McElwain high on tight ends
Colorado State takes field for its second spring drills under Jim McElwain
Rams to face Spartans in first true road game of 2012
Registration continues for June, July summer camps
Head coach, coordinators hold press conference to preview spring ball
McElwain, Baldwin, English, Simmons and Hammerschmidt talk about what they want to accomplish this spring.
Jeff Hammerschmidt at a glance...
Prominent players coached
Playing career: DB at Arizona, 1987-90.
Jeff Hammerschmidt is in his second season at Colorado State as special teams coordinator and running backs coach. Hired by Jim McElwain Feb. 7, 2012, the 2013 season marks his 22nd in coaching.
Colorado State punter Pete Kontodiakos earned his third consecutive All-Mountain West award under Hammerschmidt's guidance in 2012, and his first as a first-teamer, while sophomore kicker Jared Roberts earned second-team All-MW honors in his first year of play. Kontodiakos as a senior ranked third in the nation in punting with a school-record average of 46.5, and was named Mountain West special teams players of the week for games of Nov. 10. Roberts also earned a Mountain West player of the week honor en route a 56-point season on 9-of-10 field-goal accuracy and 29-of-31 on PATs.
Hammerschmidt's running backs also excelled in 2012, with two different players producing a total of five individual 100-yard rushing games (Donnell Alexander--3; Chris Nwoke--2). Those performances came in the last five games of the season, a period in which the Rams as a team averaged169.6 yards per game after netting an average of 99.7 over the first seven games.
Hammerschmidt came to Colorado State from Arizona, where he'd served as special teams coordinator and defensive ends coach for four seasons (2008-11), helping the Wildcats to the Las Vegas, Holiday and Alamo bowls. A standout defensive back for the Wildcats in his playing days, his players during his second stint at Arizona totaled eight all-conference selections: PK John Bonano in 2011, DE Brooks Reed and DE Ricky Elmore in 2010, Elmore in 2009, PK Jason Bondzio and P Keenyn Crier in 2009, and Reed in and PR Mike Thomas in 2008.
Two of his defensive ends, Reed and Elmore, were selected in the 2011 NFL Draft. Elmore led the Pac-10 with 11 sacks in 2010, while Reed compiled 8½ to help the Wildcats finish third in the league. Hammerschmidt also coached the Pac-12's leading punter in 2011, Kyle Dugandzic.
Hammerschmidt had returned to Arizona after a trio of one-year stops at San Jose State (linebackers in 2007), Stanford (special teams/outside LBs in 2006) and Cal Poly (linebackers in 2005). At SJSU he coached first-team all-WAC selection Matt Castelo.
The San Diego-area product caught the attention of many observers during a two-year term (2003-04) at Montana, where he guided the Grizzlies to a berth in the 2004 Division I-AA national championship on the strength of 38 takeaways, tied for second in the country. The year before, Montana owned the nation's fifth-best rushing defense.
Hammerschmidt made the jump to Montana after three seasons (2000-03) as defensive coordinator at St. Mary's, which disbanded football in 2003.
Prior to that, he served two seasons (1998-99) in the Big Ten, as Cam Cameron's special team coordinator and outside linebackers coach at Indiana. With the Hoosiers, he coached three future NFL starters: Adewale Ogunleye, Kris Dielman and on special teams Antwaan Randle El.
Hammerschmidt had left his alma mater to become a first-time coordinator, taking the defensive reins at Southern Utah from 1996-97, while also coaching the Thunderbirds' defensive line and linebackers.
Recruited to play at Arizona by Tomey in the mid-1980s, Hammerschmidt launched his coaching career under his mentor at Arizona as a graduate assistant in 1992. Promoted to safeties coach the following season, he helped the Desert Swarm defense vault to No. 9 in the final 1993 rankings after a 29-0 Fiesta Bowl triumph over Miami (Fla.). Hammerschmidt coached the team's entire secondary from 1994-95.
During his first stint as an Arizona coach, his star pupil was consensus All-America safety Tony Bouie. Another safety, Brandon Sanders, was a two-time all-Pac-10 performer.
A four-year letterman, three-year starting safety and first-team all-Pac-10 selection at Arizona, Hammerschmidt was semifinalist for the 1989 Jim Thorpe Award. After beginning his career as an occasional option quarterback in 1987, he garnered Pac-10 Player of the Week honors in 1989 after helping the Wildcats to a 6-3 victory over No. 6 Oklahoma. Signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Rams in 1991, he played for the Frankfurt Galaxy of the World League in 1992 before embarking on his coaching career.
A product of San Diego's Helix High School, which later produced both the No. 1 and No. 2 overall selections in the NFL Draft, he followed in the footsteps of Chuck Cecil in signing with Arizona.
The brother of former Colorado safety and longtime assistant coach Dan Hammerschmidt, Jeff and his wife Felicity have two children, Bryn and Bode. He owns a bachelor's degree in sociology from Arizona ('91).