FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Colorado State introduced Jim McElwain as its new head coach Tuesday.

McElwain, Alabama's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, becomes Colorado State's 20th head coach.

"I feel like I am getting in [on the ground floor] of the bold new era, as they put it," McElwain said. "And the vision and the passion is here and that's what it's all about."

Athletic director Jack Graham said McElwain's five-year contract includes an annual base salary of $1.35 million. He can earn an additional $150,000 in bonuses.

"I believe Jim McElwain is an outstanding fit for Colorado State," Graham said. "He has a plan. He can articulate that vision and plan really clearly and engender passion in the people around him."

McElwain replaces Steve Fairchild, who was fired Dec. 4 after going 16-33 in four seasons with the Rams, including three consecutive 3-9 finishes.

McElwain said he would find a role for Sonny Lubick, whom Fairchild replaced.

McElwain will return to Alabama to coach in next month's BCS championship game against LSU.