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Cowboy Football Adds Three New Assistants and Shifts Duties

Head Coach Dave Christensen
Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen seen here in a game during the 2012 season will assume play-calling duties for the Cowboys in 2013. (Photo by Townsquare Media)

University of Wyoming head football coach Dave Christensen announced Wednesday new coaching and administrative responsibilities for members of his football staff, including the official hiring of three new assistant coaches. One of the key changes is that Christensen will call the plays on game day for the Pokes.

Christensen had previously announced on National Signing Day, Feb. 6, plans to add new defensive line coach Jamar Cain, who comes to Wyoming from Cal Poly, and new quarterback coach Jason Gesser, who joins the Cowboy staff from Idaho. Wednesday, Christensen added former UW graduate assistant Nick Danielson as a full-time assistant coach.  Danielson, who served as an offensive graduate assistant for the Cowboys in 2012, will coach the Cowboy tight ends and H-backs.

“I think Jamar, Jason and Nick are all exceptional young coaches, who bring great enthusiasm to our program. I am excited to have them join our program, and look forward to working with them,” said Christensen.

Christensen also announced on Wednesday new responsibilities within his staff.

Assistant head coach Pete Kaligis and offensive line coach Jim Harding have been elevated to co-offensive coordinators. Kaligis, who coached the running backs and offensive line in 2012, will focus on coaching the Wyoming running backs in 2013, while Harding will continue to coach the offensive line.

Christensen, himself, will assume the immediate play-calling responsibilities on game days for the Cowboy offense. Christensen has 12 years experience as an offensive coordinator, and was named the Offensive Coordinator of the Year in 2007 by Rivals.com while he was at Missouri.

Former Wyoming offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Gregg Brandon recently accepted the offensive coordinator position at New Mexico State after coordinating the Cowboy offense the past two seasons.

“I felt that both Pete (Kaligis) and Jim (Harding) deserved this opportunity, and I am pleased to be able to promote the two of them from within our staff to coordinate the offense,” said Christensen. “In regard to Gregg (Brandon) accepting the offensive coordinator position at New Mexico State, he believed that it was a good opportunity and good fit for him, and I have never had an issue with one of my assistants who found an opportunity that was beneficial to them and their family.

“I have involved myself more in working with the offense this off-season. I will help bring Pete and Jim along as they assume the offensive-coordinating duties. I have decided to take over the play-calling duties — that is not to say at some point in the future Pete or Jim may take over those responsibilities, as well. They have both been with me since we came to Wyoming, have worked extremely hard and been very loyal. They have put themselves in a position to become coordinators, and I’m really excited to have them in charge of the offense, working hand-in-hand with me.

“Another part of my decision to get back involved in the offense is I love coaching, and at the end of this past season I decided I wanted to get more involved on a day-to-day basis in strategizing and teaching.”

Christensen filled the final assistant coaching position on this staff with Danielson, who will coach the Wyoming tight ends and H-backs. That position came open with the departure of former Cowboy assistant coach Jason Ray, who was hired as receivers coach at Oklahoma State in January 2013.

Chris Tormey, who took over as Wyoming’s defensive coordinator and secondary coach in 2012, will continue to coach the Cowboy safeties and serve as defensive coordinator.  He will be joined in coaching the secondary by new full-time staff member Renaldo Hill.  Hill, who served as a defensive graduate assistant for Wyoming in 2012, was announced as a new full-time assistant coach on Jan. 11. Hill will coach the Cowboy cornerbacks. He played cornerback and safety in the NFL for 10 seasons, concluding his professional career with the Denver Broncos in 2010.

Members of the Cowboy coaching staff whose responsibilities will remain the same for the 2013 season include: Robin Ross, who will continue to serve as special teams’ coordinator and linebackers coach; and Derek Sage, who will enter his fourth season as Wyoming’s wide receivers coach.

In terms of new administrative appointments:

Matt Rahl will move into a new, but familiar role, as Wyoming’s Director of Recruiting.  Rahl coached the Cowboy defensive line the past two seasons in 2011 and ‘12, but he was previously Wyoming’s Director of Recruiting in 2009 and ‘10.

Brent Vernon, who was Wyoming’s Assistant Director of Football Operations a year ago, has been elevated to the position of Director of Football Operations.  He replaces Brian Wilkinson, who accepted the position as Director of Football Operations for Arkansas State in January.

Danilo Robinson will be Wyoming’s Director of Player Personnel.  Robinson had been the Director of Player Personnel and Recruiting last season.

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