In Assistants’ Absence, Seniors Step Up Leadership

BOULDER – Taking advantage of the bye week, a number of Colorado’s assistant coaches have ventured across the country to catch up on their high school recruiting efforts. Although the team will be short on coaches over the next two days, head coach Mike MacIntyre made it clear that they will not be short on leadership.
“Since some of our coaches aren’t here, some of our senior leadership did a good job of making sure we stayed focused and I was very pleased with that,” Macintyre said at the conclusion of Thursday’s practice. “We were active and we got after it and that’s a testament to those leaders.”
Many of those veterans have become so adept at stepping up and taking a leadership role after four years that it becomes second-nature. That makes for an easy transition when they are forced to assume some of the teaching duties during a coach’s absence.
A prime example of the impact those veteran players have had on the team’s underclassmen can be seen in the development of freshman linebacker Addison Gillam. In just a few short months, Gillam has blossomed from an unknown and raw talent into one of the biggest contributors on a vastly improved defense.  MacIntyre believes that can be attributed to the instruction and leadership he has received from his more seasoned teammates almost as much as it can be to the coaching staff.
“I think it does help him to have that (veterans around him),” MacIntyre said. “We’ve got some good (defensive) linemen and people in the secondary are always helping him because they’re always communicating. Addison is extremely bright so it was great having him here for spring practice which gave more time to learn from our leaders and has helped accelerate his experience and helped him be more ready.”
Five assistant coaches left for recruiting trips on Wednesday and the remainder of the staff, including MacIntyre, will leave for similar trips before the weekend. As the staff and team separate for a few days, that veteran leadership becomes more and more paramount in the continued progress of the team’s inexperienced youth.
NOTABLE: MacIntyre disclosed that freshman defensive lineman Timothy Coleman Jr. may have to have a season-ending operation on his Achilles. Coleman has yet to play this season . . . . Senior quarterback Jordan Webb’s role in practice has expanded a bit within the last few weeks. He has been confined to the scout team thus far but he is moving around on his knee just fine after tearing his ACL back in April. Still, there is no timetable for Webb’s return . . . . The Buffs are scheduled to practice Friday morning and have Saturday and Sunday off.

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