A new leader on the field
When Gregg Brandon announced he would hang up his whistle as Colorado School of Minesâ€™ head football coach after seven seasons in Golden and 43 years coaching the sport, it presented a unique opportunity for the program. Coming off their best season ever, and with the entire assistant coaching staff still in place and a veteran-laden roster ready to do it again in 2022, who would be the next leader for Oredigger football?
As it turned out, Director of Athletics David Hansburg didnâ€™t have to look far.
Brandon Moore was promoted to the head coaching role on January 31, 2022, after six seasons as an assistant coach for the Orediggers, including the last four as defensive coordinator. Moore had proven his merit on the defensive side of the ball by leading one of the nationâ€™s most dominant units in both 2019 and 2021. This past fall, a relentless Mines defense ranked among the top-10 in NCAA Division II in turnovers produced, interceptions and sacks, producing two shutouts and allowing only 14.7 points per game.
Now, Moore will apply the same mindset that elevated the Orediggersâ€™ defense as he guides the program to their next goal: a national championship.
â€œDefensively over the years, weâ€™ve poured a lot into our players,â€ Moore said. â€œThatâ€™s our motto: â€˜everybody, all the time.â€™â€
That motto was built over more than two decades in football for Moore, an NFL veteran and former national champion at University of Oklahoma. A native of Baldwin, N.Y., Moore played linebacker on the Soonersâ€™ 2001 national championship team then went on to a long professional career that included six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers from 2002 to 2007, a season with the San Diego Chargers in 2010 and three seasons with the United Football League’s Las Vegas Locomotives in 2009-10 and 2011. After his playing retirement, he eventually started in coaching as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona before coming to Golden as the Orediggersâ€™ linebackers coach before the 2016 season.
Now, he takes over a team that was two wins away from a national championship in 2021. At 12-2, Mines won its third consecutive Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference crown on the way to capturing the NCAA Super Regional title for the first time ever. That brought with it a trip to the NCAA Division II semifinals, a national TV appearance and, perhaps most importantly, the opportunity to know that the ultimate goal is
â€œWe can see the national championship. We can see the possibility of getting there. And I donâ€™t think weâ€™ve always had that mindset at Mines,â€ Moore said. â€œPrior to this season, a lot of onus was put on luck, but I believe these players earned it. They went out and worked for it.â€
Hansburg has no doubt that Moore will take Minesâ€™ football program to the next level. â€œIf I had to put one quality to Brandon Moore, heâ€™s a perfect fit at Mines,â€ Hansburg said. â€œHe is a â€˜Mines guy.â€™ His collaborative style that Iâ€™ve seen over the years, he has a way to bring people together thatâ€™s rare.â€
â€œI couldnâ€™t be at a better place,â€ Moore said. â€œCoach Brandon did a great job with the culture and pushing this program to heights that nobody thought possible. We do great things here, with the best people, best athletes, best students.â€