Fresno State has hired Alabama football assistant Eric Kiesau as the Bulldogs’ next offensive coordinator.
Kiesau, an offensive analyst for Alabama, replaces Dave Schramm, who was fired Nov. 30 after running the Bulldogs’ offense for four years under coach Tim DeRuyter.
Before joining coach Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide staff, Kiesau was the offensive coordinator for two seasons at Washington and in 2013 the Huskies generated 499.3 yards and 37.9 points per game to rank second and third, respectively, in the Pac-12.
He also has been an offensive coordinator at Colorado and started his coaching career in the first of two stints at Cal, working with wide receivers under former Fresno State quarterback Jeff Tedford. Kiesau last was an offensive coordinator at Kansas for the final four games of the 2014 season.
“I’m really excited to be able to get someone of his caliber,” DeRuyter said Thursday. “He’s a guy that has coordinated offenses in the Pac-12, in the Big 12. This past year he installed the (up-tempo) system at Alabama, was instrumental in them doing that, and I think the fact that Coach Saban hired him to do it speaks highly of how well he is regarded.”
Kiesau will remain with the Crimson Tide through their run in the College Football Playoffs, then begin his duties with the Bulldogs.
It’s the first hire by DeRuyter as he overhauls his staff after the Bulldogs went 3-9 this fall – their fewest wins in a season since going 3-8 in 1978 and their most losses since going 4-9 in 2011. In addition, defensive coordinator Nick Toth has been reassigned to a yet-unknown position and offensive line coach Cameron Norcross left for Vanderbilt for the same position with the Commodores.
Fresno State’s offense thrived for two years under Schramm, with quarterback Derek Carr directing an offense in 2013 that led the Mountain West in scoring at 43.4 points per game and 546.2 yards per game.
But the Bulldogs have since struggled to find any consistency, including this past season when they ranked eighth in the 12-team conference in passing offense (178.3 yards per game), 10th in scoring offense (22.2), 11th in rushing offense (136.8) and last in total offense (315.2).
Kiesau, 43, is a native of Pasadena and graduated from Glendale High. He played quarterback in college at Glendale Community College and for Portland State. He and his wife, Wendy, have a daughter, Tayler, and a son, Blake.
“He’s a young, high-energy guy – a passionate recruiter,” DeRuyter said. “He is exactly what we were looking for. He has developed quarterbacks. He has worked with receivers. And he has a system that has been tried and is true.”
Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada