Bray Named CU Defensive Backs Coach

The University of Colorado has hired <b>Craig Bray</b> to fill a vacancy on its football coaching staff, head coach <b>Gary Barnett </b>announced Wednesday. Bray will coach the defensive backs, as he replaces <b>Vance Joseph</b>, who left for a position on the Bowling Green staff in late April. Craig was the linebackers coach at Arizona last season and was the secondary coach and defensive coordinator at Oregon State from 2000 to 2002.

Bray's appointment is subject to the approval of CU-Boulder chancellor Richard Byyny on July 1.

Bray, 52, has 28 years of coaching experience at the collegiate level, including 25 years coaching defense with an emphasis on the secondary, with seven as a coordinator. He worked as the linebackers coach last season at the University of Arizona, where he was on the same staff as current CU defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz.

"We are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to add Craig Bray to our football staff," Barnett said. "Craig has coached the secondary for better than a quarter century and coordinated one of the best defenses in college football. We felt it was very important to hire someone who had coached the secondary given the youth of our team in that area."

Prior to his one year in Tucson with Arizona, he was the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Oregon State University for the 2000 through 2002 seasons. His 2000 defense at OSU ranked as the best in both total and scoring defense in the Pacific 10 Conference, as well and ranks of 20th and 16th, respectively, in the NCAA. His 2001 squad was the third best defensively in the Pac-10, with the 2002 Beavers ranking ninth nationally in rushing defense and 11th in total defense in 2002. He directed a multiple scheme with a 4-3 base defense at Oregon State, similar to what Hankwitz installed at CU this past spring.

"I'm excited to be at Colorado, as the reputation of Gary Barnett and his staff is something that intrigued me to no end," Bray said. "This was a great opportunity and I'm happy to have it. I also had a great time working with ‘Hank' last year at Arizona, and the opportunity to work again with Mike is something else I'm really looking forward to."

Bray also coached eight seasons in two stints at Washington State, in 1987 and 1988 and from 1994 through 1999. He joined Dennis Erickson's staff at the University of Idaho in 1984, serving as defensive backs coach in addition to recruiting coordinator, and went with Erickson to the University of Wyoming in 1986 (solely as the secondary mentor). He then moved on to Washington State in the same capacity in 1987, and when Erickson left for the University of Miami for the 1989 season, he again followed. But after working the spring as the DB coach, he returned to the Pacific Northwest to take a coordinators' position under John L. Smith at Idaho, where he was both the defensive coordinator and secondary coach.

He then joined Mike Price's staff at Washington State in 1994, and was reunited with Erickson at Oregon State in 2000.

His first full-time position in the profession came as wide receivers coach at Nevada-Reno in 1976; he coached the running backs there in 1977 and then switched to defense for the first time in 1978, as he coached the secondary there for the next two years (1978-79). He spent the next four seasons (1980-83) as the secondary coach at Northern Arizona.

Bray started his coaching career as a student assistant receivers coach at UNLV in 1975, the same year he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. He attended the College of the Siskiyous from 1970-72 and played two years before transferring to UNLV, where he started two years as a wide receiver in 1973 and 1974 (the Rebels were 20-4 in his two seasons there in Division II ball).

He is married to the former Kaprice Rupp, a former Washington State University head volleyball coach. The couple has two sons, Josh, 23, and Trenton, 21. Josh is a senior at Oregon State, while Trenton in a junior middle linebacker on the Beaver's football team.

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