Addazio experiment comes to an end in Fort Collins
LARAMIE -- Steve Addazio was tasked with bringing championship football back to Fort Collins.
Instead, he won four of his 16 games on the sidelines at Colorado State and received his pink slip Thursday morning, fittingly, the day his buyout fell from $5 to $3million.
Urban Meyer's buddy rolled into his third head coaching gig with bravado and confidence, especially when it came to the Rams oldest rival. He refused to utter the name "Wyoming" during his introductory press conference in December of 2019.
"I think I'm going to take a page out of Urban's book and I think I'm just not going to mention the name. We'll just refer to it as the 'team up north.' We'll make that reference," Addazio said of the Cowboys, CSU's Border War nemesis. "... We're going to work hard every day to prepare for those games. We're going to get that boot and we're going to bring it back here. That's going to be important."
Addazio also made sure to bring up the fact that his Temple team outlasted the Pokes, 35-17, in the 2011 New Mexico Bowl.
After the hire, I asked UW head coach Craig Bohl his thoughts on Addazio and his posturing.
He wasn't impressed.
"Colorado State is obviously our rival," Bohl said. "I don't know coach Addazio, but he has a good reputation. We are in the midst of getting ready for a big bowl game. I'll leave it at that.
"How about this -- no comment."
Ten months later, Addazio's team pulled off a 34-24 victory over the Cowboys inside an empty Canvas Stadium, claiming the Bronze Boot for the first time since 2015. That was the Rams lone win in four outings with COVID-19 raging across the globe.
In Addazio's second season, the team up north got the last laugh, rolling CSU 31-17 behind a 385-yard rushing day inside War Memorial Stadium in early November. During his weekly press conference leading up to that game, Addazio expressed his distain for losing in-state kids to Wyoming.
"It blows my circuits that they've got to fly people into Denver and drive them right past Fort Collins to go all the way to wherever to heck they've gone," Addazio said. "I've never been there, you know, I don't know what that's like, right? It seems like it's like another part of the world.
"So, in order to do that -- that impresses me. Like, they can go find talent and project it, and then recruit it."
The 62-year-old led CSU to a 3-9 record this fall, including a six-game slide to close the season. In last Saturday's 52-10 home loss to Nevada, Addazio was ejected late in the second half for a pair of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
Addazio was the second-highest paid coach in the Mountain West this fall -- behind only Bohl -- making $1.55 million. That figure was set to rise to $1.7 million in 2022. Addazio has an overall record of 61-67 in coaching stints at Temple, Boston College and CSU.
Let's check out some social media reactions to today's news out of Fort Collins: