By Wyoming Sports.org
University of Wyoming head football coach Dave Christensen announced on Monday that Dan Hammerschmidt and Pete Kaligis have joined the Wyoming football staff.
Hammerschmidt will coach the wide receivers and Kaligis will coach the offensive line.
Hammerschmidt comes to Wyoming from Rice University, where he was the receivers coach for the Owls this past season. He helped lead Rice to a 10-3 overall record and a 7-1 Conference USA mark, placing the Owls in a tie for first in the West Division with Tulsa. Rice concluded the 2008 season with a 38-14 victory over Western Michigan in the Texas Bowl.
“To be able to attract someone of Dan’s (Hammerschmidt) experience and talent to our staff is very exciting,” said Christensen. “Not only has he been a very successful coach and former offensive coordinator, but he knows this league as good as any coach out there.
“I am thrilled to add both a veteran coach, in Dan, to our staff, as well as to add another coach who has experience teaching the spread offensive system similar to the one we ran at Missouri.”
Prior to coaching at Rice, Hammerschmidt was the offensive coordinator for Sonny Lubick at Colorado State for seven seasons. Before serving as the Rams’ offensive coordinator, Hammerschmidt was the wide receivers coach for CSU for five seasons, beginning in 1996.
During his 12 seasons as a coach at Colorado State, he helped guide the Rams to seven bowl berths. CSU won three MWC Championships during his tenure (1999, 2000 and 2002) and one Western Athletic Conference title (1997).
“It’s feels great to be back in the Mountain West Conference and to be at the University of Wyoming,” said Hammerschmidt. “This is a great league, and this part of the country is not only where I’ve spent most of my professional career, but my kids were born here.
“I believe Coach Christensen is going to bring an exciting style of offense to Wyoming football and Mountain West football. We’re out recruiting hard right now, and I think we’ve got a great start.
“I, of course, have many years of experience competing against Wyoming as a player and a coach, and I know the great tradition and success this program has had in the past. I’m now excited to be part of that.”
Hammerschmidt began his college coaching career in 1986 as a graduate assistant coach at his alma mater, Colorado State. The next year, he moved on to TCU, serving as a graduate assistant coach for one season in 1987. He gained his first full-time coaching position under Steve Spurrier at Duke in 1988, coaching the Blue Devil outside linebackers and special teams. He coached at Duke for six seasons, from 1988-93. He then coached defensive backs at VMI for two seasons, 1994 and 1995. He returned to Colorado State in 1996.
Hammerschmidt was an outstanding player at CSU, starting as a defensive back all four seasons (1982-85) of his college career. He went to NFL training camp with the Indianapolis Colts in 1986, but after being cut began his coaching career.
Kaligis comes to Wyoming from the University of Montana, where he was an assistant coach for the Grizzlies the past four seasons.
“Pete Kaligis is a winner, and he has proven that with the success he has enjoyed as both a college coach and former college player,” said Christensen. “He has not only been a successful coach at the University of Montana, but was a member of Washington’s 1991 National Championship team as a player. He understands what it takes to win at this level of competition, and I’m excited about the intensity and knowledge he will bring to coaching our offensive line.”
Kaligis helped lead Montana to the 2008 National Championship game where the Griz concluded the season as the national runner-up in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).
Montana ended the season ranked No. 2 in the nation in both the final FCS Coaches’ Poll and the Sports Network’s FCS Poll. He has coached the Grizzly offensive line the past three seasons. His first season at UM he worked with tight ends and offensive tackles and also served as UM’s recruiting coordinator for three years.
“I’m blessed and honored to be here at the University of Wyoming,” said Kaligis. “I’m extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with Coach Christensen. I admire what he was able to accomplish at the University of Missouri with Coach (Gary) Pinkel and their staff. I can’t say enough about how pleased I am to come here and coach with what I think will be a great staff.”
After graduating from Washington in 1994, Kaligis was an assistant football coach at Western Washington University in his hometown of Bellingham, Wash. He was the assistant tight end/strength coach there from 1994-96, and was the assistant defensive line/strength coach at WWU from 1996-97. During his tenure at WWU, he coached two All-America defensive ends, and his team advanced to the NCAA Division II title game in 1996. He was a teacher and coach at Meridian Middle School in Bellingham in 1998-99.
Kaligis played strong guard for the Washington Huskies and former head football coach Don James when they captured the 1991 National Championship.
He was an All-American in track and field in the shot put. His personal best in the shot put in college was 62-feet, 8 inches. He won the gold medal at the 1995 U.S. Olympic Festival, and placed third in the 1995 University Games. He participated in the 1996 Olympic Trials in track and field in the shot put, where he had a throw of 65-8.