FORT COLLINS, Colo.-Colorado State head football coach Jim McElwain announced Wednesday the hire of longtime NFL and college assistant coach Art Valero to be the Rams' new tight ends coach. In addition, offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin will add the title of quarterbacks coach, while linebackers coach Tim Skipper will add the designation of assistant head coach to his title.
"I am thrilled to be able to attract a coach of Art Valero's caliber to our coaching staff," McElwain said. "The response I received from interested candidates shows the word is out in our industry about where our program is headed, and what great leadership and vision we have here at Colorado State to continue our pursuit of excellence in every area."
McElwain also emphasized the experience and strength of the coaching staff in elaborating on the additional responsibilities given to Baldwin and Skipper.
"Dave Baldwin has an outstanding track record developing quarterbacks who have gone on to play in the NFL, and as our offensive coordinator this is a natural progression to have him add quarterbacks coach to his duties." McElwain said. "Tim Skipper is an excellent football coach and a very valuable member of our staff, who has a terrific handle on the team."
Valero spent 10 seasons coaching in the NFL, most recently as assistant offensive line coach for the Tennessee Titans in 2011, following a one-year stint coaching the offensive line for NFC West champion Seattle in 2010. Prior to his year in Seattle he spent two seasons with the St. Louis Rams, serving as assistant head coach/running backs in 2008 and assistant offensive line coach in 2009.
"I am blessed and extremely excited to be a member of the CSU family," Valero said. "The passion and desire to be the very best makes this a perfect fit."
From 2002-07 Valero served on the coaching staff of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under head coach Jon Gruden. He was hired to his first NFL position in 2002, coaching the tight ends for a Buccaneers team that went on to win Super Bowl XXXVII vs. Oakland. He coached the tight ends again in 2003 before moving to running backs coach for the 2004-07 seasons, with the addition of the assistant head coach title for the final two seasons.
Under Valero's direction Buccaneers running back Carnell (Cadillac) Williams earned NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2005, rushing for a team rookie-record 1,178 yards. In 2007, his unit amassed the sixth-best rushing total in franchise history with 1,872 yards. In his six years with the Bucs, the team won the NFC South three times.
Before his tenure in the NFL, Valero coached the college game for 21 years, all as offensive line or assistant head coach. Valero spent four years (1998-01) as assistant head coach/offensive line at Louisville, where he and McElwain coached alongside one another for two years, when McElwain coached wide receivers and special teams. At Louisville Valero played a key role in guiding one of the NCAA's most explosive offenses, ranking No. 1 in the nation in total offense in 1998.
Prior to his tenure at Louisville, Valero served as assistant head coach/offensive line at Utah State for three seasons (1995-97) and handled the same roles at Idaho before that (1990-94). He added the responsibility of offensive coordinator for his final season in 1994 and guided the Vandals to the top total offense, scoring and rushing numbers in the conference. During Valero's tenure, the Vandals posted a combined record of 44-18, made four appearances in the national collegiate Division I-AA playoffs and produced four 1,000-yard rushers.
Valero began his coaching career at his alma mater, Boise State, from 1981-82, and followed that with coaching stops Iowa State (1983), Long Beach State (1984-86) and New Mexico (1987-89), all as offensive line coach.
Born May 12, 1958, in Whittier, Calif., Valero was a two-time letterwinner along the offensive line at Boise State in 1979 and '80 where he played on the 1980 NCAA I-AA national championship squad.
Valero is a 1981 graduate of Boise State with a degree in sociology and psychology. He and his wife, Alicia, have five children, sons Kyle and Brandon, and daughters Kimberly, Alexa and Cami.