FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Colorado State Head Coach Steve Fairchild on Wednesday moved quickly to fill an unexpected vacancy on his new football coaching staff, naming Anthoney Hill as running backs coach.
Curtis Modkins, hired Jan. 14 as offensive coordinator/running backs coach, joined the Kansas City Chiefs as running backs coach Wednesday. In the NFL, Modkins will coach with new Chiefs offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, who originally hired Modkins as a Georgia Tech assistant in 2002.
“Certainly we are sad to see Curtis leave,” Fairchild said, “but this is a good opportunity for him. It speaks highly of the quality of individuals we have attracted to Colorado State, that an NFL team would be interested in a member of our staff.”
To replace Modkins, Fairchild Wednesday made Greg Peterson offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach, in addition to his recruiting coordinator responsibilities. Quarterbacks coach Daren Wilkinson will work closely with Peterson in coordinating recruiting.
Hill, 36, returns to his alma mater from his hometown, where he was head football coach at San Diego High School in 2007.
Since leaving Colorado State after the ’94 season as one of the most exciting players in program history, Hill played professionally one year (1995) for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League, then served as an assistant coach at University City (1996-97) and La Jolla (2001-02, 2005-06) high schools. At the college level, he has worked with wide receivers as a student assistant coach and peer mentor at Colorado State (1998) and for two seasons (2003-04) he was offensive coordinator/tight ends coach at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, Calif. All told, Hill has seven years of coaching experience at the high school level, including last season as a head coach, and three years as a college assistant.
As a senior in 1994 at Colorado State, where his position coach was Fairchild and the wide receivers coach was Urban Meyer, Hill led the Rams to a storybook 10-2 season. The quarterback guided CSU to a berth opposite Michigan in the Holiday Bowl, a No. 14 ranking in the final USA Today/CNN coaches poll and a No. 16 slot in the season-ending Associated Press rankings.
That season the Rams were in the nation’s Top 10 in five straight polls entering the Holiday Bowl. Hill guided an opportunistic offense to a 21-16 win at No. 4/6 Arizona (Oct. 8), throwing two TD passes against the Wildcats’ vaunted “Desert Swarm” defense, as well as wins over two other ranked opponents, No. 18/10 BYU and No. 23/23 Wyoming – each on the road. All told in 1994, he completed 154 of 290 passes (53.1 percent) for 2,552 yards and 16 TDs, while rushing for 163 yards on 93 attempts, with five TDs, and earned second-team all-conference honors.
“When Anthoney was here,” Fairchild said, “we proved that CSU could win 10 games, play in big bowl games and get into those national polls. We don’t have to prove that it can be done. It’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of people moving in the same direction, but we can get there again.”
A three-year starter (1992-94), Hill left CSU as the school’s career total offense leader (7,147 yards), surpassing Kelly Stouffer (6,680). His mark now ranks second after Bradlee Van Pelt (8,443) broke it in 2003. Hill also ranks tied for fourth with 37 career TD passes, and fifth in career passing yards (6,020).
With Hill’s ties to the San Diego area, the Rams hope his addition will bolster their recruiting presence in that region. A 1990 graduate of San Diego’s University City High School, Hill garnered second-team all-city and second-team all-conference recognition.
Hill has a bachelor’s degree in applied human sciences (Colorado State ’99).
Peterson enters his 25th season in the profession. He joined the Rams Jan. 14 from Washington State, where he spent the past two years (2006-07) as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator.
Before heading to Pullman, Wash., Peterson served 12 years under Bill Snyder at Kansas State, working with the wide receivers in some fashion each season. After one year as an offensive graduate assistant (1994), he was wide receivers coach from 1995-2005. He also coordinated recruiting for the Wildcats from 1999-2002, held the title of passing game coordinator from 1997-2002, and served as co-offensive coordinator from 2003-04.
Peterson coached at Idaho from 1992-93, tutoring wide receivers his first year and running backs in ‘93. At Eastern Oregon, he served as offensive coordinator and coached quarterbacks and receivers (1989-91), after coaching only the receivers for two years (1987-88). He spent two seasons (1984, 1986) as wide receivers coach at his alma mater, Nebraska Wesleyan, sandwiched around one campaign (1985) as a high school assistant in York, Neb.
Hill's coaching career
Colorado State, Running Backs, 2008-
San Diego High School, Head Coach, 2007
La Jolla (Calif.) High School, Assistant Coach, 2005-06
Southwestern (Calif.) College, Offensive Coordinator/Tight Ends, 2003-04
La Jolla (Calif.) High School, Assistant Coach, 2001-02
Colorado State, Student Assistant Coach/Peer Mentor,1998
University City High School, Assistant Coach, 1996-97