If there is one bit of wisdom I gleaned from the beautiful arthouse masterpiece Happy Gilmore, it’s that one should go to their home (unless, of course, they think they are too good for said home). While Corona, California may be Andy Avalos’s hometown, I’d say Boise State is somewhat of a spiritual home for the young Oregon defensive coordinator. Avalos came to Boise as a fresh-faced teen in 2001 and left one of the biggest defensive stars in school history...then it wasn’t long until gravity pulled Avalos back to the site of some of his biggest triumphs and he became Boise State’s defensive line coach in 2012 (after stints at Colorado, Nebraska-Kearny, and Sacramento State). Avalos had a dream run at Boise State in his coaching capacities, culminating in a successful 3-year run at defensive coordinator before he was summarily
stolen hired by Oregon, who wanted some of that sweet Boise State mojo (Ducks are 0-3 against the Broncos, IIRC).
At Oregon, Avalos molded the country’s 49th rated defense (2018) to the 9th rated defense (2019) and capped things off with a Rose Bowl trophy. This year’s Oregon squad fared a bit worse, but still ended their season with a Pac-12 championship and a Fiesta berth...now that their season is in the books, the mission is clear: get Andy home even if we need to enlist Seal Team Six to do so.
Andy has ALWAYS been the best, most obvious pick for the Boise State head coaching gig...in fact, when Harsin to Auburn was still being whispered, many fans (like me) had already taken to social media to implore anyone listening to take the logical next step and get our boy back. Andy is an alum—completely understands the Boise State culture as he’s lived it and imparted it to younger generations of Broncos. He’s a defensive wunderkind—his Boise State defenses were some of the best we’ve seen in some time. He’s a dynamo recruiter—he helped the Broncos build some of their best recruiting classes ever and at Oregon helped snag 3 of the top ten recruits in school history. He’s got a plan—Avalos’s ascension in the coaching world is because he’s always working, growing his knowledge base, and growing his circle of influence. Dollars to donuts Andy already has a staff in mind and a plan to take the “next step” with the Broncos if we’re smart enough to let him.
Yeah, Andy probably made about 400k+ more at Oregon than he was making in a similar role at Boise State...but this isn’t a similar role. Andy is set to make $865k next year in Eugene, but Boise State should easily be able to get him over that million mark (even in a pandemic) and more importantly, the autonomy to build a staff and shape a program his way. Kellen is out...we know that now, but Kellen was never the obvious choice (a “fun” choice...sure, and one that would have melted many a Bronco brain). Andy is the obvious choice for all the reasons listed above—Jeramiah Dickey needs to make Andy his first acquisition after he finds out where the office supplies are kept.
Broncos have kept their unprecedented success rolling because they didn’t overthink coaching hires. The coaching tree is now large and Avalos is the lowest-hanging branch. Bring Andy home.