WASHINGTON -- Mike MacIntyre said he was in tears as he watched from home on television as San Jose State captured its 11th win Thursday by beating Bowling Green in the Military Bowl.
"It was just awesome, it really was," MacIntyre, who left the Spartans on Dec. 10 to take over as coach at Colorado, said in a phone interview with this newspaper.
"When we won it, I was in tears, and so was my wife. We were all jumping around. From where we came from, who would've thought we'd be the best Division I team in San Jose State history."
Leaving San Jose State wasn't easy for MacIntyre, whose paycheck was quadrupled by the move to Colorado. He wants to push for a change to NCAA policy that would prohibit coaching changes from happening until after the season.
He watched this game feeling every bit as though it was a team he still was a part of. "I'm just so proud to be associated with them," MacIntyre said.
The players still feel connected to MacIntyre for the work he did in rebuilding this program to reach this point.
"Coach Mac is the driving force of this success we've been having," senior tight end Ryan Otten said. "We know that he did a great job. He established a culture here. But we know what it's like to win now, what it takes to win now, and we proved today that we can do it even without him here. I think that's good for the program going forward."
Some of the players spoke to MacIntyre by phone from the locker room before the game, and the performance also was a way to speak to their former coach. "I think that was a good way to send Coach Mac a message that he trained us well," junior defensive back Bené Benwikere said.
Caragher attended the game and spent some of the first half on the sidelines before moving up to the press box.