Mike Bobo is in his fifth season as head coach at Colorado State in 2019, having been appointed by CSU President Dr. Tony Frank on Dec. 23, 2014, as the 22nd head coach in program history. In his four seasons at the helm Bobo has guided the Rams to three bowl appearances and led some of the most prolific offenses in Colorado State history. His teams have re-written the school's record books and produced a number of NFL talents, including 2018 Dallas Cowboys third-round draft choice Michael Gallup.
The former Georgia Bulldog came to Fort Collins from his alma mater, where he had been a record-breaking starting quarterback and spent 16 seasons coaching, including the last eight (2007-14) as offensive coordinator.
Bobo is the only head coach in Colorado State history to lead his teams to bowl games in each of his first three seasons, and joins Sonny Lubick as the only two to coach the Rams in multiple bowl games in their careers. The Rams' offense has been explosive throughout Bobo’s four years as head coach, with his teams ranking in the Top 10 in school history for yards-per-game in each season, including the school record of 492.5 in 2017.
In four years with Mike Bobo as head coach, Colorado State has registered six touchdown drives of 96-99 yards, three of which came in the 2018 season. That success includes two 99-yard scoring marches, one of 98 yards and three that have stretched 96 yards. In addition, under Bobo the Rams have topped the 500-yard mark in 18 games, and the 600-yard mark six times. The Rams' 653 yards in the 2018 season opener against Hawai'i were the fifth-most in a game in school history.
Bobo's Rams have posted three of the top seven scoring seasons in CSU history and four of the top six figures for passing touchdowns in a season. In 2018 the Rams' 26 touchdowns passes--from two different quarterbacks--ranked fourth in the record books, and CSU ranked 13th among all FBS programs in passing offense (304.9). Despite scoring offense being down and the running game dropping off after the departures of seniors on the offensive line and at running back, Bobo's Rams still managed the 10th-best offensive season in CSU history in 2018, averaging 410.5 yards per game.
Wide receiver Preston Williams and punter Ryan Stonehouse earned second-team All-America honors from Sporting News in 2018, and both earned first-team All-Mountain West while linebacker Josh Watson was named to the second team.
The 2017 Rams finished the season with a 7-6 record and ranked 11th in all of FBS in total offense (492.5). CSU also ranked second in third-down conversions (50.3%) and eighth in first downs (25.1), also both school records.
Five Rams earned All-Mountain West honors in 2017, including first-team selections Jake Bennett (C), Michael Gallup (WR), Zack Golditch (T) and Nick Stevens (QB), and second-team selection Dalyn Dawkins (RB). Gallup was a consensus All-American (just the fourth in CSU history) and was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award.
In 2016 Bobo became the first head coach in CSU history to lead the Rams to a bowl game in each of his first two seasons. In both 2015 and 2016 his Rams steadily improved and finished strong, highlighted by a 7-1 record in November games over his first two seasons, including a 4-1 mark on the road. The 2016 Rams closed the regular season winning four of their last five games, and five of their last seven, to finish the regular season at 7-5 for the second year in a row.
The Rams' offense fueled the late-season surge, averaging 47.8 points and 533.8 yards per game over the last six contests, including the bowl game. Those figures ranked second and fourth, respectively, among all FBS programs from Oct. 16 through the remainder of the season. CSU ranked fourth in the nation in red-zone scoring (94.6%), 28th in scoring offense (35.3) and 30th in total offense (462.5).
Five Rams earned All-Mountain West recognition, including three first-team selections: Gallup, punter Hayden Hunt and guard Fred Zerblis. Second-team honors went to Bennett and linebacker Kevin Davis, while tackle Nick Callender, QB Stevens and guard Paul Thurston received honorable mention.
In 2015 Bobo became the only head coach in program history to win seven regular season games in his first season at the helm. Bobo’s Rams won four games in a row, and five out of six, to close the 2015 regular season, securing CSU’s third consecutive bowl invitation en route to a 7-6 record. CSU’s four wins in the season’s final month marked the first undefeated November by a Rams team since 1948, and included three road wins--at Wyoming in his first “Border War,” at New Mexico and at Fresno State.
