Waking up early. Training and acclimating to his new surroundings. Carving out time for rest. Hank Bachmeier sometimes can’t accomplish everything else he wants to in a given day.
Bachmeier, a four-star recruit coming out of high school, was Boise State’s starting quarterback the past few years. But in the wake of early struggles and Boise State’s offensive coordinator being fired, he entered the transfer portal midway through the 2022 season and went to Louisiana Tech of Conference USA this offseason.
Bachmeier needs little more reason to prove himself. Yet his primary motivator has little to do with football.
Because Bachmeier wakes up for workouts at 5 a.m. and goes to sleep early as well, finding time to call his family isn’t easy. When his siblings in California reach out in the evening, it’s closer to midnight his time. Bachmeier found calling in the morning, after his workouts and before his siblings go to school, worked better.
Still, visiting home or finding a time to even speak to them was much easier before he left Boise.
Bachmeier made the move for myriad reasons, and he feels Louisiana Tech was the right choice. His family, including his parents Michael and April, supported him.
But being so far from his family members has proven burdensome. Bachmeier finds his inspiration through them, after all.
His father, Michael, went through surgery for a brain tumor about four years ago and is still on medication but is doing well for the most part. His sister, Ella, was diagnosed with Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis, a rare autoimmune disease, but recovered and competed in the 2023 Division III track and field national championships in May for the University of Redlands.
His other siblings are thriving in their own ways. His brother, Tiger, is a wide receiver at Stanford. His other brother, Bear, recently was offered to play quarterback at Alabama. His youngest brother, Buck, is competing in football in middle school.
Through the move and every other obstacle in his path, Bachmeier wants to keep going for them.
“They’re my ‘why’ in this whole deal,” Bachmeier said in a recent interview with HERO Sports. “I do want to set a good example for them, whether you’re facing adversity or you’re having success.”
Hank Bachmeier’s Transfer Portal Journey
Bachmeier’s seen a fair amount of adversity and success.
Bachmeier, who’s from Murrieta, California, was ranked as a top-10 pro-style quarterback in the country coming out of high school. He had several Power Five offers, but he believed Boise State was the right situation for him. He was the highest-ranked quarterback and second-highest ranked recruit in school history.
He started games since he was a freshman in 2019. Bachmeier went on to throw for 6,605 yards, 38 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions while completing 62% of his throws in 29 career games.
Bachmeier enjoyed some jovial moments, like helping the Broncos defeat Florida State as a freshman. He said Boise is still one of his favorite cities, and he’ll consider moving back there when his playing career is over.
“It’s a beautiful city and great people,” Bachmeier said. “I had a lot of fun there. A lot of great relationships developed. I’m always going to be rooting for them. It’s a great honor to graduate from there and get a degree from there. It’ll always be a part of my life.”
Nonetheless, Bachmeier saw several changes to Boise State’s coaching staff the past four years. Head coach Bryan Harsin left for Auburn after his sophomore season. Then a year ago, Boise State fired offensive coordinator Tim Plough following a loss to UTEP, the fourth game of the season.
Bachmeier called Plough “one of my favorite dudes on the planet.” So seeing him lose his job weighed on him.
Bachmeier, by his own admission, also wasn’t at his best. He was benched in Boise State’s season-opening loss at Oregon State. In four games, he threw for 497 yards, six touchdowns, and three interceptions.
“I wasn’t really playing great,” Bachmeier said. “Mentally, I wasn’t in the best place. Just wanted to reset.”
Bachmeier pondered continuing to play for the Broncos, who made former NFL coach Dirk Koetter the offensive coordinator. But the timing of Plough’s firing gave Bachmeier options.
Having played just four games, he used 2022 as a redshirt year and retained an extra year of eligibility. Thus, he entered the transfer portal midway through the season.
Bachmeier said he’s remained in touch with Boise State coaches and players, many of whom he hopes he’ll maintain lifelong relationships with. He believes they understood his decision.
