Category: Mountain West Conference

SAN JOSE, CA - NOVEMBER 29:  The San Jose State Spartans marching band plays their fight song against the Fresno State Bulldogs in the second quarter on November 29, 2013 at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, California.  The Spartans won 62-52.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
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San Jose State QB Malik Watson latest to take grad transfer route

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a college football player has decided to ply his final season of college football wares elsewhere.

The latest to take that tack is Malik Watson, who announced via Twitter that he has “decided that I will not be returning to San Jose State for my senior and will be seeking elsewhere to pursue my dream.”  As Watson will graduate from SJSU this May, he will be eligible to play immediately in 2016 if he lands at another FBS school and enrolls in a grad program not offered at his former school.

Watson added that, as he awaits a new destination, he “will continue to train with my private QB coach in this meantime.”

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A California high school product who was born in Hawaii, Watson transferred from the junior college ranks to SJSU in 2014. After redshirting that first year, the 6-3, 208-pound Watson played in two games as the No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart.

In that time, Watson completed 9-of-15 passes for 59 yards and an interception. Of the 15 attempts, 14 came in the Week 3 loss to Oregon State.

Air Force signs Troy Calhoun to contract extension

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - NOVEMBER 28:  Head Coach Troy Calhoun of the Air Force Falcons leads his team onto the field before taking on the Colorado State Rams at Falcon Stadium on November 28, 2014 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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On the same day he put together yet another recruiting class at one of the nation’s service academies, Troy Calhoun was also on the receiving end of a little additional “security.”

In a press release, Air Force announced that it has reached an agreement with Calhoun on a one-year contract extension.  Calhoun is now signed through the 2020 season.

There was no word on what if any raise is included in the new deal for Calhoun, who earned $919,000 in 2015.  That salary was fourth among the 12 Mountain West coaches.

“Troy Calhoun has been a tremendous leader for our program since coming to his alma mater in 2007, leading the program to eight bowl games in nine years,” athletic director Jim Knowlton said in a statement. “He has also led the team to exceptional accomplishments off the field and in the classroom. He is a great ambassador for Air Force athletics and we are very excited about Troy’s continued passion to lead our program in the future!”

“Our coaching staff is grateful each morning we drive through the north gate of the grounds of the Air Force Academy to work hip to hip alongside such an incredible faculty, administration and leadership team,” Calhoun said. “The mission is lucidly clear- to help foster and mentor our young men and women into leaders of character. We are thankful for our service members of yesterday, today and tomorrow, and we have the utmost respect for their dedication to preserve the freedoms of our great country.”

In nine seasons with the Falcons, Calhoun has compiled a 67-50 record. Following a 2-10 2013 campaign, there was talk of a Calhoun ouster; the academy squad responded to that talk with an 18-9 mark the past two seasons.

Hawaii, UMass add former players to coaching staffs

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Earlier in the day we noted that a former North Carolina football player had gone back to his alma mater to continue his coaching career.  As it turns out, both Hawaii and UMass have seen former players return home as well.

Hawaii late this past week announced that new head coach Nick Rolovich has added Craig Stutzmann as his passing-game coordinator.  Rolovich and Stutzmann were teammates with the Rainbow Warriors 15 or so years ago.

The past two seasons, Stutzmann, who left UH as the school’s fifth all-time leading receiver, spent the past two seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Virginia’s Emory & Henry College.  This will mark Stutzmann’s first on-field role at an FBS program.

“Another Warrior returns to the ‘āina, a man who has succeeded as a student-athlete and person in this program,” Rolovich said. “Stutz understands our culture, has lived aloha and played warrior. Since leaving our shores in 2009, he has acquired a wealth of knowledge in various offensive schemes and has paid his dues in the coaching world. I am convinced there’s no place he’d rather be than Pride Rock.”

Meanwhile, out in Amherst, Mass., UMass confirmed that a former football Minutemen, Matt Dawson, will serve as Mark Whipple‘s tight ends coach.  The former UMass linebacker will also assist with special teams.

The past two seasons, Dawson served as linebackers coach at Rhode Island.  Like Stutzmann, this will be Dawson’s first on-field job at the FBS level.

“Matt Dawson is Massachusetts alum who truly embodies everything our university and program are about,” the Minutemen’s head coach said in his statement. “I’m excited to have him. He brings great knowledge and expertise.”

In another tweak of his staff, Whipple announced that graduate assistant Scott Woodward has been promoted to quarterbacks coach. Woodward replaces Liam Coen, who left to become the offensive coordinator at Maine.

Interestingly, Woodward was Coen’s backup at quarterback when the they played for the Minutemen a decade ago.

Zak Hill hired as Boise State co-OC after one month at Hawaii

BOISE, ID - OCTOBER 20:  The Boise State Broncos run onto the field for the game against the UNLV Rebels at Bronco Stadium on October 20, 2012 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
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A month ago, Zak Hill joined Nick Rolovich‘s original staff at Hawaii.

On Friday, Hill was announced as Boise State’s co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

“Zak’s shown a tremendous ability to take young quarterbacks and develop them into not just good players but leaders on the field,” Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin said in a statement. “The quarterback play at Eastern Washington over the last several years has been really, really good and the result has been an efficient and explosive offense.  While credit goes to a number of people, Zak’s name certainly has to be near the top of the list.”

Hill’s rapid ascension — he was Eastern Washington’s passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2009 through this season before joining Hawaii’s staff in December — is jarring on the surface but is an annual check point of the coaching change season.

Additionally, Boise State has promoted offensive line coach Scott Huff to co-offensive coordinator and named wide receivers coach Junior Adams passing game coordinator. The moves were necessary after the Broncos lost offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz to N.C. State. Hill will be Boise State’s third offensive coordinator in three seasons as Drinkwitz replaced Mike Sanford, who recently completed his first season at Notre Dame. Boise State also lost defensive coordinator Marcel Yates to Arizona this winter.

Harsin will call plays for Boise State this fall.

“Our focus with the staff is to find the right role and allow our guys to star in that role. Hiring Zak allowed us an opportunity to create a collaborative effort in our offensive staff room. Each coach brings something different to the table and will have input on our plan and execution, with Zak and Coach Huff serving as the co-offensive coordinators,” Harsin said. “One will focus on the run game, and the other will focus on the pass game with Coach Adams. I have full confidence in both of them and their ability to coordinate and develop our offensive plan. “

To replace Hill, Hawaii has announced former Warrior wide receiver Craig Stutzmann as passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach and moved Brian Smith to run game coordinator/running backs coach.

Ray Lewis’ son commits to Utah State

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 03:  Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after the Ravens won 34-31 against the San Francisco 49ers during Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
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Ray Lewis‘ son is going to The U……tah State University.

Though both father and son share a last name, a gene pool and a connection to major college football, they arrive as very different prospects. Rivals rates Rayshard Lewis, a wide receiver/cornerback out of Bishop Moore High School in Orlando, as a two-star prospect. ESPN reports Lewis chose Utah State over Appalachian State, Ball State, Florida Atlantic and Idaho, among others.

Lewis announced his commitment while on an official visit at Utah State.

Lewis joins an ever-growing group of makes-you-feel-old college football names. Michael Irvin‘s nephew, Tim Irvin, is a sophomore defensive back at Auburn and Randy Moss‘ son, Thaddeus Moss, committed to N.C. State earlier this week.