BOISE — The Boise State football team remains in the market for an offensive coordinator, and to this point, little from the search has come out publicly.
Traditionally rumors will surface about candidates and their interest in a particular job or whether they have interviewed, but Boise State’s offensive coordinator search has been mysteriously quiet. There have been no reports of interviews or even official candidates for the job.
Boise State lost previous offensive coordinator Zak Hill to Arizona State in mid-December. It’s been nearly four weeks — with the bowl game and the holidays in the middle — but the Broncos have yet to make a hire.
Several possible candidates have also since gone elsewhere. Former Boise State quarterback Bush Hamden, previously the offensive coordinator at Washington, took a position at Missouri. Mike Sanford, a former Boise State quarterback and the offensive coordinator in 2014, left Utah State to become the offensive coordinator at Minnesota.
Kellen Moore, the Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator and former record-setting quarterback for the Broncos, reportedly will return to the Cowboys under new head coach Mike McCarthy.
Boise State could promote co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Eric Kiesau to the position, but that seemingly would have been done by now if that were going to be the case. Kiesau doesn’t have a ton of experience with quarterbacks, and typically the offensive coordinator is also the quarterbacks coach.
If Kiesau is promoted the Broncos could then look to hire a wide receivers coach. Two former Broncos, Kirby Moore at Fresno State and Matt Miller at Montana State, both would seem like logical fits if coach Bryan Harsin wanted to go that route.
Another potential candidate for the OC/quarterbacks coach gig, although probably unlikely, is former Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich. He was recently fired after two years as the offensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears, and is looking for work. Helfrich was Boise State’s quarterbacks coach from 1998-2000 and worked with Boise State associate head coach Kent Riddle and strength coach Jeff Pitman at Colorado while he was offensive coordinator there from 2006-08.
Throwing a wrench into the search for an offensive coordinator was the surprising departure Tuesday of running backs coach Lee Marks, who is taking a position at Mountain West rival Fresno State.
Boise State’s players will return to campus Sunday to start the winter conditioning program and, at least at this point, the Broncos will be two coaches short on offense.
“We were in the process of hiring an offensive coordinator, and we are now also looking for a running backs coach,” Harsin said in a statement released Wednesday. “For each of these positions, as we have always done at Boise State, we are going to find the right fit for this program to continue building on what we have already accomplished.”
Marks has not officially been announced as a member of Fresno State’s staff, but Harsin confirmed a report from the Idaho Press that the running backs coach was leaving Boise State.
“We appreciate everything Lee Marks has done for Boise State,” Harsin said. “This is a great opportunity for Lee, and I would like to wish him the best of luck at his next stop. I have known him for more than 20 years, and worked with him at multiple schools. He is and always will be a great Bronco, and I am happy for he and his family.”
Boise State is in no rush to fill the open spots. Signing Day is not until early February and spring practices don’t start until early March.