By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
Boise State special teams and nickels coach Jeff Choate has accepted a job on the Washington State staff, a source told the Idaho Statesman on Wednesday.
Footballscoop.com first reported the hiring Tuesday night. The website tracks the movements of football coaches.
Choate has been the Broncos’ special teams coach since coach Chris Petersen arrived in 2006. He has served as the running backs (2006-08), linebackers (2009) and nickels coach (2010-11). He has produced dominant special teams units, helped develop the Broncos’ physical style of play and been a key cog in the Texas recruiting pipeline.
Washington State has not announced the hirings by coach Mike Leach, so it’s unclear what position Choate will hold, but linebackers seems like a likely fit. The Cougars already have hired Eric Russell as special teams coach, according to reports. Russell, who was with Leach at Texas Tech, graduated from the same high school as Choate — St. Maries in North Idaho.
Choate was scheduled to make $235,450 at Boise State in 2012. This will be his first experience in a Bowl Championship Series conference. His previous college stops were at Montana Western, Utah State and Eastern Illinois. He also coached at Idaho high schools for eight years (1994-2001).
Choate is the second assistant to leave this year, joining offensive coordinator Brent Pease. Pease was named the Florida offensive coordinator Wednesday. Pease also was critical to the Broncos’ Texas recruiting efforts.
Combined, the Broncos have lost two offensive coordinators (Bryan Harsin and Pease), a defensive coordinator (Justin Wilcox) and a special teams coordinator in two years. Petersen is down to three original staff members — defensive coordinator/defensive line coach Pete Kwiatkowski, defensive backs coach Marcel Yates and tight ends coach Scott Huff. All three played for the Broncos.
Choate (Eastern Illinois) and Pease (Houston) showed interest in head coaching jobs last month. Choate received a formal interview.
Former Boise State quarterback Bush Hamdan posted on Facebook that he has been hired by Pease at Florida. His position was not immediately available.
Boise State defensive end Tyrone Crawford will play in the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 21 in St. Petersburg, Fla. I still have not been able to reach him to ask whether he’s been invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, but I expect he has.
Here are the Shrine Game rosters.
Here’s an updated list of pre-draft invites:
Jan. 16: Casino Del Sol College All-Star Game, Tucson, Ariz. — Linebacker Aaron Tevis
Jan. 21: East-West Shrine Game, St. Petersburg, Fla. (2 p.m., NFL Network) — Wide receiver Tyler Shoemaker, defensive end Tyrone Crawford
Jan. 28: Senior Bowl, Mobile, Ala. (2 p.m., NFL Network) — Quarterback Kellen Moore, tailback Doug Martin, safety George Iloka, defensive tackle Billy Winn, defensive end Shea McClellin
Feb. 22-28: NFL Scouting Combine, Indianapolis — Moore, Martin, Iloka, Winn, McClellin and offensive tackle Nate Potter have been invited.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that former Boise State head coach Dirk Koetter interviewed Wednesday for the offensive coordinator job at Alabama. Alabama had expressed interest in Pease.