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Jeff Kolpack, jkolpack@forumcomm.com, Published December 23 2010

Where are they now?: Tomeo enjoying life at Colorado post

Damon Tomeo was driving home from work earlier this week after a long day of meetings with fellow members of the Colorado State University-Pueblo football staff. The subject was recruiting and specifically about offering potential players scholarship money.

These days, they are a lot of differences for Tomeo from his stint as the head coach at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He’s a defensive backs coach for the NCAA Division II school that plays in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

The ThunderWolves are a fully funded program that finished 9-2 this season and just missed the Division II playoffs. CSU-Pueblo is testament that it doesn’t take long to get a football team up to speed – it’s just in its third year of existence after a group of boosters resurrected the program. It was dropped in the mid-1980s.

“Resources,” Tomeo said. “Support and resources. The people in this community said we want football. And they said if we’re going to do this, we’re going to do this the right way.”

He likened CSU-Pueblo’s philosophy to North Dakota State University’s move from Division II to Division I.

“They jumped in to I-AA with two feet forward,” Tomeo said. “So when CSU-Pueblo started football, they jumped in with two feet forward. … That was definitely a challenge at Moorhead and everyone knows that. But I spent a lot of time with a lot of great people there.”

It was a tumultuous exit at MSUM for Tomeo, who was named the Dragons head coach in 2006. He was put on paid administrative leave during the 2009 season after a complaint had been filed against him. He eventually resigned last January after he and the university came to an agreement, he said.

“My heart will always be with all of those players, faculty and alums,” Tomeo said. “There were so many to get to know.”

Asked if he wanted to be a head coach again some day, Tomeo paused.

“That’s a million-dollar question,” he said. “Right now, I have a great head coach to work with.”

About this series: The holidays are when we remember years gone by and the memories they bring, both good and bad. Every day until Dec. 31, Forum writers will revisit stories from the past and the lives of those who told them.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the Saturday Morning Sports Show from 9 to 11 a.m. on WDAY-AM (970). He can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia