(Photo courtesy Colorado Athletics)

Mike MacIntyre knew he had his work cut out for him if he was to help CU turn the corner, but he knew it could be done. After all, his Dad had done it at Vanderbilt.

 

In a period of 32 seasons, between 1976 and 2007, George MacIntyre’s 8-4 record at Vanderbilt in 1982 was the only winning season the Commodores recorded during that entire span.

 

“He was a man who totally cared about people, totally loved people, was a very tough athlete, excellent coach, hard worker, unbelievable family man,” Mike MacIntyre said, “but when people met my Dad and guys that played for him, they truly knew without a shadow of a doubt that he loved them and cared for them and wanted what was best for them, not just what was best for him.”

 

Because of that philosophy, the players on that 1982 team were not just playing for themselves, but Coach Mac. And in turn, Mike knew he needed to coach not for himself, but rather his players. That meant making difficult decisions at times, showing some of his players tough love as they needed to mature as people or teaching others accountability as they improved as athletes.

 

If people on the outside didn’t know what was happening within the program, they got a quick taste of it when the Buffaloes beat Colorado State 44-7 and Idaho State 56-7 in the first two games. Then, after losing in the Big House at Michigan, they upset Oregon 41-38 and beat Oregon State to move to 4-1 on the season.

 

Things were beginning to change.

 
 

(Photo courtesy Colorado Athletics)

After losing their next game to USC, Colorado began to win. And win. And win. After the winning streak ran to five straight games, the Buffaloes hosted No. 21 Utah with a chance to win the Pac-12 South. CU, which had never finished above last place in the division since joining the Pac-12 in 2011, had a chance to become Pac-12 South Champions. Sure enough, the Buffaloes won 27-22 and the fans rushed the field to celebrate.

 

“I look back and all the growth in those times was amazing....You strive to be successful, you strive to do well and I think that the Lord wants us to do all that, but I also think at the same time there’s a reason for why I’m coaching, why I'm here at Colorado,” MacIntyre said. “It’s not by my choice, it’s by His choice, and there’s other reasons bigger than football.”

 

MacIntyre received the 2016 National Coach of the Year Award, and the team hoped to pick up in 2017 where they left off. That did not happen, as the team labored its way to a 5-7 record. It was around that time where MacIntyre realized he was spreading himself too thin. He decided to spend more time with his players, and encouraged them to spend more time with each other.

 
 

(Photo courtesy Colorado Athletics)

He is also spending more time listening to God. During many of his prayers, MacIntyre had been doing the majority of the talking. Lately, he has decided to do more listening.

 

“The thing that I started doing was just sitting down and being quiet, blocking everything out. Just sitting down and being quiet and trying to listen,” MacIntyre said. “We really just need to be listening to our heart and our spirit and our mind. When you do that, you’re not going to hear a booming voice, but it’s amazing how (you can have) certain thoughts or a peace of your soul.”

 

MacIntyre is now entering the 2018 season not only with a renewed sense of spirit, but with optimism too. The Buffaloes are expected to be much better this season, which is MacIntyre’s football goal, but not his main goal. That would be living out Matthew 22: 37-39!

 

And based on that alone, he’s already off to a great start this season.

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