Sources: Kent State’s Lewis to Colorado as OC

The on-field id of Deion Sanders’ Colorado program took kind as we speak, as sources instructed ESPN that the Buffaloes are hiring Kent State head coach Sean Lewis to be the staff’s offensive coordinator.

As Kent State’s head coach and playcaller, Lewis developed a definite id — whiplash tempo, fast snaps and wide-open offenses. His offense is a descendent of the old-school Baylor offense, which helped make devastating tempo vogue in faculty soccer greater than a decade in the past.

This 12 months, Kent State completed with the quickest offense within the Group of 5 and the fourth-fastest offense in faculty soccer. According to ESPN Stats & Information analysis, it averaged 30.1 seconds of actual time between snaps.

Sources instructed ESPN that one of many appeals of Lewis working in Colorado was that breakneck tempo, mixed with the altitude in Boulder, will wreak havoc on opposing defenses.

Lewis’ constancy to tempo led to top-of-the-line runs of soccer in latest generations at Kent State. His success there belies his file (24-31), as he received this system’s first-ever bowl recreation and reached the MAC title recreation final 12 months. That was simply the second MAC title recreation in class historical past.

Lewis’ offenses at Kent completed within the prime 5 in complete offense in each 2021 and 2020. In 2020, the Golden Flashes led the nation in scoring (49.8 factors per recreation) when Kent State performed a MAC-only schedule within the COVID-19-shortened season. It’s not simply wide-open passing both, as Kent was No. 3 nationally in speeding offense final season.

Sanders proved to be a prolific recruiter at Jackson State; Travis Hunter, the No. 2 general recruit within the ESPN 300 final 12 months, selected Jackson State over Georgia and Florida State. If Sanders can draw elite athletes to Boulder, Lewis’ system ought to be capable to spotlight them.

“It makes sense,” mentioned a MAC coach who has confronted Lewis. “They’ll be able to get players and play in a wide-open passing attack. They’ll be explosive, athletic and attacking. I think anytime you’re dealing with altitude, no matter what system you run, it’s something you have to adapt to. I think it fits a little bit of the wide-open attacking Pac-12 type of offenses. They should be able to attract guys who want to play in that type of system offensively.”

Lewis performed tight finish and quarterback at Wisconsin underneath offensive coordinator Paul Chryst, an uncommon incubator for a hyper-tempo offense. He began early in his teaching profession at Eastern Illinois with Dino Babers, who’s a former Baylor assistant and handed on the high-octane offense to Lewis. Lewis was additionally on the employees throughout Jimmy Garoppolo’s tenure at Eastern Illinois.

From there, Lewis adopted Babers to Bowling Green within the MAC and Syracuse within the ACC, climbing to offensive coordinator and steeping himself in tempo offense.

Lewis was the youngest head coach within the nation when he received the Kent job at age 31 in December 2017. His success in 5 seasons at Kent has been so appreciated by the administration there {that a} supply instructed ESPN they purpose to maintain an identical up-tempo type, because it’s enjoyable to look at, fan-friendly and straightforward to recruit to.

Kent State officers are appreciative of the momentum Lewis helped create and plan to make use of the $750,000 buyout Colorado can pay to rent Lewis to proceed to complement this system. Kent State has lengthy been one of many MAC’s most difficult jobs, as Lewis’ two bowl appearances there matched the whole within the historical past of a program that started in 1962.

At the core of Lewis’ tenure was a forging of a definite id, and it is one which’s simple to see why it might be engaging to a program the place Sanders guarantees to usher in a large swath of five-stars recruits and elite ability gamers.

“They’ll play with pace and tempo and try and spread the field all 53 and a third,” mentioned one other MAC coach. “It’s a dynamic system if they can get a quarterback recruited that can run it.”

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