Rams prep for Saturday's scrimmage
Colorado State takes field for its second spring drills under Jim McElwain
Veteran NFL assistant joins Jim McElwain's staff
Rams take on new conference member Bulldogs on Homecoming Saturday
Rams also announce list of walk-ons
Tim Skipper at a glance...
*--served as interim defensive coordinator for the final three games of 2011
Prominent players coached
Playing career: LB at Fresno State, 1997-2000
Tim Skipper is in his second season on the Colorado State coaching staff in 2013 after joining the Rams on Jan. 5, 2012.
A versatile teacher, Skipper has coached on both sides of the ball and has served for all or parts of four seasons as a defensive coordinator.
In his first season with the Rams Skipper tutored junior LB Shaquil Barrett, who earned honorable mention All-Mountain West recognition, and redshirt-freshman LB Cory James, who was named second-team national all-freshman by Phil Steelefor his CSU freshman-record 7.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss. Overall, Skipper was part of a defensive coaching staff whose unit ranked fourth in the Mountain West in passing yards allowed (203.2) and 27th in the nation.
Skipper, 35, came to Fort Collins from Fresno State, where he spent six seasons. His first three years (2006-08) on Pat Hill's staff he served as running backs coach; he spent his final three campaigns (2009-11) as linebackers coach. Skipper was the team's interim defensive coordinator for the final three games in 2011, and also coordinated the Bulldogs' run defense from 2009-11.
With Skipper at the reins of the defense during that three-game stretch in 2011, the Bulldogs allowed 9.7 fewer points per game than they had over the first 10 games, 70.1 fewer rushing yards, and 25.3 fewer total yards.
The Bulldogs advanced to four bowl games in Skipper's six seasons, largely due to his development of all-conference linebackers Ben Jacobs and Travis Brown, and explosive running backs Ryan Matthews, Dwayne Wright, Lonyae Miller and Clifton Smith.
Jacobs, after garnering first-team all-WAC honors in consecutive seasons, signed as a free agent with the Cleveland Browns in 2011. Likely a 2013 draft selection, Brown earned all-WAC accolades in both 2010 and '11, and second-team All-Mountain West in 2012.
In 2008, Skipper's final season as the Bulldogs' running backs coach, three of his players turned in games of 150-plus yards, including Mathews, who had ranked 10th in the country at the time of his October injury. The year before, Skipper molded Mathews into a freshman All-American in the player's first collegiate season, when he paced his class nationally in touchdowns (14). Mathews went on to garner All-America honors as a junior in 2009 before declaring himself eligible for the 2010 NFL Draft, in which the Chargers selected him in the first round, 12th overall. He topped the 1,000-yard barrier in 2011.
Including Mathews, an impressive five of Skipper's Fresno State backs advanced to the NFL, Lonyae Miller (Dallas Cowboys free agent, 2010), Dwayne Wright (fourth-round selection, Buffalo, 2007), Clifton Smith (Tampa Bay Buccaneers free agent, 2008) and FB Roshon Vercher (Arizona Cardinals free agent, 2008). Smith used his exceptional return skills to earn second-team All-Pro honors and a trip to the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2008.
With McElwain as offensive coordinator in 2007, Skipper's players averaged 4.7 yards per carry and, with 204.67 rushing yards per game, ranked No. 16 in the nation, helping the Bulldogs advance to the Humanitarian Bowl opposite Georgia Tech. During the stretch run, over the season's final four contests, Fresno State averaged 227.0 rushing yards, including 286 in a decisive 40-28 triumph over the ACC's Yellow Jackets. Four of his players that year, Miller, Smith, Mathews and Anthony Harding, had 100-yard games.
In his first season on Fresno State's staff, his top player in 2006 was Wright, who finished as the nation's sixth-best rusher, with 1,462 yards and 11 touchdowns. Vercher paved the way.
Before returning to his alma mater, Skipper spent the previous three seasons (2003-05) at Sacramento State. The Hornets' defensive coordinator in 2004 and '05, he also guided the team's secondary all three seasons. In 2004, his initial campaign at the reins of the defense, Sac State produced the Big Sky Conference leaders in tackles (Jimmy Ellingson), sacks (Jacob Houston) and interceptions (Ramon Payne), as well as Matt Logue, an All-American who finished his career as the school's career leader with 47 tackles for loss.
Skipper followed his father's footsteps and entered the coaching profession in 2001, as the secondary coach at Division II Western New Mexico. After his first year with the Mustangs, he earned defensive-coordinator responsibilities prior to the 2002 campaign.
A four-year starter for Hill and Fresno State at middle linebacker from 1997-2000, he excelled despite playing as one of the smallest at his position, earning an appearance on both the 1999 and 2000 watch lists of the Butkus Award, presented annually to the nation's top linebacker. A two-year defensive captain and three-time all-WAC selection, he still ranks second in school annals with 418 career tackles, including 117 in his first campaign, when he earned freshman All-America recognition. Voted the team's most inspirational player as a senior in 2000, he guided the Bulldogs to the Silicon Valley Football Classic, in which they narrowly lost a classic battle to Air Force. In 1999 he helped Fresno State to a share of the WAC championship and a berth in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Born April 15, 1978, in New Orleans, La., Skipper graduated from Bonnabel High School in Kenner, La. He comes from a family of coaches. His father, Jim, has coached for four decades, including several NFL years with current Denver Broncos head coach John Fox in Carolina and time in the USFL, XFL and NCAA; he began his second stint as the Carolina Panthers' running backs coach in 2013. Tim's brother, Kelly, has been in the profession since 1989 and currently coaches running backs for the Oakland Raiders. Kelly was an All-America RB at Fresno State.
A Dean's List student and WAC Scholar Athlete, Tim graduated from Fresno State in 2001 with a degree in communications. He is single.