Vikings lose running backs coach to Colorado

Vikings running backs coach Eric Bieniemy, who once as a star running back for the Colorado Buffaloes, will return to Boulder in the hopes of restoring the program to its past glory, however brief it may have been.

Bieniemy will serve as offensive coordinator at Colorado, according to Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.  Bieniemy interviewed for the head-coaching position with the Buffaloes, but the job has gone to former Redskins tight ends coach Jon Embree.

Bieniemy played at Colorado for coach Bill McCartney, who at age 70 had made a pitch to return.  McCartney, who is white, has claimed that Embree was hired because he is African-American.

It was never about me doing it again,” McCartney told the Denver Post. “It was about setting the table for a black man to come in.  And [Athletic Director Mike Bohn] hired one.  Now, give him a chance.”  (Embree surely appreciates that ringing endorsement.)

At the very best, it’s a lateral move for Bieniemy, who ultimately would have been at the mercy of the new Vikings head coach.  With a lockout on the horizon and recent reductions in pension benefits for assistant coaches at the NFL level, college jobs are looking for attractive.

In Minnesota, Bieniemy also serves as assistant head coach/offense, and he has a key role in the handling of blitzes.  He’ll finish the season with the Vikings before leaving for Colorado.

UPDATE:  We tripped across McCartney’s comments in another article, which carried the characterization set forth above.  After closer inspection of the Denver Post article prompted by an e-mail from Zennie Abraham of, it appears that McCartney had planned to hire both Embree and Bieniemy if McCartney had gotten the job, and then to groom one of them to take the job.  So McCartney was the one who wanted to set the table for a minority hire.  Thanks to Zennie for helping us clear that up, and we apologize for the erroneous take on McCartney’s comments.

39 responses to “Vikings lose running backs coach to Colorado

  1. ndgarretjax says:
    Dec 4, 2010 3:09 PM

    2011 RB with most fumbles: Vikings Running Back Adrian Peterson
    Dumbass, there won’t be football in 2011.
    Besides it will be Ahmad Bradshaw.

  2. Taken out of context it looks like McCartney is against the hiring of Embree (and also a racist). However, he’s probably the biggest supporter of Embree and Bienemy. In fact, I don’t think either get hired without Mac’s support.

  3. A.) How many times am I going to be required to register with a new system to comment on articles here? I think this is the fourth different time we’ve had the previous rug pulled from underneath us.

    B.) “It’s a lateral move at best.”

    Ummm, no, actually it’s a promotion and a pay raise, Florio. In other words, you are completely 100% wrong.

  4. ndgarretjax needs look at the stat sheet. Adrian Peterson has NOT been credited with a fumble this season.

  5. It was never about you, Bill, it was about setting the table for someone from the era of hard plastic and metal helmets, and players only playing on one side of the ball.

  6. @packattack1967

    sinking=jumping rats?

    I thought this website was cleaning up personal attacks?
    Not the first off color opinion from this fan of a great Packer organization. Growing up in a hard neighborhood I have heard this before and am ashamed to have to read it on this website.

  7. I think Rae Carruth would make a great O. Coordinator. His specialty is the ‘jail-break screen’.
    Colorado is a joke!

  8. Ahhh… Adrian Peterson has ZERO fumbles as far as I know. Massive improvement…you might be reading last year’s news clippings ndgarretjax

  9. I usually hate when people criticize Florio because I feel like if you don’t like Florio, why are you on this site.

    Anyway, Florio misinterpreted McCartney’s comment. I think McCartney was just saying let’s support the black coach and black OC because he may realize that certain folks may not be happy about that.

    Florio is just stirring the pot, although I think he usually does a good job.

  10. ” “It was about setting the table for a black man to come in.”

    WHAT? I’m white, so maybe I don’t have the same perspective, but I’m also results oriented (I’m a hedge fund manager). WHO CARES WHAT COLOR SOMEONE IS? It’s about ability, ethics, desire, work habits, leadership, want-to, fear of failure, learning from mistakes etc.
    In today’s world results are ALL that matter. I don’t care if you are white, yellow, green or orange. Just get it done. “setting the table for a black man to come in”. That’s freaking B.S. I don’t mean to offend anyone. But can you imagine if somone said the same thing about a white person?

  11. DUH!!!! The point is that with Bieniemy gone, Peterson will start fumbling again. Bieniemy is being given credit for stopping AP’s fumbles.

    Zappa69…HUH?! nothing in that statement makes sense.

  12. what a racist old man. he’s so good at being racist, it almost sounds like he isn’t. when a white person is hired for a job, I’ve never heard anyone say, ” they hired one.” wow. “one”. think about that. he said one in the possessive, like “I own one car”. they own one black coach. wow.

  13. and by the way, I never said he did fumble this year. If there was football next year, he would have a different RB coach and could possibly cause him to fumble again. Sheesh.

  14. #
    jjpzine says: Dec 4, 2010 4:39 PM

    I don’t think Peterson has fumbled yet this year!

    Dude said 2011 in his post about the fumbles.


    2011 RB with most fumbles: Vikings Running Back Adrian Peterson

  15. We know he hasn’t fumbled this year. That’s because of Bienemy taught him not too. Trivia: What team in Cincinnati did Bienemy play for? Yep, Bengals.

  16. ndgarretjax –

    I would hasten to point out that the SAME coach that your appear to be crediting with reducing fumbles for AP this year was his coach/mentor last year.

    So, how does he get the CREDIT for reducing them this year when he does not get the blame for them LAST year?

    I give the credit to AP. He’s a HIGHLY motivated guy who does NOT like to lost. And he decided that he WOULD focus on it and improve it and he did.

    End of story.

  17. DUH!!!! The point is that with Bieniemy gone, Peterson will start fumbling again. Bieniemy is being given credit for stopping AP’s fumbles.

    What…is AP going to forget everything he has learned from Bieniemy just because the dude leaves?

  18. Where did all these mamby pamby posters come from? Where the hell are the true NFC North icons? Chicken,Gravy, even the GB douchers…change is NOT always good Mikey Florio…

  19. McCartney said WHAT?

    It’s good to see that 20 years later at least he’s moved on from hating on the gays.

  20. Way to take a quote out of context… Coach Mac was a huge help in bringing those guys in and had plenty of black players when he coached and he and the university have stated that having a black coach is an advantage in getting black players to the university and will help not only in the recruiting process but it will also help these kids to have a guy that understand some different situations some kids may have. And coach Mac hasn’t coached in forever

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