By Chadd Cripe
© 2011 Idaho Statesman
Boise State special teams and nickels coach Jeff Choate is one of four finalists for the head-coaching job at Eastern Illinois, the school in Charleston, Ill., announced Monday.
Choate expects to interview after the conclusion of the regular season. He was the special teams coach at Eastern Illinois in 2005.
“I’m honored to be selected as a finalist for the Eastern Illinois head coaching position,” Choate said in a prepared statement. “I have fond memories coaching there and I look forward to the opportunity of interviewing for the job at a later date. Right now my focus is on my current coaching responsibilities at Boise State and the remaining three games we have on our regular-season schedule, starting with San Diego State this Saturday.”
In a separate interview, Choate said he wants to become a head coach and that he was approached “a while ago.”
Eastern Illinois coach Bob Spoo retired after 25 years at the school. The team plays at the Football Championship Subdivision level and concluded its season Saturday.
The other finalists for the job are Dino Babers, assistant coach/special teams coordinator at Baylor; Mark Hutson, interim head coach at Tulane; and Randall McCray, assistant coach/linebackers and special teams at Pittsburgh.
Hutson was the Boise State special teams and tight ends coach in 1997 under Houston Nutt. He was on the Eastern Illinois staff with Choate.