New Boise State offensive coordinator Tim Plough hit all the right tunes Wednesday afternoon during his introductory press conference with the media.
He said his Boise State offense would be “explosive” and an “exciting brand for everyone to watch.” He said to expect things to be “more up-tempo” and “more aggressive” than the Broncos were in 2020.
But maybe his most endearing comment to Bronco Nation was that he had a goal as a young coach to meet Chris Petersen, which he accomplished a few years ago.
“Somehow, I’m going to figure out a way to make this happen,” Plough recalled thinking. “And it wasn’t that hard. I sent him an email one day and he got back to me like that.”
Plough and Petersen developed an admiration for each other while he was coaching at UC Davis and Petersen was at Washington — so much so that the Washington coaching staff traveled to UC Davis to learn and study his offense. Plough and the UC Davis staff then returned the trip, spending two weeks in Seattle to continue their professional development.
“I took a huge leap as a coach having him as a mentor and a friend from that point on and I think has led me, to be honest, a lot of the opportunities I’ve had in coaching the last couple years,” Plough said. “It was because he believes in me and wanted to reach out to other people and let them know I was a good coach and I’m super grateful for that.”
If he’s OK for Coach Pete, he’ll be OK for Boise State fans. That is until the first game the offense struggles.
“We do have a lot to live up to,” Plough said. “Expectations are high. I’ve had a saying for a long time that we’re not even going to look at the scoreboard until we have half-a-hundred. Hash tag half-a-hundred. And I’ve had some fans telling me half a hundred may not be enough. They expect more than half a hundred and I totally get that. We’re going to do our best to put as many points up there as we can.”
Plough orchestrated one of the top offenses in the FCS the past three seasons as the offensive coordinator at UC Davis. He was named one of the top coaches under 35 years old by the American Football Coaches Association in 2018.
He had other opportunities to advance his career but previously elected instead to stay at his alma mater UC Davis. This one was different. The chance to run the offense at Boise State and live in Boise — both of which were highly recommended by UC Davis coach and former Boise State coach Dan Hawkins — were too good to pass up.
“UC Davis is my home and very important to me, my wife went to school there, and it was really my thought that I was just going to stay there forever and be the head coach,” Plough said. “That’s what we planned. It was going to take something fantastic to get me out of that situation, and this truly is an extraordinary opportunity for me to be around someone I really respect like Andy Avalos.
“I thought if I am going to make that jump and give it a shot, why not be somewhere I know my family will be taken care of and I’ll get to work for somebody I really believe in. It just seemed like a perfect fit and really good timing. Coach Hawkins obviously loves Boise State. It was just perfect timing. It was the right time.”
The UC Davis offense averaged at least 42.5 passing attempts per game in each of his three seasons as offensive coordinator. They also ranked in the top 10 in passing yards in the FCS in each of the three seasons.
He takes over a Boise State offense that finished ranked No. 27 in scoring offense in 2020 at 33.9 points per game, but 98th in total offense at 349.0 yards per game.
“We want to try and get as many explosive plays as possible,” Plough said. “The easiest way to win a football game is to get more explosive plays than your opponent and to win the turnover battle. If you do those two things, you’re going to win 98 percent of your games based on the numbers.
“We’re going to be super aggressive. We’re not going to wait for the defense to show us something. We’re going to attack the defense and make them react to us. I hope that breeds confidence in our guys and is exciting football for everyone to watch.”
MAILE HIRED AS DEFENSIVE LINE COACH
Boise State announced another addition to Avalos’ coaching staff Wednesday, naming Frank Maile as associate head coach and defensive line coach. Maile, a longtime assistant at Utah State, also coached the defensive line at Vanderbilt during 2014-2015 seasons.
Maile was the interim head coach at Utah State when Gary Andersen was fired midway through the 2020 season. He previously was the co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach.
With Maile in the fold, the Broncos now have announced three assistant coaches. In addition to Plough, Boise State named Spencer Danielson as defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach.