GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Colorado Mesa University President John Marshall and Director of Athletics Bryan Rooks announced the hiring of Grand Junction native Miles Kochevar as the 20th head football coach for the Mavericks on Monday, January 31.
Kochevar met with the team early Monday morning and will be officially introduced at a press conference later this afternoon.
“Miles Kochevar is a talented coach and a high character human being who will provide the leadership needed for our football student-athletes on the field, in the classroom and around the community,” said President John Marshall. “He is exactly the right person to lead our program to championships and we are delighted to welcome him, his wife Krista and sons Anthony and Santino back to the Grand Valley and to campus.”
Kochevar comes to CMU after spending last season as the defensive coordinator for Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference foe Colorado State University-Pueblo. The ThunderWolves were fourth in scoring defense and third in yards allowed in the conference a year ago.
“I am honored and deeply humbled to be the head football coach at Colorado Mesa University and am eager to get to work,” said Kochevar. “I want to thank President John Marshall, Athletic Director Bryan Rooks, the search committee, and committee chair Robin Brown for trusting me to advance the program and to further unite the Grand Junction community with our players, coaches and staff.”
Kochevar is no stranger to Colorado Mesa football program. His first coaching job was for the Mavericks in 2007, coaching defensive backs for former coach Joe Ramunno. He later transitioned to the pass defense coordinator and special teams coach from 2009-2011. After gaining valuable coaching experience at CMU, he took a graduate assistant position coaching safeties at his alma mater, Colorado State University.
Kochevar spent time at Humboldt State, Northern Colorado, and West Texas A&M from 2015 to 2019. He also served in the role of defensive coordinator for two seasons with the Buffs.
At Humboldt State, he guided the Jacks to the best scoring defense, total defense, and rushing defense while coaching the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, who was a safety that rolled up from the defensive backfield. Humboldt State qualified for the NCAA Playoffs that season.
While at West Texas A&M, Kochevar’s role expanded beyond being the defensive coordinator. He also worked as the director of community service, organizing and administering football camps on campus.
Kochevar has an extensive recruiting background and said “recruiting, retaining and developing the 2022 roster is a top priority.”
“Community and recruiting were two of the main focuses we had during this search,” said Director of Athletics Bryan Rooks. “Bringing in Miles hits both of the points pretty hard. Miles has the respect of the community and the high school coaches throughout the state of Colorado to continue the success of the program.”
The local Fruita Monument High School graduate inherits a team that went 8-2 and was in the running for a spot in the NCAA Playoffs last year.
“We have a lot to do in a short period of time including hiring the rest of the staff and recruiting new student-athletes to the program but I’m ready for the challenge,” said Kochevar.
Kochevar earned his bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and a Master of Education and Human Resources from CSU. As an undergraduate, he was a three-year varsity letter winner for Sonny Lubick and the Rams, earning team captain honors as a senior. During his final year on the field, he led the team in tackles with 91 and was named the Most Valuable Player by the Rocky Mountain Collegian. “As a Grand Junction native, I’m thrilled to be back home in the community I grew up in. I love this place and I’m excited to get to know the players and take an already strong program and build on it,” said Kochevar.