COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMOV) -- After twelve seasons of guiding Gary Pinkel's offense, Missouri Offensive coordinator, Dave Christensen has become the head coach for the University of Wyoming. On December 1st Christensen was officially announced as the Cowboys new coach.
"It's a great feeling to wake up every morning and realize that you are your own boss. I am really excited to build this program." Christensen said.
Christensen is excited to build a program at Wyoming and Wyoming is excited to have Christensen. Christensen brings an offense that has been in the top 10 in scoring the past two seasons.
"He was a great offensive coordinator. He was a graet guy and he made our program better," said Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel.
Offense is something the Cowboys desperately need. They were tied for last in the FBS in scoring last season with 12.7 points per game. Christensen's Missouri offense boasted 43.2 points per game last season.
Christensen has worked as the offensive coordinator for the Tigers since 2001. He has worked as an assistant coach to Pinkel since 1992, when Pinkel was the head coach at Toledo.
"It's a great opportunity for Dave." Pinkel said. "It's a great opportunity for him to live his dream."
Pinkel and Christensen were a formidable duo together. Together they turned Toledo into a MAC powerhouse. They also led Missouri to its best two- year stretch in history.
"I think he know how to win. He was appealing to the kids who came into our program. He has a plan and he's going to do a great job." Pinkel said.
Coach Pinkel mentored Christensen. Before Christensen left for Laramie, Pinkel provided him with some advice.
"I told him the same thing my head coach told me when I left for Toledo. When things get tough and they are going to, you wake up and take on your business for the day and then leave it at the door at the end of the day and go to bed. You will do some wrong things, and you need to take it one day at a time." Pinkel said.
Christensen will be trying lead the Cowboys out of the cellar of the Mountain West. This task will be extremely difficult because the Mountain is beginning to be considered an elite conference. The Mountain West had three 10 win teams a year ago and Utah was the nation's only unbeaten.
"I think it's a great conference. It's definitely the best non BCS conference in the country and within the next few years it will be in the BCS because it's a very strong conference," Christensen said.
Once Christensen set foot on the Wyoming campus, he had a plan of how he was going to rebuild this downtrodden program.
"First of all we need to do a real good job recruiting. We have some good kid's now and we are doing a good job recruiting. I think we can do the same thing here that we did at Mizzou," Christensen said.
While Christensen is leaving Missouri during one of the best stretches in Missouri football history, he has some fond memories of his time in Columbia.
"Probably the best memory would be the relationships with the kids there. We were blessed to have some really great kids." Christensen said.
Christensen now faces the toughest challenge of his career. He will be a head coach for the first time. He will have to compete against top tier teams and take a far less then prestigious program to new heights. However, Christensen has been an offensive mastermind and is excited for the opportunity.
"The opportunity came to have my own program with the resources and support to give me a chance to build a program." Christensen said.
Coach Christensen is leaving behind a program he helped guide to consecutive Big XII North titles. However, Wyoming gives him a chance to lead his own team, and resurrect another program.
Sean Pooley is a student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism