimes, the offensive line coach at Brigham Young University the last three years, has been hired for the same position at the University of Colorado, head football coach Dan Hawkins announced Thursday.
He also takes over Strausser's role as assistant head coach and will serve as the team's first-ever running game coordinator.
Grimes, 38, is already at work in Boulder as he has joined the CU staff in plenty of time for the start of spring practice, which gets underway on March 12. He replaces Chris Strausser, who resigned February 8 to return to Boise State in the same role.
He is very familiar with several CU assistants, having been on the 2000 Boise State staff when Hawkins was an assistant. He was the offensive line coach that season, before moving on to Arizona State where he worked the next three years (2001-03) as the O-line coach in addition to serving as running game coordinator. At ASU, he worked closely with current CU offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich, who spent five years on the Sun Devil staff before joining Hawkins in Boulder last season.
“It’s something that I’m very excited to do; if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have left BYU,” Grimes said of his coming to Colorado. “Frankly, I was in a great situation there, and to be honest, it was hard to leave. It was a really good place for me and my family. I have the greatest respect for Bronco Mendenhall, he’s a great head coach and a great friend. It was difficult to tell him I was leaving to take another job. I really enjoyed being a part of what we did there and turning that program back around and I can’t say enough good things about him as a person.”
“But Hawk is as good a head coach as there is anywhere in the country, and the opportunity to work with him again is something that I’ve wanted to do for awhile,” he said. "It’s a great challenge and a great opportunity. We’re looking forward to getting back closer to where my wife and I are from. My wife (the former Sheri Hermesmeyer) played volleyball at Texas A & M and I had a great experience there, so we’re very familiar with the Big 12. I have great respect for this conference and am looking forward to getting back.”
“We’re very fortunate to get somebody that has his kind of experience, knowledge and character,” Hawkins said. “He’s a great family guy and a great coach and will bring a lot to our program. He’s a great teacher and I think he has a great way of developing guys, not only technically but with a mentality you need in the offensive line. I’m also excited about his Texas connections and he will be a big help to us in recruiting there.”
His 2006 BYU linemen were a big part of the Cougars’ Mountain West Conference championship team, which drilled Oregon 38-8 in the Las Vegas Bowl to finish 11-2 for the season. BYU averaged 465.5 yards per game on offense, 323.5 through the air, both figures fourth in the nation, averaged a healthy 141.9 on the ground and allowed just 15 quarterback sacks in 13 games, or just one for every 30.1 passing attempts. The Cougars also boasted a 1,000-yard rusher in Curtis Brown (1,010 yards).
His players achieved great success in his three seasons at Arizona State, and with four of his 2001 seniors drafted into the NFL, it marked just the second time that had been done at any school since the NFL adopted the seven-round draft format in 1993. He then assembled a new offensive line in 2002 that protected the ninth-rated passing offense in the country, the core of the same group that a year later helped Loren Wade break the ASU freshman rushing record and lead the Pac-10 in yards per carry.
In his one season at Boise State, Grimes’ offensive line helped the Broncos lead the nation in scoring offense and accumulate 175 rushing yards per game.
Overall, he has 14 years of coaching on his resume, beginning 1in 1993 as a high school coach in his native Texas (Riverside in El Paso). After two years as the offensive coordinator and line coach there, he moved on to the college ranks, first working as a graduate assistant at Rice (1995) and then at Texas A&M (1996-97). His first full-time position was serving as offensive line coach at Hardin Simmons, a position he held for two years (1998-99) before moving on to the Division I-A level at Boise State.
Grimes graduated from the University of Texas-El Paso in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in education after earning four letters as an offensive tackle for the Miners between 1987 and 1990, including three years under former BSU and ASU head coach Dirk Koetter when he was UTEP’s offensive coordinator and two years under current Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach Andy Reid. He earned his master’s in education administration from Texas A&M in 1997 while serving as a grad assistant.
Born Sept. 23, 1968 in Garland, Texas, he stayed in his home state for college as his prep days were spent at Garland’s Lakeview Centennial High School.
He was in training camp with both the Los Angeles Raiders of the NFL and the San Antonio Riders of the World Football League before entering coaching.