Steve Fairchild hired as new UVa. offensive coordinator
Wow, that was quick. Barely 24 hours after UVa. football coach Mike London had announced that offensive coordinator Bill Lazor was leaving for the NFL, it was announced that Steve Fairchild had been hired to replace Lazor on the staff.
Fairchild boasts 31 years of coaching experience at both the NFL and collegiate levels, including 16 seasons as an offensive coordinator. Most recently Fairchild was the senior offensive assistant for the San Diego Chargers after a four-year stint as the head coach at Colorado State, which included the highest-ranked recruiting class in program history and a victory in the 2008 New Mexico Bowl.
“Steve Fairchild brings a wealth of experience to Virginia and when you look at the offenses of the teams he has coached, you see high achievement,” said London. “Throughout his career you find Steve was a part of coaching staffs that have had tremendous offensive success and we are really fortunate to have him join our staff. Larry Lewis spoke very highly of Steve as they worked together at Colorado State.”
The initial appointment for Steve Fairchild is for two years. He will receive annual compensation totaling $450,000.
“I am very excited to join the football program at the University of Virginia,” said Fairchild. “I can’t wait to get started. I’m excited about the type of football team we can have and anxious to get to Charlottesville and get to work.”
At Colorado State Fairchild also was the offensive coordinator (1997-2000) and quarterbacks coach (1993-96) during the Rams’ football rise. From 1993-2000 Colorado State won the Western Athletic Conference three times and the Mountain West Conference twice and was nationally ranked at various times during that span. During Fairchild’s four seasons as the offensive coordinator, three Colorado State players were honored as the league’s offensive player of the year and the Rams won three bowl games. In 1997, quarterback Moses Moreno was the WAC offensive player of the year and helped Colorado State finish No. 1 in the league in total and scoring offense.
Fairchild has worked with many dynamic players in college football and the NFL. He was a part of San Diego State’s high-octane offenses that were highlighted by running back Marshall Faulk and quarterback Dan McGwire. During Fairchild’s three seasons at San Diego State from 1990-92, the Aztecs enjoyed three straight top-10 finishes in NCAA scoring and total offense categories. Fairchild’s first stint at San Diego State was for the 1986 season as the Aztecs’ recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach, working with second-round NFL selection Rob Awalt. Fairchild also owns a stop at New Mexico as the offensive coordinator from 1987-89 where the Lobos ranked No. 8 in NCAA pass offense and No. 29 in total offense in 1989. Under Fairchild’s guidance Terrance Mathis became the first player to have more than 250 receptions, 4,000 receiving yards and 6,000 yards of total offense.
Fairchild spent eight seasons in the NFL. He worked as the offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills in 2006 and 2007, as quarterback J.P. Losman posted the 11th-best QB rating in the NFL in 2006 and passed for 3,051 yards. Prior to his stint with the Bills, Fairchild was the offensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams from 2003-05. Teaming up again with Faulk, Fairchild and the Rams enjoyed three straight top-10 finishes in total offense, including the NFL’s second-ranked scoring offense in 2003. Quarterback Marc Bulger was the 2003 Pro Bowl MVP. Fairchild’s first NFL stint came in Buffalo in 2001 and 2002 where he was the running backs coach and boasted two Pro Bowl running backs, Larry Centers and Travis Henry. Centers is the NFL career reception and yardage holder for running backs.
“Steve Fairchild is a coach that has been at a number of places and has had a great deal of success,” said Virginia Executive Associate Athletics Director Jon Oliver. “He has been a head coach, he has worked in the NFL, and he has been a coordinator at the collegiate and professional levels. He is known as a solid recruiter and when he was at Colorado State they had the highest-ranked recruiting class in that institution’s history. We are excited to have Steve join the program and it is one more step to help us move forward.
“We are in the process of implementing new systems on both sides of the ball,” Oliver said. “These types of changes take time and we will need to be patient as we seek to improve this football program.”
Fairchild is a 1981 graduate of Colorado State, where he spent three seasons as a quarterback and earned All-WAC second-team honors behind BYU’s Jim McMahon. He earned a bachelor of arts in economics from Colorado State and later a master of education from Azusa Pacific in 1983.