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Ambrose is out, but who’s in?

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NCAA Football: Potato Bowl-Central Michigan vs Wyoming Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

As you may have heard, the Broncos are down another defensive coach since the end of the season. We poured one out for Steve Caldwell a few weeks back and welcomed Coach Kauha’aha’a. Now, we’re left with naught but our emotions after CB Coach Ashley Ambrose’s departure for Boulder, Colorado (the only city made entirely hemp). Thankfully, the impact on recruiting should be minimal since the Broncos signed 20 players during the early signing period and their list of needs for February 7th (traditional signing day...now the “late signing day”) do not include a corner. However, the Broncos still have a spot to fill and it’s a rather important one.

Remember, Ambrose replaced Julius Brown—a Bronco alum (now at Utah State) and at the time of Ambrose’s hiring, he wasn’t a “known” name among most of the Boise State fanbase. He also was a fair shade older than Juice and brought a much different (and effective) coaching style. So, if that exchange taught us anything...it’s that it may be tough to pin down possible replacements for Coach Ambrose. I’m still gonna try (keep in mind...I’m spitballing).

Wes Nurse - Harsin has shown of late that he is willing to go outside the Bronco “family” to find coaches, but I still consider alums to be lower hanging fruit. Nurse played at Boise State in the Koetter/Hawkins era and was an All-WAC performer during his playing days on The Blue. He later returned as a GA for both Hawk and Pete before coaching at UC Davis, UND, and Minnesota-Crookston. In 2015, Nurse went back to UC Davis as the director of football operations under...you guessed it—Dan Hawkins. I have no idea if Nurse is on our coaching radar, but we know he’s at least still bleeding blue (but sadly, shoots vertical video).

Jalil Brown - Not a lot of people know that we currently have another former NFL defensive back on staff (Ambrose was a 12 year pro), but he’s not coaching DBs. Jalil Brown is currently the assistant Strength and Conditioning coach at Boise State and has been known to “help out” with the corners. There’s a good reason for that—Brown was an All-Big 12 performer at Colorado, finishing his career with 167 tackles, six interceptions, and 21 pass deflections. A fourth round draft pick in 2011, Brown went on to play six seasons in the pros before turning to coaching. If he’s ready for his close up, Harsin could literally just holler.

Kenny Lawler - Not a name Bronco fans may have heard in a while, but Lawler was on staff during the beginning of the so-called “golden era”. An Oregon alum, Lawler served as secondary coach from 2000-2002 in Boise and was on staff when Quintin Mikell won WAC Defensive POTY. He’s put a bunch of dudes in the NFL over the years and currently serves as DC at San Bernardino Valley College.

Cha’pelle Brown - Only tangentially connected to Bronco football (he’s currently the assistant secondary coach at UC Davis under Hawkins), Brown has the playing chops to look like an intriguing pick. He was an All-Big 12 performer at Colorado (again, under Hawk) and produced an All-American corner in his previous coaching stop at NAU (Marcus Alford). He was a defensive GA at Colorado and Oregon and looks to be a rising talent in the coaching ranks.

Someone else - Considering how tight-lipped they’ve been at Bronco HQ, this is probably the current front-runner.