Tom Ehlers
Tom  Ehlers

Director of Football Operations

Years in athletics:
36th (32nd at CSU)


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Tom Ehlers at a glance...

  • Began his long relationship with the university as a player in 1980.
  • Started four years for the Rams on both offensive and defensive lines, and won the WAC Scholar Athlete Award in 1984.
  • His 16 seasons as an assistant coach at Colorado State (1989-2004) was the longest tenure by an assistant in school history. During that time he tutored 12 all-conference performers, including Joey Porter, Bryan Save, Clark Haggans, Adrian Ross, Brady Smith, Sean Moran and Steve Hodge.
  • Began a new role as director of football operations, overseeing the logistics and administration of the football program, prior to the 2005 season.
  • Played for, or has been on staff with each of the Rams' last eight head coaches: Sark Arslanian, Chester Caddas (interim), Leon Fuller, Earle Bruce, Sonny Lubick, Steve Fairchild, Jim McElwain and Mike Bobo.

Career Background

Seasons Team/School Title/Position Coached
1985-87 Oregon State University Graduate Assistant Coach
1987 University of Arizona Graduate Assistant Coach
1987-88 Brown University Defensive Line Coach
1989-04 Colorado State University Defensive Line Coach
2005- Colorado State University Director of Football Operations

One of Colorado State's most passionate individuals, Tom Ehlers is in his 31st overall season in the Rams athletic department, and his 35th year overall in college athletics.

After a long career as a Rams student-athlete and assistant football coach, Ehlers took on a new role prior to the 2005 season, assuming supervision over the football program's logistics, administration and overall operations.

Originally a competitor on the gridiron as a four-year starter on the Rams' offensive and defensive lines, he began a new career after his playing career, channeling his gregarious enthusiasm into the coaching profession. And now, including his chapter as director of operations, his tenure as a member of the football staff is the longest by an assistant in school history.

During his coaching career, he tutored 12 all-conference performers, including Bryan Save (2003), Peter Hogan (2001, '02), Clark Haggans (1999), Joey Porter (1998), Adrian Ross (1997), Brady Smith (1994, '95), Sean Moran (1994, '95), Steve Norton (1993), and Steve Hodge (1993).

Six of the players he formerly coached ranked in the top 10 in quarterback sacks, including Haggans (first), Smith (second), Porter (fourth), Hodge (tie, seventh), Ross (tie, seventh), and Moran (ninth).

In 2003, defensive tackles Bryan Save, Lavell Mann and Chris Kiffin all ranked among the conference leaders in quarterback sacks. In 2002, Peter Hogan was a first-team all-conference selection.

Porter, a former NFL star, was a first-team all-conference performer in 1998 and played in two postseason all-star games before finishing his career with the Arizona Cardinals in 2012. In 2013 Porter began a coaching career as an undergraduate assistant at CSU while completing his bachelor's degree, and in 2014 was hired by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Porter earned all-pro honors and won a Super Bowl in 2005 as a member of the Steelers, and also played for the Miami Dolphins.

Ross was a two-time first-team all-conference selection in 1996 and '97 and played in the Hula Bowl following his senior season. He later played six years in the NFL as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Smith and Moran each earned first-team honors in 1994 and '95. Smith was the conference's defensive player of the year in 1995. Both played extensively in the NFL.

Haggans initially played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and was a member of the team's Super Bowl championship team before signing with Arizona, which went to the Super Bowl in his first season there, and then San Francisco, with whom he went to another Super Bowl in 2012.

Ehlers also was responsible for recruiting Gartrell Johnson, who finished his CSU career with the second-most prolific rushing season in program annals. Ehlers formerly served as a defensive line coach at Oregon State (1985-86) as a graduate assistant for the Beavers. In 1987, hewas a graduate assistant working with the defensive line at the University of Arizona.

As a player at Colorado State (1980-84), Ehlers was a four-year starter and letterwinner. He played offensive line and defensive line and was a WAC Scholar-Athlete Award Winner in 1984. On three occasions, he earned academic all-WAC honors.

Born July 10, 1962, in Riverside, Calif., he and his wife Laurie have three children, Annie, Christine and Timothy, and make their home in Fort Collins.

Ehlers graduated from Colorado State in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in business administration, before earning an MBA from Oregon State ('86).

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