BOISE – Andy Avalos is coming home.
The former All-WAC linebacker at Boise State and a longtime assistant coach for the Broncos has been tabbed as the replacement for Bryan Harsin.
Sources told the Idaho Press and BlueTurfSports.com Friday that Avalos, who spent the past two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Oregon, is expected to be named Boise State's next head coach.
An announcement from the school is expected later Friday.
Harsin left for Auburn on Dec. 22, leaving the Broncos without a coach for the first time since Chris Petersen left for Washington in December 2013. But on the 17th day of the search the Broncos landed the coach many wanted from the start.
Avalos beat out a group of candidates that included Montana State coach Jeff Choate and USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell. Boise State athletic director Jeramiah Dickey traveled for in person interviews with both Avalos and Choate on Thursday before agreeing to a deal with Avalos on Friday.
Avalos played for the Broncos from 2001 to 2004 and was one of the top linebackers in program history. He led the Broncos in tackles three years in a row and still ranks No. 4 on Boise State’s career tackles list with 365. He was a first-team All-WAC selection in 2003 and 2004.
The Broncos went 44-7 in Avalos’ four years as a player. After going 8-4 in 2001, the Broncos went 12-1, 13-1 and 11-1 during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. In his final game at Boise State, Avalos had a 94-yard interception return for a touchdown against No. 7 Louisville in the Liberty Bowl.
Avalos moved into coaching following the end of his playing career and joined Boise State as defensive line coach in 2012. He transitioned to linebackers coach in 2014 before being promoted to defensive coordinator in 2016.
Boise State finished 38th, 21st and 52nd in total defense in three years with Avalos as defensive coordinator. In his final season at Boise State in 2018, the Broncos led the country with 17 fumble recoveries and finished No. 20 nationally with 24 takeaways. The Broncos also ranked 10th in the country with 3.0 sacks per game and were tied for sixth with four defensive touchdowns.
Avalos left for a big pay raise at Oregon in 2019 and immediately improved the Ducks from 49th to 9th in total defense in his first season. Oregon also led the Pac-12 in both interceptions and forced turnovers in Avalos’ first year and have won the Pac-12 title in each of his two seasons.
Boise State went 5-2 during the pandemic-shorted 2020 season and lost to San Jose State in the Mountain West title game in Las Vegas. The Broncos declined to participate in a bowl bid, and Harsin left for Auburn two days later.