|Title:||Offensive Line/Run Game Coordinator|
Chris Symington is entering his fifth season as CSU-Pueblo’s offensive line coach and run game coordinator.
Symington, potentially the most influential assistant coach in the history of the CSU-Pueblo football program, has saw his unit produce four All-Americans, six all-region selections and one Gene Upshaw Award finalist in just four seasons.
Under Symington’s direction, CSU-Pueblo’s offensive line has established itself as one of the top units in the country. In 2012, the CSU-Pueblo offensive line boasted two All-Americans (Ryan Jensen and Jonathan Jones), three all-region selections (Jensen, Jones, and Bryce Givens) and opened up lanes for a stable of backs that saw four different runners have at least one 100-yard rushing game throughout the season. As a result, Jensen, a Symington protege, received an invite to the Texas vs. the Nation Bowl, one of the top Division I senior bowls in the nation.
In 2011, two ThunderWolf offensive linemen (Ryan Jensen and J.T. Haddan) were named All-American while a third (Jonathan Jones) earned All-Super Region honors during the ThunderWolves’ 11-0 RMAC Championship season.
Upon his arrival to the program in 2009, he directed the nation’s most improved running game, turning a unit that ranked in the bottom 10 nationally in rushing yards in 2008 into the nation’s 14th-best running attack in 2009. Amazingly, the Pack running game accomplished this with two sophomores in the backfield and all true or redshirt freshmen on the offensive line.
His unit followed it up with a repeat performance in 2010, ranked 16th in the nation and helping elevate Jesse Lewis as a Harlon Hill Award finalist. In 2011, the ThunderWolves’ line enabled Lewis to get a repeat Harlon Hill Award finalist honor as well as an RMAC Freshman of the Year nod for tailback J.B. Mathews.
Symington brought 25 years of experience as a player and coach to the ThunderWolves, much of it at the Division-I level. He had served as the offensive line coach at Eastern Michigan from 2003-2008, helping the Eagles’ offense to record the most total yards in school history in 2008 and put up some of the most prolific rushing yardage numbers in the history of the program.
Prior to his time at Eastern Michigan, Symington had held offensive line coaching posts at numerous universities, including Tennessee State (2000-03), Western Kentucky (1996-99), and Vanderbilt (1990-94). From 1995-96, Symington was the offensive coordinator at the Division-II level with Northwood (Mich.) University.
An offensive lineman at the University of Colorado from 1984-88, Symington was named the Freedom Bowl Most Valuable Player in 1985, was the team’s offensive player of the year in 1987, and was an all-Big 8 honorable mention selection. Prior to obtaining his first coaching position as a graduate assistant at CU alongside current CSU-Pueblo head coach Wristen, Symington signed a free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1988.
Symington and his wife, Marti, have six children: Adam, Jessica, Blair, Jackson, Mary Grace and Stuart, as well as four grandchildren.