McElwain hanging around before taking off

This is the story I put together with the help of the Associated Press on Jim McElwain’s departure for the Colorado State head coaching job.

TUSCALOOSA — He’s leaving, but not before finishing one final responsibility.

Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain was officially introduced as the new head coach at Colorado State on Tuesday, though he’ll be back in Tuscaloosa soon. He’ll lead the Crimson Tide offense through the Jan. 9 BCS national championship game with LSU before taking over full-time in Fort Collins.

The next few days will be a whirlwind of recruiting, assembling a staff and meeting with players before returning to Alabama.

Practice for the title game is scheduled to begin Monday, three weeks to the day before kickoff in New Orleans. It’ll be the final game in a four-year tenure at Alabama that included coaching a national championship team, a Heisman Trophy winner (Mark Ingram) and finalist (Trent Richardson).

When he returns to Colorado, McElwain said he’s in it for the long haul. He referenced his time at Alabama when asked about the brand of football he’ll bring to the Mountain West Conference program.

“Now with that, when you look at my background, offensively, we threw it all over the park before I had gotten to Alabama,” McElwain said in a Tuesday news conference.

“I tried to throw it all over the park the first spring there. There were some of these SEC guys that were rushing us; I learned we better do some other stuff. You understand what I’m getting at? And also we were built that way. So it’s a little bit skewed. I think we threw 17 passes in the fourth quarter this year.”

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