It's Official, Buffs Have New OL Coach

CU head coach Dan Hawkins announced Thursday he has hired Jeff Grimes to coach the Colorado offensive line

Grimes, 38, is already at work in Boulder as he joined the CU staff recently. He comes to Colorado from BYU, and replaces Chris Strausser, who resigned Feb. 8 to return to Boise State in the same role.

"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," Grimes continued, adding he has a lot of respect for BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall and the Cougars program.

At CU, Grimes has reunited with some familiar faces. He coached offensive line alongside Dan Hawkins at Boise State in 2000. The next three seasons, Grimes was an assistant at Arizona State, where he worked with current CU offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.

"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. "

Grimes said the lure of working with Hawkins drew him to Boulder.

"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 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."

Grimes grew up in Texas and graduated from the University of Texas-El Paso in 1991 after earning four letters as an offensive tackle for the Miners between 1987 and 1990. He earned his master's in education administration from Texas A&M in 1997 while serving as a grad assistant. Hawkins intends to take advantage of Grimes' Texas roots to help get Colorado back into the Lone Star State. A prime recruiting area for CU the past two decades, the Buffs didn't sign a player from Texas this year for the first time since 1983.

"I'm excited about his Texas connections and he will be a big help to us in recruiting there," Hawkins said.

Grimes left a BYU team that won the MWC in 2006. His linemen were a big part of the Cougars' success. BYU 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).

Grimes' 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.

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