Perhaps Cal Poly made too good of an impression in Tim Walsh’s first victory over an FBS opponent as head coach of Mustangs football last fall.
Cal Poly beat Wyoming 24-22 in a stunning upset in September. Now, the Cowboys have hired Mustangs defensive line coach Jamar Cain to Laramie, Wyo.
Cain said Thursday he accepted an offer to become the Wyoming defensive line coach, moving into a position vacated by a former colleague of his at Missouri State and reuniting with receivers coach and former Sacramento City College peer Derek Sage.
Cain said his recent interview with Cowboys head coach Dave Christensen was spent mostly watching film from Cal Poly’s upset win.
“They were really impressed,” Cain said. “All they wanted to know was how big is this kid, how big is that kid, where’d you find this kid and why we attacked them different ways.
“I told the kids (Wednesday) night, they’re the reason I got this job. It wasn’t anything I did. They went out there and kicked butt, so I owe a lot to them for that.”
Cain replaces Derrick Leblanc, who left earlier this offseason to join the staff at Southern Mississippi. Cain and Leblanc overlapped at Missouri State, where Cain left to join Cal Poly for the 2009 season, Walsh’s first in San Luis Obispo.
Cain forged a strong reputation recruiting his hometown territory, the Sacramento area, and his ties to the area are one of the strengths he’ll bring to Wyoming.
Cain said the Cowboys are looking to establish a stronger recruiting presence in Northern California.
With signing day looming Feb. 6, it’s too late for Cain to play a role in this year’s Cowboys recruiting class, but he won’t be able to stick around to see the Mustangs announce theirs either.
By Super Bowl Sunday, Cain will be watching the big game with Christensen.
He acknowledged what a hard move it will be for his young family. Wife DeCarla is a local schoolteacher.
Preschool-aged son Cosby and daughter Cali play basketball at the local YMCA and participate in Central Coast Gymnastics.
But Cain leaves knowing he’s left Cal Poly’s line in good shape.
“We’ve built something here on the defensive line,” Cain said. “We’ve been a stable part of the defense for the last couple years, so the car is built. Let’s just keep it rolling.”