BOISE — The days of multiple formations, shifts and unpredictability from the Boise State offense could be making a return.

New offensive coordinator Mike Sanford, a backup quarterback at Boise State from 2000-04, hinted during Wednesday’s introductory press conference that the Bronco offense could look something like the one that helped turn them into a national power the past decade.

“Really the brand of Boise State’s offense is creativity and multiplicity and you see that time and again,” Sanford said. “When Boise State is really good offensively, obviously you believe in your fundamentals of being a physical football team, but being able to mesh different worlds of offenses together and being on the cutting edge of creativity and being on the cutting edge of how to use your personnel, and I think that’s going to have a lot to do with what we do here offensively.”

Sanford, 31, said the coaching staff will take time to study the players currently on the roster and those coming into the program to identify their strengths and build an offense that suits them best.

It’s Sanford’s first chance to create and run his own offense after serving as a position coach the past three years at Stanford. He’s also coached at Yale and Western Kentucky.

“There’s great responsibility that comes with this position, and I take it very seriously,” Sanford said.

“I’m also very excited about this opportunity and to put our staff’s stamp and coach (Bryan) Harsin’s stamp on this offense and this football team.”

The previous Boise State coaching staff simplified the offense prior to last season in order to make it easier for younger players to compete for playing time earlier in their careers. They switched to a hurry-up, no-huddle attack out of the pistol formation, but the offense sometimes became predictable — especially in short-yardage situations.

Harsin said the style and type of offense the Broncos will run has yet to be determined, but all of the offensive coaches will have input.

“The number one thing is execution,” Harsin said. “I hope we’re the most executing offense in the country. Let’s start with that. Where it goes from there with tempo or movement and things like that, we’ll decide that. But it starts with execution.

“We’re going to sit down and decide what can we execute amongst the staff, what can we teach and what can we coach, and what do we know that we can walk in that room and try to get these guys to walk out on that field and execute at a high level. So to me it starts there and everything from that point on, we’ll build from it.”

  • B.J Rains covers Boise State athletics for the Idaho Press-Tribune. He also makes daily appearances on ESPN Boise.

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