|Posted January 3, 2008|
ThunderWolves football adds McGinn, Sewell and Leomiti to coaching staff
PUEBLO, Colo. - The Colorado State University-Pueblo football
program added three new coaches to its staff today, as head coach
John Wristen announced the hire of former Adams State head coach,
Wayne McGinn, former Denver Broncos running back, Steve Sewell, and
former Colorado University assistant and player, Donnell Leomiti,
as assistant coaches.
McGinn will take over as the team's offensive coordinator, while Sewell will coach the running backs and Leomiti will coach the defensive backs.
McGinn had been the head football coach at Adams State since 2000, guiding the Grizzlies to a 35-51 record in that time. In 2004, McGinn led the Grizzlies to a 7-4 record, its best mark in 15 years. During that 2004 season, McGinn saw three players earn All-America honors while 12 team members earned All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference accolades. From 2004-06, Adams State posted winning records under McGinn’s leadership.
“Wayne brings a wealth of knowledge about the RMAC that is unparalleled,” Wristen said. “He has been either playing or coaching in conference for over 20 years, and knows the terrain better than nearly anyone.”
Before taking on the job at Adams State, the 48-year-old Westminster, Colo., native had been serving as the defensive coordinator and top assistant coach at arch-rival Western State for five years. He began his tenure at WSC in 1987 and in 1996 led the Mountaineers to a 6-5 (6-2 RMAC) record and a RMAC second place finish while Head Coach Carl "Duke" Iverson was on sabbatical. In 1997, Western State finished ninth in the Division II national poll. That year, WSC won the RMAC title and his defense led the conference in seven categories.
During his 13 total years at WSC, the Mountaineers posted a 75-53 record, won at least a share of six RMAC titles and made four appearances in the national playoffs.
McGinn was a student-assistant coach at ASC in 1981 while finishing his bachelor's degree. He then took a coaching job at Loveland High School, where he was from 1982-84. Helping to lead the Indians to the 1982 state title, he then moved on to be a graduate assistant coach at Texas Christian University where he earned his master's degree in 1986. The 1977 graduate of Westminster High School also holds a master's degree from ASC.
McGinn and his wife Linda, whom he met while in Loveland, have two children; daughter Caitlin, 18; and son Zack, 15. He replaces Mike Moschetti, who departed from the program in December to pursue other interests.
Sewell is famously known to Denver Broncos fans in southern Colorado, having played for the Broncos from 1985 to 1992, including the Broncos’ Super Bowl seasons of 1986, 1987 and 1989. Since retiring in 1993, Sewell, a resident of Aurora, Colo., had slowly warmed up to coaching as his day job, having most recently been an assistant coach with the Grandview High School football team in Centennial, Colo.
Sewell, who had been the team’s offensive coordinator the past two seasons, was instrumental in Grandview’s 5A Colorado State Championship title in 2007. During Grandview’s state championship run, the Grandview offense was nearly unstoppable, averaging 332 yards of offense per game, including an average of 237 rushing yards per game. The state’s leading individual runner, Bo Bolen, tutored under Sewell, en route to a 2,291 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns.
In Sewell’s four seasons with the team, Grandview made the 5A state playoffs three of those four seasons, including a berth in the state semifinal in 2005.
“We are thrilled to add Steve to our staff,” Wristen said. “He brings a lot to our program, including great experience, rapport with young men and the experience of having played at the highest level and learning from the best football coaches in the game.”
As a player with the Broncos, Sewell had learned from some of the best, including current NFL head coaches Mike Shanahan (Broncos), Wade Phillips (Dallas Cowboys), and Mike Nolan (San Francisco 49ers), as well as former NFL head coaches Dan Reeves (Broncos) and Chan Gailey (Cowboys). As a player at the University of Oklahoma, Sewell was coached by Barry Switzer and current University of Texas head coach, Mack Brown, each of which won national championships at the collegiate level. Sewell also played alongside current Houston Texans head coach, Gary Kubiak, who was a backup quarterback for the Broncos during Sewell’s time with the team.
Sewell received his bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication from the University of Oklahoma in 1986. A California-native, Sewell graduated from Riordan High School in San Francisco in 1981. He is the father of three children: Samuel, Caleb and Calah.
Leomiti, a former Colorado University defensive standout and CU assistant, will also be a key recruiting specialist for the program.
“Donnell has all the tools to be a great coach at the collegiate level,” Wristen said. “As a player, he showed a great work ethic and he will bring that same dedication and commitment to the CSU-Pueblo football program."
Leomiti had been the defensive technical intern at CU since 2005. Leomiti arrived at the post after serving as a high school assistant coach from 1999-2004. He spent 1999 and 2000 at Denver North High School, and then followed that up with a four-year stint as linebackers coach at Boulder High School.
As a CU player, Leomiti was a member of many great teams in the mid-1990s. Starting out as a receiver at CU, he saw action in 11 games, including the Fiesta Bowl, as a true freshman in 1992. He moved to safety the following year, starting at strong safety as a junior and senior. He had 159 career tackles, including 98 as a senior (the third most on the team), along with three interceptions, three fumble recoveries and seven pass deflections. Two of his biggest plays came his junior year (1994): he returned an interception for a touchdown at Missouri and had a key fumble recovery in the fourth quarter at Michigan, a big play in the game now referred to as both “The Miracle in Michigan” and “The Catch.”
Born in Santa Ana, Calif., he graduated from Leone High School in Pavaiai, American Samoa, in 1992 where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. He was a two-time Ashaa League most valuable player on offense, earning the honor his junior and senior years. He is the father of two children, Donnell Jr., 11, and Siliaga, 10.
CSU-Pueblo's football program was cut in 1985 as part of a campus-wide reorganization plan. The ThunderWolves' football program, alongside wrestling and women's track and field, have been reinstated and will begin play in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in the fall of 2008.