To grow, Darrin Chiaverini had to take a step back.
On Monday, the former Colorado receiver and assistant coach announced that he has accepted a job as head coach at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, California.
“I’m very excited,” Chiaverini told BuffZone. “My goal was to become a head football coach and I am obviously grateful for the opportunity Chaffey has given me and my family.”
Chiaverini worked as an analyst at UCLA last year. Before that, he worked as an assistant at CU for six years. During that time, he served in a variety of roles, including as Co-Offensive Coordinator from 2016-18 and Offensive Coordinator from 2020-21. He coached the Buffs’ receivers in all six seasons and also served as the recruiting coordinator, assistant head coach, and interim head coach at various stages.
Prior to coming to CU, Chiaverini spent two seasons (2014-15) as the special teams coordinator at Texas Tech. His coaching career also took him to Riverside City College and Mt. San Antonio College.
Now he supervises his own program at the junior college level.
“Obviously it’s different from the Power 5 level I’ve been at for the last 10 years, but I think when you take on some responsibility, whatever level it is, you’re going to grow as a coach,” he said. “This is a great opportunity for me to grow as a head coach and then also start running the attack that I want and will be able to run. I’m excited about that.”
Chiaverini was a receiver with CU from 1996-99 and then played professionally until 2006. He had NFL stints with the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons.
In 16 years of coaching, Chiaverini said, “I think I’ve pretty much ticked every other box,” other than being head coach.
Leading Chaffey will give Chiaverini new opportunities.
“It allows me to build a program the way I want to build a program,” he said. “This allows me to carry out the type of attack I want to make and not have someone tell me what I can and cannot do. That’s why I was very excited about this opportunity. Not only am I going to be a head coach and dive into those challenges, but I’ve also never had a chance in my college career to pull off the offense I want to pull off. I have always been dictated to by other people and that will not be the case now.”
The location is also perfect. Chiaverini grew up in Corona, California, and played at Corona High School, about 30 minutes from Chaffey. He recently moved back to Corona to be closer to his 80-year-old father.
“I moved back to Corona without even knowing about this possibility,” he said. “It came about because the head coach decided to step down.”
Chaffey is based in the Inland Empire, where Chiaverini has been recruiting for years.
“I have a good relationship with the high school coaches, so I think it will build quickly for us,” he said.
Chaffey went 2-18 the last two seasons, but had a great schedule prior to sitting out the 2020 season due to the COVID pandemic. The Panthers were 10-0 in 2019 and 10-1 in 2018.
“It’s going to have its challenges,” Chiaverini said, “but I’m excited about the challenges.”