By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
After nine years at Boise State, Marcel Yates decided it was time for a new challenge.
And he found a doozy at Texas A&M.
Yates, the Broncos’ cornerbacks coach from 2003 to 2005 and defensive backs coach from 2006 to 2011, confirmed Wednesday that he accepted a job last week as co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Texas A&M.
The Idaho Statesman reported his decision to leave Boise State a week ago and Yates said he accepted the offer Friday. Texas A&M still has not announced the hire.
Texas A&M, under new coach Kevin Sumlin, joins the powerful Southeastern Conference West Division this year — with rivals like Alabama, LSU and Arkansas.
Yates, 34, played defensive back at Pacific and Boise State and his only other coaching stop was at Montana State.
“There’s something exciting to me about going to play at Alabama, going to play at Auburn,” he said. “That’s something I’ve never had a chance to experience. … This just gives me a chance to experience football in a different way, in a different place, and expand my knowledge and expand my network.”
The job also will help Yates along the path toward becoming a defensive coordinator.
“It’s nothing against Boise State, because I love that place, that’s my alma mater and I’ll always be a Bronco,” he said, “but for a young guy like myself who wants to move up in the profession and meet more people and get my name out there, it was kind of a no-brainer.”
Yates has had plenty of opportunities before. The difference this time: Texas A&M is starting fresh, not trying to patch a hole.
“The chances before were places that were on the downslide, where they hired somebody else and I was offered the job to come in and be the cleanup guy,” Yates said. “You have a year or two and then you’re fired. (Sumlin’s) first game will be my first game. I have a chance to come in and recruit. I have a chance to come in and build a program with him instead of coming in and already being behind the 8-ball and trying to work magic in a year. That wasn’t something I was willing to leave Boise State for.”
A few other notes and quotes from Yates:
— He didn’t have a connection to Sumlin, the former Houston coach, or his staff. But people Sumlin spoke to about his need for a defensive backs coach recommended Yates.
— “When you’re with great people, when you work for a great man like coach (Chris) Petersen, it’s tough to leave a guy like that. In this profession it’s unheard of to be at a place for nine years. I was lucky. I was kind of getting in a comfort zone there. There’s nothing wrong with that, but for me, I wanted to move up a little bit. There’s something very appealing to me to be able to go into a Top 5 recruit or for you to tell me who the best DBs are in the country and for me to go after that kid and have a chance to coach him up. … We’ll see what I can do and if I can get it done.”
— Yates called the Broncos’ current defensive backs and plans to meet with them in February when he returns to Boise. “They all said they understood. It didn’t seem like any of them were mad. The first guys I called were (starting cornerbacks) Jamar (Taylor) and Jerrell (Gavins). They told me, ‘Coach, we’re seniors, if we don’t know what we’re doing now we shouldn’t be here.’ ”
— Yates also spoke to the Boise State defensive back commits — two cornerbacks and one safety, all from California. He won’t recruit them to Texas A&M. In fact, he won’t be recruiting his hometown of Los Angeles anymore because the Aggies stick to Texas and Louisiana primarily. “I want to make sure that those DBs that are committed to Boise State make sure they stay committed to Boise State, because that’s a great program. … I told them all to trust in Coach Pete. He’ll hire a great guy. Hopefully he’s better, and I mean that, I hope he is better.”
— On three assistant coaches leaving the Broncos: “I don’t think they’re going to miss a beat. … The plan is there. Coach Pete is a guy who never gets off what he believes. … They’re not going to deviate from the plan. It’s a winning program with pride and hard work and that won’t stop.”
Conference USA beat the Mountain West for the No. 1 spot this past season in the rankings used to determine how Bowl Championship Series revenue is shared among the five non-BCS conferences.
The Mountain West held the lead going into the bowl games but Conference USA went 4-1 in bowls and the Mountain West went 2-3.
The difference is roughly $440,000, which translates to $55,000 per Mountain West school.
The five conferences receive about $13.2 million from the BCS when none of their teams qualify for a BCS game. Half of that money is divided equally among the conferences and half is distributed based on performance.
The Mountain West’s share this year will be $3.08 million. That’s $385,000 per school.
The rankings are based on the average computer ranking of a conference’s current members.
Boise State defensive end Tyrone Crawford is getting scouts' attention this week at East-West Shrine Game practices, according to multiple reports.
Crawford also has been named the No. 2 prospect for the Canadian Football League draft by the CFL scouting bureau. He is from Windsor, Ontario.