But that didn’t make his choice any less difficult. Boise State had recruited him since he was a sophomore in high school. Detaching himself from a place he thought so highly of for so long at the time he did was strenuous.
“It’s just the quarterback position, man. It’s a tough badge to wear,” Bachmeier said. “It really took a toll on me. … You put all of your value and self worth in how you are as a player, and when you’re playing great, everybody loves you. For me, it was really hard because that reward system of being a quarterback and not necessarily knowing what your value was was tough for me. It was tough in the sense of, when you play terribly on a Saturday night, and a lot of people have access to you now with technology, it can get a little tough. But I learned to deal with that. It’s part of the territory. I probably let that in a little too much, and I think that’s really something I’ve worked on.”
Hank Bachmeier Lands At Louisiana Tech
Bachmeier noted he did “a lot of research” when he chose his next school.
He said FAU and Louisiana Tech were essentially his top two options. He also considered Arkansas State, and Missouri became involved in his decision-making process late.
Bachmeier pointed out head coach Sonny Cumbie and his Air Raid-style of offense were key factors. Bachmeier called Cumbie “a great man.”
The Air Raid offense is also mostly different from the pro-style systems Bachmeier is accustomed to. He was fascinated by the idea of expanding his repertoire.
“The rolodex of plays is probably a little less,” Bachmeier said, “but the ability to go into an offense that is going to allow you to throw the ball all over the yard intrigued me. … I wanted to play in an offense where you’re going to play fast, get the call, you have your progression, and you just go through your read and you go play.”
A passer like Bachmeier should help Louisiana Tech, which went 3-9 last season after starting three different quarterbacks.
Cumbie said Bachmeier fits the Bulldogs’ scheme well. Bachmeier is smart, Cumbie added, as he sees the field well, understands concepts, and gets rid of the ball quickly. Accuracy and decision making are two crucial components for a quarterback in Cumbie’s mind.
“Ultimately I think what proves anything is how much he wants to win,” Cumbie told HERO Sports. “He has the frame of mind that we want to win a lot of football games, and that’s the biggest thing we’re all trying to accomplish. I think we can do that with him playing well.”
Above all else, Bachmeier wants to improve his mental approach to the game as he enters his fifth season of college football. He’s seeking to hone in on the moment before him, how he’s going to execute his responsibilities in the next rep or play when the season starts.
Doing that requires disallowing the past, future, or any additional external influences to affect him.
“Every single day, regardless of where I was, you can ask anybody at Boise State about my work ethic. Every single day when I go in that building, I’m trying my best. The ultimate goal is to win a championship, but to do that, you have to focus on the daily process,” Bachmeier said. “How can I incrementally get better today? How can we as a team get incrementally better today?
“I’m going to exhaust everything I have every single day to get to that goal and be my best. But I’ve been doing that for a very long time. Just the way I was raised and being the oldest of five, trying to set an example for my brothers and my sister.
“You only have a finite window to play football, and I’m going to go out there and do my best for myself and my teammates and my family. I’m not really out there to prove anybody or do any of that. I’ve tried to do that in the past and it kind of gets you in trouble.
“So just go out there to rediscover having fun and playing with your teammates and going out there and slinging the rock and playing free, that’s what my goals are. Obviously winning a championship, but those are my goals this year.”
Bachmeier relishes the opportunity he now has at Louisiana Tech. But he refuses to let his production, whatever that may look like, define him as a person.
His family helps keep it all in perspective. While he’s in the midst of preparing for the season, he also planned to join his family at a lake cabin for Independence Day.
He certainly looked forward to that.
“Sometimes, you don’t think about it a lot, football kind of becomes your driver. You just become consumed by it,” Bachmeier said. “I’m incredibly motivated. Every single day I’m going to do my best to get towards that goal of winning a championship.
“But it’s just football. It’s just a career. It’s not my life. It’s not who I am.”