Wyoming football Coach Dave Christensen on Wednesday announced plans to adjust his staff following the departure of former offensive coordinator Gregg Brandon.
Christensen said the Cowboys will use two co-offensive coordinators next season. Those positions have been filled from within Christensen's current staff.
Pete Kaligis, formerly an associate head coach who also handled the offensive line and running backs, will fill one co-coordinator role. The other spot now belongs to Jim Harding, formerly a running game coordinator and offensive line coach.
"I'm very confident in them," Christensen said. "They're extremely loyal. They've worked hard and deserve to have the opportunity to be promoted within."
Former graduate assistant Nick Danielson has been hired to a full-time position. He will coach H-backs and tight ends.
Christensen said he decided a month ago to take a more-active role in the Cowboys' offense. That will include calling plays.
"I'll have some play-calling duties," Christensen said. "I'll continue to do that, unless I feel, at some point in time, to hand that over to Pete [Kaligis] or Jim [Harding]. But I'll have an active hand in what we are doing offensively, and hopefully guide those guys as they develop that new position."
Christensen said his added impact on the offense will result in what he hopes is a more-effective ground game (The Cowboys were 102nd in the country in rushing yards per game last season -- 124.3).
"We obviously need to run the football better," Christensen said. "That being said, we need to do some things to improve our run game. Off of that run game, we would like to build more play-action passes into what we do. We're not going to scrap everything. We will still empty the backfield and be in the spread. But we brought in a tight end [Wyoming added junior college tight end J.D. Krill as a mid-year addition] because we want to have more variation on what we are doing."
Brandon had been Wyoming's offensive coordinator for two seasons before announcing shortly after National Signing Day that he had accepted a position as offensive coordinator at New Mexico State.
Brandon told the Star-Tribune the job was a no-brainer with the money New Mexico State offered, and said the move was the best decision for him and his family.
His contract with the Cowboys, which ran through Dec. 31, included a base annual salary of $160,000 with performance-based incentives for meeting certain offensive goals. Brandon's contract at New Mexico State is reported to be $180,000.
"Greg had another opportunity," Christensen said. "That was OK. It was one that he felt was a good situation for him."
UW also announced the following shifts among its coaching staff. Matt Rahl, formerly a defensive line coach, will return to a previous role as Wyoming's director of recruiting.
Brent Vernon, formerly UW's assistant director of football operations, will become director of football operations. He replaces Brian Wilkinson, who accepted the same job at Arkansas State in January.
Danilo Robinson will be Wyoming’s director of player personnel. Last season, he was director of player personnel and recruiting.