Colorado School of Mines burst onto the college football radar when West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen credited Orediggers coach Bob Stitt with the fly-sweep play that helped the Mountaineers run away from Clemson in a 70-33 Orange Bowl win.
"My 7 year-old just looked at me and his eyes were as big as saucers," Stitt told Bruce Feldman the morning after the game. "My phone just starts blowing up with texts. I got about 30 in about 15 seconds."
Stitt, as well as the D-II football program, have been well-covered in the 20 months since that game. As attendees of the "One-Back Clinic" have moved up in the coaching ranks, fans everywhere have become more aware of the Stitt and the Orediggers.
Earlier this week, the school announced a school-record fundraising total of $35.4 million for the 2013 fiscal year. Included in the future plans for Colorado School of Mines is a $21 million, 5,000-seat stadium to replace the current 90-year-old structure. Plans for the new building include new training facilities, coaches' offices, event space for school use and new locker rooms.
"The locker rooms we have now, they were built for an era when centers weighed 200 pounds -- now there just isn't enough room," Dan Fox, the school's dean of students and vice president of student life, told the Denver Post.
The new stadium is expected to open in 2015, mean the Orediggers will have to play the 2014 season at another location while construction is ongoing.
Colorado School of Mines opens the 2013 season on Saturday against South Dakota Mines.
Stitt, the school's winningest coach, continues to receive praise for his offensive creativity. Unfortunately, the Orediggers finished last season 6-5 after starting the year ranked in the AFCA Top 25.
What can you say? sometimes Stitt happens.