Five Rams earned All-MW in 2015, including Hunt, who was one of three finalists for the Ray Guy Award. CSU ranked fourth in the FBS in net punting average (42.0) and 17th in kickoff return average (25.1). Bobo’s Rams were one of only two FBS schools to have three running backs each record at least one game with 140 or more rushing yards (Dawkins, Izzy Matthews and Jasen Oden, Jr.) and quarterback Stevens set passing records for a CSU sophomore with 2,679 yards through the air and 21 touchdowns (fifth-most in school history).
Bobo’s 14-year stint at Georgia, where he had starred at quarterback in the late 1990s, began in January 2001 when head coach Mark Richt hired him as quarterbacks coach, for his second stint with the school. He was promoted by Richt to offensive coordinator in 2007. During his time at UGA, Bobo helped lead the Bulldogs to 135 victories, including two Southeastern Conference championships, five SEC Eastern Division titles and eight bowl victories. The 2012 Broyles Award finalist held the offensive coordinator spot for 92 games with the Bulldogs, scoring 30-plus points 57 times, 40-plus points 29 times and more than 50 points 13 times.
In 2014 Bobo led a Bulldogs offense that averaged 41.3 points per game, which ranked eighth nationally, and racked up 457.8 yards of total offense per game. Against teams ranked in the Top 25, UGA compiled a 3-2 record while scoring 34.4 points per game. Additionally, the 2014 Bulldogs’ offense ranked in the top 15 nationally in rushing offense (257.0; 11th FBS), team passing efficiency (156.06; 9th FBS), completion percentage (67.4%; 7th FBS), fewest interceptions (6; 9th FBS), third-down conversion percentage (49.7%; 8th FBS) and fourth-down conversion percentage (80.0%; 3rd FBS). The 537 points scored in 2014 established a Georgia single-season record. The previous single-season record was set in 2012 while Bobo was offensive coordinator.
Bobo guided several talented quarterbacks at Georgia, including Aaron Murray, who played from 2010-13. Murray, who was chosen in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs, set more than 25 UGA records and four SEC marks. He became the first player in SEC history to have at least 3,000 passing yards in four consecutive seasons. The NFL’s No. 1 draft choice in 2009, Matthew Stafford, also blossomed under Bobo’s tutelage. The Detroit Lions’ starting quarterback was second-team All-SEC and earned All-America recognition in 2008 for Georgia and was MVP of the 2009 Capital One Bowl.
In Bobo’s time at Georgia he also mentored quarterback David Greene (2001-04), who was the winningest quarterback in NCAA Division I history at the time (42), wide receiver A.J. Green, running back Todd Gurley and many others. In all, Bobo helped mold four first-round NFL draft choices at Georgia: Stafford (No. 1 in 2009), running back Knowshon Moreno (No. 12 in 2009), Green (No. 4 in 2011) and Gurley (No. 10 in 2015).
Prior to joining Richt’s staff at Georgia, Bobo served one year as an assistant coach at Jacksonville State, after working as an administrative assistant and graduate assistant from 1998-99 at UGA.
Bobo was a quarterback for the Bulldogs from 1994-97, earning four letters, and led the team in passing in 1996 and ‘97. Among all UGA quarterbacks, Bobo ranks first in single-season completion percentage (65% in ‘97), single-season passing efficiency rating (155.8 in ‘97), second in career touchdown passes (38) and third in career pass completions (445), season passing yards (2,751 in ‘97), career passing yards (6,334) and single-season touchdown passes (19). In his career Bobo threw for 6,334 yards, which is third-most all-time by a Georgia quarterback.
Bobo, a native of Thomasville, Ga., was inducted into the Thomasville-Thomas County Sports Hall of Fame on Nov. 10, 2016. He joined his father, George, a long-time successful high school coach in Georgia, who was inducted in 2013.
Bobo and his wife, Lainie, have five children, a son Drew (14); triplets Olivia, Jake and Ava Grace (12); and Kate (11).