Special to the Gazette-Journal
As Colorado University adjusts to a new conference, and its football team works to regain past glories, a Mathews County native is working hard to keep the Buffaloes in fighting shape.
Malcolm Blacken, a 1984 graduate of Mathews High School, is in his second year as Colorado University’s director of speed-strength and conditioning. He works directly on a day-to-day basis with football, while overseeing the speed, strength and conditioning needs of all 16 CU varsity programs. He has six full-time assistants and five interns that work with the other teams.
Colorado joined the Pacific 12 Conference in 2011, moving over from the Big 12. The football team, which won its first and only national championship in 1990, has struggled in recent years.
Last year, the first for CU in the Pac 12, the Buffaloes went 3-10. So far this season, the Buffaloes are 1-5 with a game this Saturday against USC. But Blacken has hopes of helping the team become competitive again, and perhaps one day even getting back to a second national title.
"I like it here," Blacken said of joining the Pac 12. "If we can continue to get players like we have the last two recruiting classes, we can compete in this conference. We train and encourage each player the same, regardless of talent level or years in the program.
"We want to make wearing the name Colorado (Buffaloes) mean something again. Whether you are a starter or a redshirt freshman, the expectations are the same," he said.