The saga that began 17 agonizing days ago is at last at its end and it finished the way most of us hoped it would...just oh, 17 days later than we’d hoped. Former Boise State player, staffer, defensive coordinator and current (well, now also former) Oregon defensive coordinator Andy Avalos has reportedly agreed to become the next Broncos head man after Bryan Harsin took the same job at Auburn on December 22nd. Several double-secret sources with first hand knowledge confirmed this news to OBNUG within the last two hours—as of yet, BSU has yet to officially announce said hire, but you know what they say about smoke and fire. I, for one, am overjoyed by this news
No idea if this is true or not, but if it is...you call Andy Avalos ASAP. Kellen Moore could be a legit contender too https://t.co/f4w96Lb5Rd— #TeamAndy (@mybrainissmart) December 17, 2020
Note this was five days before Harsin was announced as head coach at Auburn and while some thought he was flirting with Arizona (he wasn’t). Now, after a fitful Christmas holiday...as Jay Tust says, “BOOM.”
Right now, we don’t know all the details of Avalos’s contract but will report them when we do. What we do know is that Avalos...who should have been the front-runner from the get-go, probably had to wait a bit longer than we’d hoped due to Boise State’s simultaneous AD search, which was mercifully ended last week when the Broncos hired Jeramiah Dickey from Baylor to lead athletics on campus. We also know of at least 4 of the finalists for the head coaching gig: Avalos (obviously), Montana State HC Jeff Choate (a former Pete staffer in Boise and at UW), USC OC Graham Harrell, and Florida OC Brian Johnson. Those are some solid options, tbh but the Broncos definitely chose the best of the bunch in my opinion and got to retain that whole BSU “culture” thing everyone is so wild about.
Yesterday, Dickey and interim AD Bob Carney flew to Bozeman and Eugene which further suggests that in the end this might have been down to just Choate and Andy (although I’d heard a rumor that Harrell got a second interview...just not in-person). I also heard another rumor that some of the boosters were quite taken with rising-star Johnson but worried that keeping him here would be a little more tricky (Johnson had just been considered for the South Carolina opening).
After graduating from Boise State in 2004 (and racking up 365 career tackles), Avalos followed Dan Hawkins to Colorado as a GA and then moved on to Nebraska-Kearny as a D-line coach in ‘09-’10. After another GA stint at Sacramento State, Avalos returned to his alma mater in 2012 as a D-line coach and moved swiftly to LBs (2014-2015) and ultimately DC (2016-2018). The Ducks lured him away in 2019 and he won a Rose Bowl with Oregon in his first year calling the shots and won another Pac-12 title this last season in Eugene. I’d say we know what we’re going to get with an Avalos defense (or a defense with his fingerprints on it), so all eyes should now be on who he surrounds himself with in his second stint in Boise. Do we find our balance again? Will our recruiting footprint change? All these are questions I can’t wait to have answered.
We reached out to Alex Guerrero, former Boise State defensive tackle, who played with Avalos at Boise State for his take on the hire, and suffice it to say...he approves:
When you talk about sustaining an elite culture you want the person leading to have felt it and seen it firsthand. Andy is someone who knows what it’s going to take to continue the tradition while implementing the things that he has learned through his journey to bring it to the next level. I couldn’t be more excited for my former teammate and brother.