Sean Lewis's exit from Colorado football deemed surprising externally

Oregon State v Colorado
Oregon State v Colorado / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

Sean Lewis's departure from the Colorado football program at the conclusion of the 2023 season -- this after a mid-season demotion to Pat Shurmur's co-offensive coordinator -- was deemed by Saturday Down South's Connor O'Gara as surprising.

"Let’s also remember that while Sanders made some phenomenal plays when things broke down, offensive coordinator Sean Lewis was seen as a strength," O'Gara prefaced before saying, "At least externally. That’s why it was surprising when he lost play-calling duties in early November and took the head job at San Diego State at season’s end. So Colorado also a new offensive coordinator in Pat Shurmur. That’s someone who, up until he stepped into a co-OC/play-caller role with Lewis’ late-season demotion, hadn’t had an on-field role at the college level since 1998 when he was Stanford’s tight ends coach."

Internally, Lewis was culture-shocked by Colorado's locker room according to sources close to the program. He took an offensive coordinator job after being a head coach after two winning seasons in four years to propel himself to another head coaching role.

But his midseason demotion happened after Shedeur Sanders grew unhappy with the lack of versatility of Lewis's schemes as well as the poor fit from a personality perspective in Boulder.

Pat Shurmur in an unenviable situation with Colorado football as OC

Shurmur does not have the most enviable task ahead of him being assigned to be the guy to raise Shedeur's draft stock while also producing enough points to stay competitive in a Big 12 filled with high-octane offenses.

It really doesn't help that he was co-offensive coordinator in an awkward and ultimately unsuccessful half-season alongside Lewis in 2023. Most were less than enthused when he was promoted to full-time OC in the offseason.

Time will tell if Shurmur is in a better on-field spot with offensive line coach Phil Loadholt's new group up front. But, from a narrative perspective, it's not an enviable position in the slightest.