Early word on Boise State's search focused squarely on Kellen Moore and Andy Avalos. However, Jeff Choate, the Montana State head coach, has emerged as potentially the top target for the same position at Boise State sources tell FootballScoop.
The Broncos have been seeking a new coach since late-December, when Bryan Harsin seized an opportunity to coach at SEC blue-blood Auburn after seven seasons and 76 wins at Boise State.
Choate interviewed this week, sources told FootballScoop, with officials from Boise State, which also just hired a new athletics director – Jeramiah Dickey – last weekend from Baylor University. In his past two seasons at Montana State, Choate has guided the Bobcats to 18 wins, including three FCS playoffs wins and a berth in the 2019 FCS semifinals -- the program's first in school history.
On Tuesday, Oregon defensive coordinator Andy Avalos interviewed as well for the Boise State position. While Choate has six years' service as a Boise State assistant under his belt, Avalos is a Broncos alum and former player who's also logged six years as an assistant in the Broncos program before spending the past two seasons as Mario Cristobal's defensive coordinator at Oregon.
Once Dickey got the job he brought other candidates into the search. Sources tell FootballScoop both Graham Harrell and Brian Johnson had discussions.
However, the word at this time is Chris Petersen's influence stands strong. Sources tell FootballScoop Choate has gained traction of late in Boise's search, which initially had centered on another Broncos alum – Kellen Moore, the former Boise quarterback and current Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator. Moore, however, pulled out from consideration, potentially after verbally accepting the job, and elected to remain with the Dallas Cowboys.
That focused the search to the primary contenders of Avalos and Choate. Sources told FootballScoop this week that Choate had gotten support in key areas of the Broncos search, which has seen beloved former Boise head coach Chris Petersen asked to assist in the process.
If hired, sources tell FootballScoop that Choate would like to bring current Montana State offensive coordinator Justin Udy and Bobcats defensive line coach Byron Hout with him to Boise.
Udy's got strong ties to the region, having played at Eastern Oregon and coached at a number of schools in the Big Sky region, including time on Matt Wells' Utah State staff.
Hout is a former Boise State standout player who earned second-team All-Mountain West Conference honors in his senior season with the Broncos and also early in his career logged three years as an assistant coach at his alma mater.
Additionally, Choate would also likely retain Matt Miller on the Broncos' staff sources tell FootballScoop. Miller also is a former Boise State star and the program's current passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach.
We will update as more is clear on this one. Boise is hoping to finalize this search very soon.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest coaching news.