Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin had some minor adjustments to make on his coaching staff this spring. On Thursday, the Broncos announced some changes to the defensive staffing with the promotion of Jeff Schmedding to defensive coordinator. In addition, Boise State named Spencer Danielson co-defensive coordinator and officially hired Zac Alley to be the new inside linebackers coach.
Schmedding was added to the Boise State staff this offseason after spending the past three seasons with FCS power Eastern Washington. Schmedding spent the past 15 seasons with EWU and was originally hired to be Boise State’s co-special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach. He will now take over as the defensive coordinator following the departure of Andy Avalos, who accepted the same role at Oregon earlier this month as the Ducks were in need of a coach to fill a vacancy this offseason.
Alley comes to Boise State briefly after being named an assistant coach at Charlotte. Before that, Alley was a graduate assistant at Clemson from 2015 through 2018, where he worked with defensive backs and linebackers. He also spent a brief stint with the Carolina Panthers of the NFL as a defensive coaching intern. Harsin spoke highly of Alley by emphasizing the culture Alley is coming from as he joins the Boise State program.
“Zac has been developed at Clemson for quite some time and been part of on-field coaching there for four ACC championships, four college football playoff appearances, three national championship games and two national titles,” Harsin said in a released statement. “His football IQ and coaching pedigree are extremely impressive.”
Danielson joined the Boise State program in 2017 as a graduate assistant. He was promoted to a full-time staff position as defensive line coach last season.
Perhaps not surprising to hear, but reports out of Boise, Idaho suggest Boise State is looking to lock down head coach Bryan Harsin to a contract extension. According to an Idaho Press-Tribune report from B.J. Rains and John Wustrow, Boise State athletic director Curt Apsey confirmed the school is currently in the process of working out the details of a contract extension for Harsin.
“Bryan has done a heck of a job since he’s been here and I want to do what I can to show that I appreciate that effort and I want to do what we can to keep him at Boise State,” Apsey said, per the Idaho Press-Tribune report from Saturday. “I think we’ve been going through this for the last 20 years because we’ve had great coaches here and Bryan is no exception. I’m hopeful we can get something done.”
Harsin is currently under contract at Boise State through 2022. He is currently the second highest-paid coach in the Mountain West Conference, behind only Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo. According to the report, Boise State is looking to add a buyout clause back into Harsin’s contract, something that expired at the end of the 2017 season. Adding a buyout clause back to the contract doesn’t necessarily mean Harsin could not be hired away by any other program looking for a new head coach, but it would make hiring Harsin a tad more expensive for either the hiring school or for Harsin.
It could turn out to be a win-win for Boise State and Harsin, of course. Boise State would likely get the added protection of securing their head coach for at least a little bit longer and Harsin would get more of a financial guarantee from Boise State, not that he was on any hot seat talk or anything. And even if Harsin was hired away by another program, most likely from a power conference, then Boise State would make out on the deal due to the buyout clause.
Where Harsin will fit into the upcoming coaching carousel remains to be seen, but his coaching profile is one that may be attractive to a handful of programs potentially looking for new coaches this offseason. With that being the case, Boise State would prefer to have a new contract on the books as soon as possible, just in case.
It did not take long for people to start talking about who the next head coach at Ole Miss will be following the Thursday night resignation of Hugh Freeze. And somehow, one of the betting favorites has quickly become former Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley.
As noted by Rocky Top Talk, the Tennessee blog on SB Nation, the former Vols coach and current assistant with the Dallas Cowboys is listed as the second most-favored coach to take over at Ole Miss, listed at +500 according to BetOnline. SMU head coach Chad Morris is the current betting favorite on the betting website, with Morris listed at +300 to be the next coach of the Rebels.
Other names on the board include former LSU head coach Les Miles (+800), and former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly (+1400). FAU head coach Lane Kiffin has been having fun trolling about the Ole Miss fallout on Twitter, yet he is also on the board at +1600.
For what it is worth, interim head coach Matt Luke has also been given odds to keep the job, and he is listed at +1200.
Here are the latest odds as listed by BetOnline;
- Chad Morris +300
- Derek Dooley +500
- Blake Anderson +700
- Les Miles +800
- Mike Norvell +1000
- Brent Venables +1200
- Scott Frost +1400
- Chip Kelly +1400
- Neal Brown +1600
- Lane Kiffin +1600
- Mike MacIntyre +1600
- Charlie Strong +1600
- Willie Fritz +2000
- Bryan Harsin +2000
- Bobby Petrino +2500
So place your bets wisely. But if you choose to place your money on Dooley, you might as well just send me your money instead.
A day after losing offensive line coach Chris Strausser to a job in the NFL, the defending Pac-12 champion Washington Huskies have managed to fill the void with a former Chris Petersen assistant. Scott Huff has been hired to be Washington’s new offensive line coach.
Huff previously coached under Petersen at Boise State for eight years. Huff remained at Boise State, his alma mater, once Petersen was hired by Washington. Huff was one of two coaches who opted to stay behind and was retained by Boise State to continue coaching the Broncos during the coaching change. Huff also played for Petersen for two seasons at Boise State and started 40 games for the Broncos between 1999 and 2002. Petersen was Boise State’s offensive coordinator at the time.
“I’ve known Scott as a player and as a coach for a long time. He was one of my first hires as a newly-appointed head coach,” Petersen said in a released statement. “We’re just thrilled to have him join us here.”
“We want to wish Coach Huff the best of luck as he makes this move to Washington,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said in a statement, according to The Idaho Press-Tribune. “There are few that have been as loyal to the Boise State program as Scott Huff, both as a player and coach. Beyond his coaching acumen, his ability to build relationships with his players and develop them on and off the field is what makes him special.”
The sudden coaching change on the staff at Boise State comes just days before the Broncos open up spring football practices. Unless Harsin has an option waiting to be hired immediately, it is liekly the Broncos will shuffle responsibilities internally to fill the staff, at least for now.
Boise State’s depth at quarterback just got a little more shallow, which is somewhat to be expected. On Saturday in Boise State’s spring game, freshman Brett Rypien played well and made a case for the starting job heading to the summer. On Tuesday, Boise State announced Ryan Finley will pursue a transfer to play elsewhere.
“We wish Ryan the best,” Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin said in a released statement. “He is going to leave Boise State with a degree, and that is what this is all about.”
With Finley earning his degree from Boise State, that qualifies him to play right away in the fall at another FBS program as a graduate transfer. It is unknown if there is a short list for Finley to consider, but there will be no shortage of options.
Finley completed 46 of 70 pass attempts last fall for 485 yards and a touchdown with four interceptions in three games. Rypien appeared in 11 games and led the offense with 3,350 yards and 20 touchdowns as he grabbed a firm grasp on the starting quarterback job under Harsin. There was likely not much that would stand in the way of him being named the starter again for 2016.