Andy Avalos spent seven seasons coaching in Boise. This season he’s in Eugene.
Avalos’ impact on the Broncos this past decade falls only short of head coach Bryan Harsin’s. Avalos played linebacker from 2001-2004 and joined the coaching staff in 2012. He was defensive coordinator for the last three seasons. Turnover belts/thrones and Leighton Vander Esch are just a small sample of huge successes under his leadership.
Kudos to Oregon head coach, Mario Cristobal. The 2017 Las Vegas Bowl ended with Avalos’ Boise State defense landing 4 sacks and causing 4 turnovers against the Ducks. If you can’t beat them, make them an offer to join you, right?
Oregon, in the end, made an offer Avalos couldn’t refuse. As reported by the Idaho Statesman, “At Oregon, Avalos is due to make $2.4 million over the next three seasons. His Boise State contract was set to pay him $350,000 this season. [Avalos] said ‘it’s not the end factor, it helps, but it’s not the end to all of it.’”
Along with the pay raise, Avalos will be working in world class facilities, playing top-notch opponents, and will have his players in flashy new uniforms every game. Oregon is also poised to make a big run in the Pac-12 with returning senior quarterback, Justin Herbert. Perhaps even a College Football Playoff argument could figure into their future, should the Pac-12 field some decent teams this year.
Jeff Schmedding has been installed as the new defensive coordinator for the Broncos. Even the coaching staff has the “next man up” mentality. Schmedding had been the outside linebackers coach. Schmedding will also have some support from Spencer Danielson, the defensive line coach, who will be the co-defensive coordinator.
Schmedding hasn’t spent much time in Boise, however. He was hired to be the outside linebackers coach in January. He spent the previous 15 seasons at Eastern Washington (home of the insultingly ugly, red turf “inferno”), with the last four seasons being in the defensive coordinator position.
The EWU Eagles led their conference, the Big Sky, in points allowed 16.8 per game, were 2nd in the nation in turnovers forced, and were No. 1 in the nation in defensive touchdowns. Grain of salt: this all took place in the FCS.
Avalos may have left big shoes to fill out on the Blue, but it sounds like Schmedding (along with some great support staff) might have some big feet.