Pat Shurmur enjoying return to college game with CU Buffs – The Denver Post
11th August 2023

Following a two-year stint as the offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos, Pat Shurmur took the 2022 season off and focused on family.

“The last 25 years of coaching, it really goes unsaid, but we’re not always around,” he said Thursday. “So it gave me a year to be around and I was really thankful for that.”

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When an opportunity arose this summer to get back into football and stay in Colorado, Shurmur got the only endorsement he needed.

“Living out here is awesome,” he said. “We really enjoy just life in general here in Colorado and so when this came about, I didn’t really get any pushback from my wife. We’re empty nesters now, so it’s very easy moves to make.”

A longtime coach who has spent nearly a quarter century in the NFL, Shurmur, 58, is the newest addition to head coach Deion Sanders’ staff at Colorado, hired as an offensive analyst this summer.

“Being an analyst, I work primarily behind the scenes,” he said following CU’s seventh practice of the preseason. “I’m in the meeting room with the coaches. I’m really not allowed to have one-on-one with players. It’s really hard to be out there and bite your tongue when you see something. But if there is something I see that might help a player, I gotta just kind of track it through one of the coaches.”

A 1988 graduate of Michigan State, Shurmur began his career at his alma mater, coaching with the Spartans for a decade (1988-97). He then spent the 1998 season coaching the offensive line at Stanford. The next year, in 1999, he was hired as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Eagles, beginning a 23-year run in the NFL.

Working at CU has brought Shurmur back to the college ranks for the first time since 1998.

“It’s been great,” he said. “The other day, I thought a ball wasn’t caught in bounds, but you only need one foot in (in college), so there’s different things I’m getting used to, but it’s fun to be out on the field again. I have to work behind the scenes, but just every once in a while, provide an idea that I can maybe help these guys become champions in what they do.”

Shurmur, whose NFL career included two head coach jobs (Cleveland Browns and New York Giants) and offensive coordinator roles with four teams (St. Louis Rams, Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and Broncos), has never worked with Sanders. He did coach against him when Sanders was still in the NFL, however.

“I believe in Coach Prime, and I believe in him as a man,” Shurmur said. “I believe in his competitive spirit. When I was given an opportunity to come work (at CU), I jumped at it.”

Common connections made the move happen.

“A couple of phone calls here and there and it was something that coach felt somebody like myself could be an asset to the program and then just made it happen,” he said.

Shurmur is still getting to know CU and said being out of the college game so long makes it difficult to truly assess how good the Buffs can be. But, he does see talent on the offense, especially with quarterback Shedeur Sanders.

“We have a lot of very talented, skilled players,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of gritty linemen that work really hard. And obviously, I think Shedeur can execute and play at a high level. And then we have a nice group of backs, as well. So it’ll be interesting to see it all come together when we tee it up against TCU (on Sept. 2).”

Like most people, Shurmur isn’t sure what to expect out of the Buffs and their overhauled roster, but he’s impressed so far with Sanders as a head coach.

“He is an absolutely outstanding communicator and the way he does it in the team settings you can see that it sinks in on the players,” Shurmur said.

“When you have a leader of your team like Coach Prime, who’s won at everything he’s done in life, that’s where it starts. If our players and the people around them just listen to what he’s saying and take his messages to heart, then it’ll all start to blossom and then we’ll win football games.”

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