If he had to do it all over again, there’s very little Austin Micci would change about the last four years of his life.
The 2015 Coronado High School graduate enters his senior football season at Colorado State University-Pueblo with high expectations for himself and his team. He will be the featured running back in coach John Wristen’s high-powered offense. He is also set to graduate in December with bachelors and master’s degrees in business.
Micci has maintained a better than 3.5 GPA during his college career.
“I wouldn’t have had these experiences and opportunities anywhere else and I am so grateful,” Micci said Thursday at the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation College Football Kickoff Luncheon at The Antlers hotel. “I definitely made the right decisions to come here.”
The ThunderWolves have won the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference eight consecutive years. Micci proudly wears the most recent championship ring on his right hand.
CSU-Pueblo won the NCAA Division II national championship in 2014.
“The goal is to always to win another one,” Micci said. “We have a lot of senior leadership on this team and a lot of people who have been in those big-time situations.”
After red-shirting as a freshman, Micci has turned in three solid campaigns, totaling 2,229 yards rushing on 389 attempts, an impressive 5.7 yards per attempt. Last season, he had 873 yards on the ground and another 235 through the air to lead the team in all-purpose yards with 1,129 (86.8 per game average over 13 contests).
He has scored eight rushing touchdowns in each of his first three seasons and has 27 total touchdowns in his career.
Micci was named a Google Cloud Academic All-America First Team and Google Cloud Academic All-District selection as a junior. He was also honored as Academic All-RMAC First Team and NFFCC Academic First Team last season.
Micci has gained the respect of everyone on the team, including defensive coordinator Donnell Leomiti.
“He’s warrior,” Leomiti said. “He’s a tough kid. He runs hard and does all the right things. He’s going to graduate in December. He’s everything you want as a coach.”
At 5-foot-8, 193 pounds, Micci is not the most imposing back in the state. But he is tough to bring down.
“He’s one of those guys you can’t just arm tackle,” Leomiti said. “You have to wrap up. You have to get in front of him.”
Micci entered CSU-Pueblo with impressive credentials. He helped lead Coronado to the 2013 Class 3A state championship as a junior when he ran for 1,262 yards and 12 touchdowns. The next season, while playing at the 4A level, Micci ran for a team-best 1,419 yards and 16 touchdowns to help the Cougars to its last playoff appearance.
“That time in my life went by so quickly,” Micci said. “The championship season was one of the greatest moments of my whole life, at least of my football career. It was just so awesome to be a part of bringing a state championship to Coronado. That’s still the only state football championship Coronado has ever had.”
Micci has a football goal beyond this season.
“I definitely have ambitions of trying to make a squad or a roster in the NFL,” Micci said. “After my senior season I’ll be out of school so I’m going to focus on those three months leading up to pro day. I want to get an agent who’s reputable and knows exactly what they’re doing and try to put myself in the best position.”
CSU-Pueblo’s first game this season is Sept. 7 at Dixie State in St. George, Utah. The Thunderwolves’ home opener is Sept. 21 against Colorado School of Mines.