Wyoming to name Mizzou's Christensen as next head coach

Updated: December 1, 2008, 12:21 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Missouri offensive coordinator Dave Christensen will be named the head coach of Wyoming, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel confirmed Monday.

"I don't know if it's been announced yet, but he will be taking the head coaching job at Wyoming," Pinkel said on the Big 12 conference call Monday. "I'm very proud of him, and I think it's a great reflection on our program. He's just done a great job."

Pinkel said Christensen would remain with the 20th-ranked Tigers through the Big 12 championship game Saturday against No. 2 Oklahoma and whatever bowl game they play in, although he'll devote some time to hiring a staff and recruiting for Wyoming.

"He'll finish his responsibilities. That's his desire," Pinkel said.

Christensen is regarded as one of top offensive minds in the country. In 2007, Missouri's offense scored a school-record 558 points and ranked in the top 10 in the nation in scoring offense, passing offense and total offense.

A press conference is scheduled for Monday.

Christensen flew to Wyoming with his wife Saturday night after Missouri lost to Kansas in Kansas City. He arrived in Laramie via a University of Wyoming private plane. He spent the night in Laramie and met with school officials. He returned to Columbia on Sunday to attend a Missouri senior banquet but is expected back for the press conference.

Christensen has been a coach on Pinkel's staff since starting at Toledo in 1992. He served as an assistant coach at Idaho State and the University of Washington. Christensen also played for Don James at Washington in 1980-82.

He was a finalist for the Frank Broyles Award last season, which is handed out annually to the nation's best assistant coach. Last season, junior quarterback Chase Daniel was a Heisman Trophy finalist, and senior tight end Martin Rucker and freshman wide receiver Jeremy Maclin were both consensus All-Americans. Maclin was Missouri's first concensus All-American and it was the first time in Missouri history the school had two consensus All-Americans in the same year.

Christensen takes over after Joe Glenn was fired a week ago. Under Glenn, Wyoming finished 30-41 (15-31 in Mountain West Conference play), including a 4-8 (1-7 MWC) record this season to finish eighth in the conference after being picked to finish fourth and even contend for the conference championship.

The Cowboys had just two bowl-eligible seasons, though they were only invited to a bowl during the 2004 campaign. They finished 7-5 with a Las Vegas Bowl win.

Nebraska wide receiver coach Ted Gilmore, a former Wyoming player and former Wyoming assistant coach John L. Smith were also candidates for the position.

This will be Christensen's first head coaching job.

Information from ESPN's Joe Schad, ESPN.com's Graham Watson and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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