(PUEBLO, Colo.) — After leading the football program at CSU Pueblo for 15 seasons, Head Coach John Wristen will retire from that position and move to serving under a new role within the university.
Coach Wristen was hired by CSU Pueblo in July 2007 and challenged with bringing football back to the university and building the program from the ground up.
The Pack’s inaugural season kicked off in the fall of 2008, with the ThunderWolves finishing their first season with a 4-6 record, the fourth-best for a startup program in NCAA Division II history, according to a press release from CSU Pueblo.
“My coaching career actually started at CSU Pueblo in 1984. I was finishing up student teaching and had an opportunity to coach during that last season we had football on campus,” said Wristen. “Being able to come back as the head coach, when football returned in 2007, was absolutely the highlight of my career. It’s been an unbelievable feeling. I’m grateful to CSU System Chancellor Tony Frank, President Mottet, and Dr. Paul Plinske for supporting my coaching career and for giving me this incredible opportunity to play a larger role at the university.”
Under his new position, Wristen will be responsible for leading fundraising initiatives to “help support athletics programs at CSU Pueblo, including providing stewardship for existing donors as well as cultivating new donors.” CSU Pueblo said Wristen is poised for immense success in the position, as he has an extensive network of alumni and professional colleagues.
“We are thrilled that Coach Wristen will continue as a valued member of our Pack. I can’t thank him enough for his service to this institution and for his leadership as head coach of our championship football team,” said President Timothy Mottet in a press release. “He’s left his mark on this program, not only as the first head coach for Pack Football, but by establishing a culture of winning and giving back to the community. I have full confidence that John’s drive for our athletics programs will allow us to build upon our tradition of excellence and enhance the on-campus experience for every student.”
“Coach Wristen has been a dynamic leader for our football program,” added Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Athletics Director, Dr. Paul Plinske. “We look forward to having him in this enhanced role within the athletics department.”
Wristen finishes his coaching career with the second-best winning percentage – a distinction among all active NCAA Division II Coaches – finishing with an overall record of 123-32 and 100-22 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC).