Daren Wilkinson at a glance...
Prominent Players Coached
Daren Wilkinson returned to his alma mater as quarterbacks coach on Jan. 14, 2008. He marks his 15th season as a college coach in 2009.
Wilkinson, 39, coaches the Rams' quarterbacks, his former position at CSU, and serves as the team's assistant recruiting coordinator. His primary recruiting areas are Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Colorado's Front Range League, which includes three Fort Collins high schools. He's also the program's liaison to academic support services and the university faculty, as well as the housing coordinator.
Another former Sonny Lubick player on the Rams' staff, Wilkinson came back to Fort Collins from South Dakota State, where he was offensive coordinator and coached quarterbacks and wide receivers for four seasons (2004-07).
In 2007, the I-AA Jackrabbits went undefeated in conference play to capture the Great West Football Conference title; five of their seven wins were against foes that were ranked at some point during the '07 campaign. The school led its conference in wins from 2004-07, over Wilkinson's tenure there. The GWFC was formed in 2004.
Wilkinson spent three years (2001-03) coaching wide receivers and coordinating the passing game at Fayetteville (N.C.) State. The school won consecutive conference championships and finished 2002 as the No. 15 team in the country, after earning a berth in the Division II playoffs. At FSU, the team had an all-conference receiver each of his three years, including a pair of first-team selections in Elliot London and Andregus Holmes. Each of those three years was a winning campaign; the school had only eight such seasons in its history before 2001.
Prior to his time in Fayetteville, he was offensive coordinator (2000) and quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator (1999) at Eastern Arizona. In 2000, the school upset Snow College, then the No. 2 team in the nation.
But his foundation in college football, both as a player and coach, was at Colorado State under Lubick. He began his coaching career as a Rams offensive graduate assistant from 1997-98, culminating that '97 season with a Holiday Bowl victory over Missouri. In that role, he worked with every offensive position, including time with Moses Moreno and Matt Newton, a pair of eventual conference Offensive Players of the Year.
Like Steve Fairchild a former junior-college transfer who started as a CSU quarterback, Wilkinson started seven games for the Rams in 1995. During that junior year, he helped the Rams to a share of the WAC championship. He did not play as a senior in 1996, when Moreno emerged as an eventual Western Athletic Conference offensive MVP.
The College Sports magazine Junior College Player of the Year in 1994, Wilkinson was a second-team JC All-American at Ricks Junior College (now BYU-Idaho). He went 21-1 as a starter, including an 11-0 mark in 1994, when he threw for more than 3,000 yards, before transferring to Colorado State.
Wilkinson grew up in Valley Center, Calif., where he competed at Orange Glen High School. A two-sport athlete, he lettered in both basketball and football, earning second-team all-conference honors on the gridiron.
Born Feb. 11, 1972, in Corona, Calif., Daren and his wife, Ann, have three children, Alexa, Macy and Jet. He owns two degrees from Colorado State, a bachelor's in psychology ('97) and a master's in education ('99).