(PUEBLO, Colo.) — On Friday, Colorado State University (CSU) Pueblo announced that the head football coach position vacated by outgoing coach John Wristen has been filled.

According to a press release from CSU Pueblo, Philip Vigil from Western New Mexico University (WNMU) has accepted the new head coach position for CSU Pueblo Football.

“After a thorough interview process, we have found our new ThunderWolves head coach,” said Vice President for Athletics and Strategic Partnerships, Dr. Paul Plinske. “I believe that Coach Vigil is well-positioned to carry on the proud and successful tradition of Pack football.”

Coach Vigil arrives in Pueblo after serving as the head football coach for the Western New Mexico University Mustangs for two seasons. Under Vigil’s leadership, the Mustangs played their first winning season in the Lone Star Conference (LSC) since 1993. During his tenure, the football program earned 17 All-Conference Awards, the most for WMNU in LSC history. Following a 30-year championship drought, Vigil led the Mustangs to the Chile Bowl Championship title in 2022, beating rival Eastern New Mexico University, 38-24.

“Coach Vigil will build on our strong foundation by bringing a high level of energy, passion for people, and a belief in our mission of developing champions. With successful experiences at some of the best Division II schools in America, Coach Vigil is also focused on making a difference in the lives of his student athletes. Phil is a native of Arvada, Colorado, so he is very familiar with Colorado; he has the ability to expand the Pack football footprint while attracting high-caliber student-athletes to CSU Pueblo,” Dr. Plinske added.

CSU Pueblo said coach Vigil comes from a strong coaching tree of Division II football powerhouses. He has a strong background in offensive play calling, pass game coaching and recruiting and growing talented student-athletes, many of whom earned All-Conference honors and set school records.

“I’d like to express my gratitude to President Mottet and Dr. Plinske. My family and I are incredibly excited to return to Colorado,” Vigil said. “I’m thankful for the time we had in Silver City and for the support of our friends and colleagues at Western New Mexico University. Melanie and I are looking forward to joining the Pack and becoming active members of the Pueblo community. Coach Wristen established a great program at CSU Pueblo. I’m honored to be named as the second coach in ThunderWolves’ history and I’m eager to get to work.”

The Pack’s 2023 season kicks-off against Midwestern State University at the ThunderBowl on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 6 p.m.