Pat Shurmur has been named Colorado's full-time offensive coordinator, the school announced Thursday. The move comes after Deion Sanders handed Shurmur play-calling duties for the Buffaloes over the final four games of the 2023 season as first-year coach Deion Sanders sought an offensive spark.
Shurmur, 58, is a veteran of the NFL coaching ranks who joined Sanders' staff as an analyst last season after two years as offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos. He was named the co-offensive coordinator in November, taking play-calling duties from Sean Lewis, who remained on staff even after the demotion. Lewis has since landed the head coaching job at San Diego State, making Shurmur the natural in-house choice to be the full-time offensive coordinator in 2024 as the Buffs seek to build on last year's 4-8 campaign.
"We're not gonna demean Sean Lewis," Sanders said in November after elevating Shurmur. "We're not gonna do that. We're not gonna take that tone. Sean is a good man. I think he's a good play-caller. We just needed change at the time. We just needed to try something else at the time, and that's what we did. I don't look back on it. I don't second-guess myself whatsoever, because it's more to it than what you may know."
Colorado's struggles continued even after the change, but Sanders ultimately pinned most of the offense's troubles on ineffective line play. To that end, the Buffaloes also announced Phil Loadholt as their new offensive line coach Thursday after he served in analyst roles for Ole Miss and Oklahoma over the past four years.
The revamped offensive staff will be charged with getting the most of promising quarterback Shedeur Sanders, who passed for 3,230 yards, 27 touchdowns and just three interceptions last season. Sanders, the son of Deion Sanders, is regarded as a potential future NFL quarterback.