Steve Addazio's timeline as CSU football coach: COVID woes, investigations and his biggest win

·3 min read

Steve Addazio was hired as Colorado State's football coach in 2019. Here's what his timeline at CSU in the next two years looked like prior to his firing on Thursday.

Steve Addazio hired

CSU officially announced the hiring of Steve Addazio as head coach on Dec. 12, 2019, less than two weeks after he was let go at Boston College.

"Our program will be one built on toughness and passion, and we will work tirelessly to develop men of character to return championship-level football back to Colorado State," Addazio said in a release announcing his hire.

More: How Colorado State's search for a football coach ended with Steve Addazio

Addazio signs first players

Less than a week after he was hired, Addazio signed the first part of his initial signing class on Dec. 18, 2019.

COVID-19 hits

In the middle of Addazio's first spring practices, the world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CSU held seven of its 15 practices before being shut down in mid-March of 2020.

Investigations

In summer 2020, CSU athletes and staffers reported violations of COVID protocols within the football program. There were also allegations of racial insensitivity within the athletic department and football program.

Those allegations led to an outside firm to look into potential issues.

Fall season postponed

Addazio's first season at CSU was postponed on Aug. 10, 2020 when the Mountain West announced sports wouldn't be played in the fall due to COVID-19.

Season back on

In late September, the script flipped. The Mountain West announced teams would play an abbreviated 2020 season with eight games.

Addazio's first game, delayed

CSU's first game of 2020 was supposed to be Oct. 24 against New Mexico, but it was called off due to COVID issues with the Lobos.

The Rams finally got on the field Oct. 29 at Fresno State and were soundly beaten 38-17.

First win was Addazio's biggest

Addazio's first win turned out to be the high point of his tenure. The Rams beat Wyoming Nov. 5, 2020 in the lone home game of the year. It snapped a long rivalry losing streak and ended up the best moment of the two years with Addazio in charge for CSU fans.

The Colorado State Rams raise the Bronze Boot, a traveling trophy for the winner of the annual Border War football game between Colorado State and Wyoming, after winning the game at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo. on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020 at Canvas Stadium.
The Colorado State Rams raise the Bronze Boot, a traveling trophy for the winner of the annual Border War football game between Colorado State and Wyoming, after winning the game at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo. on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020 at Canvas Stadium.

Turning point of 2021

The 2021 season was up-and-down to start. CSU suffered bad home losses to South Dakota State and Vanderbilt to open the season.

The Rams then won three of four with a close loss at top-10 Iowa in the middle. Things looked to be on track.

CSU had a chance to take a division lead at Utah State. Instead, the Rams lost when a go-ahead field goal in the final seconds was botched due to the kick team running on the field when the ball should have been spiked. Addazio put the blame on his players after the game.

The season went downhill from there, with CSU losing its final six games.

Colorado State University head coach Steve Addazio talks with his team during their football game against Nevada, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Canvas Field in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Colorado State University head coach Steve Addazio talks with his team during their football game against Nevada, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Canvas Field in Fort Collins, Colorado.

The ending

The final game of Addazio's tenure may have been the final straw. Not only did CSU lose 52-10 to Nevada, but Addazio was ejected in the second quarter for two unsportsmanlike flags in a matter of minutes.

He was just the second coach to be kicked out since the automatic ejection for two unsportsmanlike penalties was put in place in 2016.

Additionally, Canvas Stadium was nearly empty. There was an announced crowd of 17,465 but the bodies in the seat by the end of the game was easily below 5,000.

More: Social media reacts to CSU football firing head coach Steve Addazio

CSU football coaching candidates: Who might Rams target to replace Addazio?

Colorado State football job profile: How attractive is the opening to lead the Rams?

Buyout bucks: CSU now paying more than $6M to coaches to not coach, including $3M to Steve Addazio

Follow Kevin Lytle at twitter.com/Kevin_Lytle and at facebook.com/KevinSLytle. Coloradoan sports can also be followed on Twitter. Support his work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.

This article originally appeared on Fort Collins Coloradoan: Colorado State football timeline under former head coach Steve Addazio

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