Steve Adazio’s era in Fort Collins ended after just 16 football games.
Multiple sources confirmed to the Denver Post Thursday morning that the university has severed ties with its 62-year-old soccer coach after nearly two years on the job.
Adazio, who was let down after scoring 4-12 with the Rams in one abridged season (1-3 in 2020) and one full campaign (3-9 in 2021), was set to earn $1.6 million in 2022 as part of the Five-year contract until December 31, 2024.
The league’s plans for an interim coach were not confirmed before the early National Signature Day period that begins on December 15 through Thursday morning. Multiple sources told The Post Thursday morning that the assistant soccer coaches were told to get out of the way from enlistment and that the CSU player’s meeting was scheduled for 11 a.m.
The acquisition of Adazio fell from $5 million to $3 million Thursday, a factor that could hasten the end of one of the shortest and strangest periods in football history.
At 16 games, Adazio’s stint as the Rams’ full-time coach was the shortest since George Cassidy set a 0-5 record in 1910 during Cassidy’s only season on the job.
The Rams ended their 2021 campaign in a six-game losing streak, quickly dwindling and frustrated fans at Canvas, a 36,500-seat on-campus facility that opened in August 2017.
The CSU season ended in a 52-10 home loss to Nevada on November 27 before announcing a crowd of 17,465, or just 47% of capacity. Over its last three home games, against Boise State, Air Force, and the Wolf Pack, CSU has averaged 22,745 paying customers, or 62% of capacity.
Many of those fans left during the Nevada game halftime, which the Rams entered late 31-0. Adazio was also not present in the second half. In what would be his end as the Rams coach, the Connecticut native was ejected from the game before 4:41 left in the second quarter and with his team losing 28-0.
Addazio is believed to be the first football coach in modern CSU history to ever be fired, a fitting finale to a prominent figure on the show who sometimes saved his most fiery speeches at post-game news conferences.
“Do you like our place?” Adazio said after losing 35-21 at home to the Air Force on November 13. “I would like to get more wins.
“But do I like where we are in terms of building this software? Eh yes. … We will build this thing one game at a time. One brick at a time.”
Now the university requires Adazio to beat the bricks, closing the books on an era when cross-stars were felt right from the start.
A veteran of Urban Meyer’s Training Tree, the appointment of the Connecticut native to succeed Mike Bobo in December 2019 was seen with slight and complete surprise by critics both locally and nationally.
Eyebrows raised again when 62-year-old Adazio, who dropped out of Boston College after the 2019 season, admitted during his introductory press conference at FoCo that he didn’t spend much time at Front Range, let alone recruit here.
Addazio has primarily worked as an offensive line coach on four FBS shows – Syracuse (1995-98), Notre Dame (1999-01), Indiana (2002-04) and Florida (2005-10) – and as offensive coordinator with the Hoosiers (2004) and the Gators (2009-10) ).
He trained with Mayer on Bob Davy’s Irish crew at the turn of the century, and was reunited with current Jaggs coach when Mayer took the Florida job in December 2004.
Mayer, a CSU assistant from 1990-95, was brought in as an advisor by the university in its search for Bobo, although athletic director Joe Parker later downplayed Mayer’s influence in the hiring process.
Dennis was promoted by Buckeyes coach Ryan Day shortly thereafter and did not come to Fort Collins.
As the impact on the coronavirus and the death of George Floyd shaped the year 2020, Adazio’s alleged response to both events sparked criticism and outrage from within the California State University sports department.
Reports published featuring mostly anonymous sources from ESPN.com and Fort Collins Colorado in late July and early August of that year indicated possible violations of the coronavirus protocol within the Rams football program, as well as making allegations of abusive and racist behavior among current and former. CSU football coaches.
McConnell hired the Kansas City law firm Hoch Blackwell to question the athletic department. Nearly two months later, the company released a report that largely acquitted Adazio of most of the accusations that were published anonymously to the media.
Hoch-Blackwell concluded, based on interviews with CSU students and staff, that coronavirus-related safety precautions were likely due to inconsistencies and miscommunication. The company found that racially insensitive language was more prevalent under Bobo and former Bobo lieutenants who were no longer with the department than it was during the Adazio regime. The investigation cost the university $107397.50.
Coronavirus cancellations and a Utah player boycott limited Adazio’s debut season to just four games in 2020, with his only win over Wyoming on November 5 at Canvas.
Addazio set a record 1-2 in cup game struggles with the Cowboys and Air Force, while COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the 2020 Rocky Mountain Showdown with CU at Fort Collins.
Rams’ job was Adazio’s third as a head coach for FBS and his first outside the East Coast. Adazio hit a record 44-44 in seven seasons at Boston College (2013-19) and was 13-11 over two years at Temple (2011-12).
Note: This is an evolving story. Please refer to DenverPost.com for updates.