Skip to main content

Wilson Promoted To Defensive Coordinator

Jan 29, 2021

Dorrell Press Conference | Dorrell (Jan. 29 Zoom)

            BOULDER – Chris Wilson, in his second stint as a member of the University of Colorado's football staff, has been promoted to defensive coordinator, head coach Karl Dorrell announced Friday.
 
            Dorrell also announced the promotion of safeties coach Brett Maxie to defensive passing game coordinator and the hiring of Shannon Turley as CU's new strength and conditioning coach. 
 
            Wilson and Maxie certainly know football, and particularly defense.  The pair have coached in 693 games combined on the college and professional levels, all on the defensive side of the ball, between 49 seasons between them.  Wilson will continue to coach the defensive linemen.
 
            Wilson replaces Tyson Summers, who was let go earlier this month; Turley replaces Drew Wilson, who did not have his contract renewed.  Dorrell has two other vacancies to fill, needing to hire an inside linebackers coach (which Summers coached) and has to replace tight ends coach Taylor Embree, who accepted a position as running backs coach with the New York Jets on Jan. 19. 
 
            Unlike Dorrell's first year, when he was hired last Feb. 23 and by the time he assembled his full-time staff, less than three weeks remained until the scheduled start of spring practices (which were eventually canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic), this time around he and his staff will have nearly two months to prepare for the spring sessions, which are scheduled to start on March 23.
 
            Snapshots of the trio:
 
Chris Wilson
 

            Wilson, 52, returned to CU as its defensive line coach after Dorrell was hired a year ago, and will continue to coach the down linemen.  He had previously spent five years on Gary Barnett's staff in a similar capacity for the 2000 through 2004 seasons.  A veteran of 27 seasons as a full-time coach, he has had some previous experience as a defensive coordinator, first getting a taste of the chores at Northeast Oklahoma A&M in 1996 and then as the co-coordinator at Mississippi State in 2010 and then in the solo role for the Bulldogs the next two seasons (2011-12).
 
            Colorado's defensive line enjoyed one of its finest seasons in recent memory last fall as before being depleted prior to the Alamo Bowl due to COVID-related issues. 
             
            Prior to returning to Boulder, Wilson spent the 2019 season as a defensive assistant with the National Football League's Arizona Cardinals.  From 2016-18, he was the defensive line coach for Philadelphia under head coach Doug Pederson, where in 2017, the Eagles won the NFC East with a 13-3 record and defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
 
            He left the CU staff after the 2004 season to join coach Bob Stoops at Oklahoma, his alma mater.  He was the defensive ends coach for the Sooners for 2005-06, and added special teams coordinator to his duties there the next three seasons (2007-09).  He was on the Sooner staffs that won the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Big 12 titles, the latter team earning its way into the BCS Championship game where second-ranked OU fell to No. 1 Florida, 24-14.
 
            Wilson then moved on to Mississippi State for the next three years, and then was hired by Georgia to coach its defensive line in 2013.  He swapped coasts in 2014, heading west to Southern California for two seasons (2014-15) before taking the similar position for the Eagles in the NFL.  At USC, the Trojans won the 2015 Pac-12 South Division title but lost the league's title game to Stanford.
 
Brett Maxie
 

          Maxie, 59, joined Dorrell's staff last March, the final hire that completed his staff.  He came to CU from the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., where he was the defensive coordinator for the 2019 season.  He is a veteran secondary coach of 22 combined seasons between the professional and collegiate ranks, which followed 13-year career as a defensive back in the National Football League. 
 
          In 1998, after he retired from playing, the NFL's Carolina Panthers gave him his start in coaching, as he was the team's quality control coach along with working with the defensive backs.  He moved on to the San Francisco 49ers for five seasons (1999-2003), the first three seasons as the assistant secondary coach and the last two years (2002-03) as the secondary coach.  Atlanta then hired him as its defensive backs coach for three seasons (2004-06), and then he moved on to the Miami Dolphins for the 2007 season as their secondary coach, with Dallas his next stop, as he was the Cowboys defensive backfield tutor for four years (2008-11). 
 
          Maxie then served in a similar capacity for the Tennessee Titans for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, remaining in Nashville for the following two years, coaching Vanderbilt's entire secondary in 2014 and specifically the cornerbacks in 2015.  In his first year at Vandy, he was on the same staff as Dorrell, who was the Commodores offensive coordinator that season.  He returned to the NFL in 2016 as the secondary coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he would tutor the defensive backs for three seasons (2016-18).  After landing at Tampa Bay (NFC South), he became one the few coaches in NFL history to coach at all four teams in the same division.
 
            A 1985 graduate of Texas Southern University, he signed with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent and went on to play with the team for nine seasons (1985-93).  He played four more seasons in the NFL, with Atlanta (1994), Carolina (1995-96) and San Francisco (1997).  In all, he played in 153 NFL games that included 104 starts.
 
Shannon Turley

            A veteran and one of the nation's top strength coaches, in 12 years at Stanford under head coaches Jim Harbaugh and David Shaw, the Cardinal won three Pac-12 titles, earning five New Year's Six bowl berths, with 42 players drafted into the NFL, nine of those earning Pro Bowl status.
 
            Turley is a two-time national strength coach of the year, acknowledged by FootballScoop.com in 2011 and by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) in 2013.
 
            At Stanford, he was renowned for his innovate approach to strength training, which included many more components than just weights and conditioning.  Integral parts of his program included sports nutrition education, lifestyle management and sports psychology programming, all of which ensured the optimal physical and mental preparation of Stanford's athletes. He was also responsible for planning meals for the program's training table, travel and game days to guarantee optimal nutrition and hydration.  He also collaborated with the sports medicine staff to develop an individualized, sport and position specific, active integration rehabilitation plan to ensure the successful return to competition of all injured players.
 
            It all added up to a creative and comprehensive player development program designed to achieve three primary goals: injury prevention, athletic performance enhancement and mental discipline development.
 
            He accompanied Harbaugh to Stanford from the University of San Diego in 2007 and was the sports performance coach for football his first seven years there; in 2014, he was promoted to the director of sports performance, overseeing all 36 Cardinal varsity programs.
 
            Prior to his time at Stanford, Turley was the director of athletic performance for all 16 sports at the University of San Diego for a year, including the football team for Harbaugh (2006).  That had followed five years at the University of Missouri, where was a graduate assistant strength coach his first two years there (2001-02), before being promoted to the assistant director for the remainder of his time there.  He also simultaneously logged time in 2001 with the Wichita Wranglers, the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
 
            He most recently was serving as a performance consultant to the XFL, where he advised commissioner Oliver Luck on best practices for performance with philosophy, structure and staffing, as well counseling on strategies for staff development, training, nutrition and analytics.
 
            A 2000 graduate of Virginia Tech, where he earned his bachelor's in Human Nutrition, Food and Exercise, it was where he first ventured into strength and conditioning, serving as a student assistant; the Hokies were ranked No. 2 after an 11-0 regular season but lost to Florida State in the BCS title game.  He earned his master's from Missouri in Education and Counseling Psychology in 2003.

            Denver Bronco head coach Vic Fangio was Stanford's defensive coordinator in 2010. 

            "During my season at Stanford, I gained a lot of respect for Shannon's ability as a strength and conditioning coach," Fangio said.  "He's a knowledgeable, highly regarded coach who gets the best out of players.  I'm happy for Shannon and believe he will be successful at the University of Colorado."