Montana State lost its head coach to a Power 5 assistant job, and it's entirely possible the Bobcats replace Jeff Choate with a Power 5 assistant.
According to Skyline Sports, the leading candidates to become the Bobcats' next head coach are Charlie Ragle, Tim Drevno, Jason McEndoo, and Ilaisa Tuiaki.
Ragle and Tuiaki are relative outliers in the search given neither has a direct connection to Montana State, but both are up-and-coming coaches with a wealth of experience out West.
Ragle has spent the past four years as Cal's special teams coordinator and prior to that spent five seasons on Rich Rodriguez's Arizona staff, four of them coordinating special teams.
Tuiaki has spent the past five seasons as the defensive coordinator and D-line coach at BYU. The 2020 season was a boost for Tuiaki, as he helped the Cougars finish No. 8 nationally in yards per play en route to an 11-1 season. Tuiaki has spent his entire career in Utah -- he's worked at Utah, Utah State and in Utah high schools in addition to BYU -- save for a one-season stint at Oregon State in 2015.
Drevno worked at Montana State as tight ends and running backs coach from 1993-97 before his career ultimately took him to the NFL as a longtime assistant of Jim Harbaugh. Not retained by Clay Helton following USC's 2020 season, Drevno could be more motivated than his competitors to strike a deal with Montana State.
McEndoo has a longer and more recent link to Montana State, having coached the Bobcats' offensive line from 2003-14. He's been at Oklahoma State for the past six seasons, but timing could play a factor here. Luke McEndoo, Jason's son, signed with Oklahoma State just yesterday.
Those are not the only four coaches in the mix to become the next head Bobcat. Wyoming offensive coordinator Brent Vigen, Iowa offensive line coach Tim Polasek and, yes, Jeff Fisher are also candidates for the job.