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CU Buffs’ Curtis Chiaverini following in father’s footsteps

Son of CU offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini working as student-assistant coach

BOULDER, Colo. – April 7, 2021: Colorado offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini, right, with his son and Buffaloes’ student assistant Curtis Chiaverini during the Buffaloes’ spring football practice on Wednesday in Boulder. (University of Colorado Athletics)
BOULDER, Colo. – April 7, 2021: Colorado offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini, right, with his son and Buffaloes’ student assistant Curtis Chiaverini during the Buffaloes’ spring football practice on Wednesday in Boulder. (University of Colorado Athletics)
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For three years, Darrin Chiaverini had the opportunity to coach his son at Colorado.

Working with him on a new level the past year has been another memorable experience for the Buffaloes’ veteran offensive coordinator/receivers coach.

Curtis Chiaverini is entering his second season as a student-assistant coach.

“It’s been a blessing, man,” Darrin said. “It’s been really, really a blessing.”

Darrin, who played receiver at CU from 1995-98 before playing in the NFL, returned to the Buffs as co-offensive coordinator in 2016. At the time, Curtis was still in high school. A two-time all-league player in high school, Curtis helped Valor Christian win the Class 5A state title in 2016.

Curtis earned a walk-on opportunity with the Buffs and played in seven games over the course of his three seasons (2017-19) as a player.

Last summer, Curtis, who has had a goal of becoming a coach, elected to move out of uniform and into the coaching realm, helping Darrin with the receivers.

“I always knew that he was a smart player, but now that he’s coaching with me, he has a really bright future,” Darrin said. “He really understands football. He understands concepts and schemes. He knows how to talk to players and he demands their respect, and you can tell the players respond to him in that sense.”

Darrin and Curtis have always been close and that bond is at a new level now that they’re working together as coaches.

“He does a good job with me on the sideline,” Darrin said. “We’ll talk about things in the game and talk about things just when we’re at the house and he’s got a really good football mind.”

After playing professionally for eight years, Darrin, 43, got into coaching in his late 20s. He’s now entering his 15th season as a college coach.

With Curtis getting into the business earlier, Darrin likes the potential he sees in his son.

“I’m excited for him and his future,” Darrin said. “He’ll make his own name in this business, for sure.”

Curtis, a communications major with a minor in leadership studies, has already walked at CU’s graduation, but he has one class remaining for the fall so he can return as a student coach.

Roster evolution

In Darrin’s first year on the CU staff, in 2016, the Buffs won the Pac-12 South division and went 10-4 under then-head coach Mike MacIntyre.

That year, however, came out of nowhere and hasn’t been repeated. The Buffs were last in the South the five years before that and no better than fifth in the three years after (2017-19).

Last year, with Karl Dorrell at the helm, the Buffs went 4-2 and placed second in the South. Although 2020 was a COVID-19 pandemic-shortened year, Darrin said signs are there that the Buffs are turning a corner with the talent on the roster.

“I definitely can see us getting there, especially like on the offensive line,” he said. “I do think the overall depth of the total roster, like from offense and defense, just being here for six years, I see it getting more consistent.

“I think in order for you to win at a high level consistently, you have to have depth overall and you have to be able to kind of build your classes, year in and year out and not just really live in the (transfer) portal or live in the junior college world, as well. You want to recruit and develop high school talent.”

To that point, the Buffs are having a very busy month on the recruiting trail. With the recruiting “dead period” lifted on June 1, CU has had 21 prep players take official visits to Boulder already this month and another 10 are scheduled to visit during the next two weekends.