Darrin Chiaverini, an NFL veteran and fifth-round draft pick out of the University of Colorado, has been named special teams coordinator at Texas Tech, head coach Kliff Kingsbury announced on Thursday.
Chiaverini joins the Texas Tech staff after spending the last four seasons at Riverside City College (Riverside, Calif.) where he served as associate head coach in charge of recruiting and special teams. He becomes the first full-time special teams coach at Texas Tech since Eric Russell served in that capacity in 2009.
"I am very excited about adding Darrin Chiaverini to our staff," Kingsbury said. "His experience as an elite collegiate and NFL player will be a tremendous asset to this program. Darrin fits in well with our staff and is a great recruiter. I am looking forward to him bringing passion and enthusiasm to our team."
Having spent time in the coaching ranks at Riverside, UCLA and Mt. San Antonio College, Chiaverini built an impressive resume and developed some of the best special teams units in Southern California. His special teams units at Riverside in 2010-11 were some of the best in all junior college ranks as they registered an impressive 21 blocked kicks in two seasons. He also coached the top punt returner in the state of California in 2011 and 2012.
During his time at Riverside, the Tigers won two Central Division Championships, three bowl games and won 10-plus games in three different seasons (2010, 2011 and 2013). After the 2011 season, Riverside boasted 15 student-athletes that were offered NCAA Division I scholarships, including SaDale Foster, Bruce Jones and Will Smith, who completed their collegiate careers at Texas Tech in 2013.
Chiaverini began his collegiate coaching career at Mt. San Antonio College in 2007 as the wide receivers coach before being promoted to co-offensive coordinator in 2008. He spent the 2009 season as the assistant special teams coach at UCLA and helped guide one of the top units in the PAC-12. The Bruins went on to win the Eagle Bank Bowl in Washington D.C. that season with a 30-21 victory over Temple.
A four-year letterman at the University of Colorado, he helped guide the Buffaloes to three bowl wins (Cotton, Holiday and Aloha) while becoming the first winner of the Buffalo Heart Award that is given annually to the player that best exemplifies Colorado Football. As a wide receiver for the Buffaloes, he hauled in 97 receptions for 1,199 yards and six touchdowns. His 97 career receptions ranks 13th all-time in school history while his 1,199 career receiving yards rank 14th.
In 1999, he was drafted in the fifth round by the Cleveland Browns and went on to set a rookie receiving record with 44 catches for 487 yards and four touchdowns. After two years with the Browns, he was traded to the Dallas Cowboys before eventually finishing his four-year NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons. His NFL career included 62 catches for 662 yards and seven touchdowns. He concluded his professional career as a member of the Austin Wranglers of the Arena Football League.He holds a degree in communications from Colorado and a master's degree in human performance and sport sciences from the University of New Mexico Highlands. He and his wife Shannon have two children, Curtis and Kaylie.
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