Even after a 28-point win over New Mexico, Boise State head coach Andy Avalos was fired a couple weeks ago.
It’s tough to believe the favorite to win the Mountain West going into the season would consider firing Avalos a few months ago. But many fans had been calling for a coaching change in light of their struggles recently.
The Broncos have bounced back, as they are 6-2 in conference play and are 7-5 overall with one of those wins being against Air Force to end the regular season. They are now set to play in the Mountain West Championship this week.
But in the wake of Boise State losing to Colorado State – after leading 30-10 with less than five minutes remaining – the pressure increased for the Broncos to dismiss Avalos and move on.
Now that Andy Avalos is fired, here are some names the Broncos should think about to replace him.
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Los Angeles Chargers Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore
Maybe the last time Boise State needed a new head coach wasn’t the right time for Kellen Moore. But this could be different.
Moore reportedly was Boise State’s primary candidate when the Broncos were looking for a head coach in 2020. In fact, some believe he even accepted the gig and then backed out shortly thereafter. He then agreed to an extension to continue being the offensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys.
He has since gone to the Los Angeles Chargers, who are 4-7 this season. Many are wondering when the Chargers would begin to think about replacing head coach Brandon Staley. And if they do, maybe Moore would also need to find a new job.
Boise State fans seemed to embrace the possibility of hiring Moore three years ago. He went 50-3 as Boise State’s quarterback from 2008-11 before beginning his pro career.
If Moore is available or open to the idea this time, he should once again be the first person Boise State tries to hire as its head coach.
Texas Co-Defensive Coordinator Jeff Choate
Boise State fans should remember Jeff Choate’s name from the last time the Broncos were searching for a new head coach.
Choate was interviewed by Dickey and Boise State officials after Bryan Harsin left for Auburn in 2020. Choate was Montana State’s head coach at the time, and I covered MSU when Choate seemed close to getting the job.
Soon after, Choate left to become a co-defensive coordinator at Texas. This year, the Longhorns have allowed the 12th-fewest points (17.25 per game) and the 27th-fewest yards (325.1 per game) in the FBS. Texas is seventh in the AP Top 25 poll at 11-1 overall.
At Montana State, Choate built the program up while going 28-22. He led the team to the national semifinals in his final season there in 2019.
Choate, who is from Idaho, has a history with Boise State. He coached running backs for three years and linebackers for three years there. He was also the Broncos’ special teams coordinator from 2006-11.
It was easy for fans to think Boise State should’ve passed on Choate for Avalos, who was a former player and had previously been a Power Five coordinator having been Oregon’s defensive coordinator.
But now Choate’s resume is even stronger. If he wanted to leave a place like Texas, Boise State should certainly consider him.
Montana State Head Coach Brent Vigen
If Boise State thought about hiring Montana State’s head coach a couple years ago, maybe the athletic department will think about doing so this time as well.
Brent Vigen is going to be a popular name when it comes to Group of Five head coaching searches for the next couple years. And that’s for good reason.
Vigen has been Montana State’s head coach since 2021. That first year, he led the Bobcats to their first national championship appearance since 1984. Last season, Montana State reached the national semifinals before losing to the eventual champion, South Dakota State. The Bobcats are now widely regarded as a top-five FCS program.
Vigen also knows the Mountain West. He was an offensive coordinator at Wyoming under head coach Craig Bohl from 2014-20, most notably coaching now-NFL star quarterback Josh Allen.
Vigen would be able to provide a steady presence at Boise State.
UCLA Defensive Coordinator D’Anton Lynn
Since Boise State hired a Pac-12 coordinator as its head coach last time three years ago, I’m going to put a couple Pac-12 coordinators on this list.
D’Anton Lynn is widely regarded as a rising star in the coaching profession. Though he’s just in his first year as UCLA’s defensive coordinator, he has a plethora of experience.
UCLA was ranked in the AP Top 25 earlier this season in part because the Bruins’ defense has been so impressive. They’ve allowed the 11th-fewest yards in the country with 299 per game and the 16th-fewest points with 18.08 per game.
Previously, Lynn was a safeties coach with the Baltimore Ravens and worked with the Houston Texas’ secondaries before that. He was also an assistant for the Los Angeles Chargers when his father, Anthony Lynn, was the head coach there and focused primarily on linebackers. He’s also worked for the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets in the past decade.
Boise State Defensive Coordinator Spencer Danielson
Going into this season, which hasn’t always been great for Boise State, the Broncos’ defense was one of the best units in the country with Spencer Danielson at defensive coordinator.
Last year, the Broncos allowed the sixth-fewest yards in the FBS (281.5 per game) and the 11th-fewest points (18.5). The season before, they allowed the 12th-fewest points (19 per game).
Danielson was a positional coach at Boise State previously. From 2013-16, he coached at his alma mater, Azusa Pacific. He was a linebackers coach and a recruiting coordinator there.
Danielson is now the interim head coach at Boise State, and he’s led the Broncos to a Mountain West Championship berth. He’s also reportedly interviewed for the head coaching job. If Boise State finishes the season strong, maybe Danielson will be the team’s head coach in the long term.