Avalos presser

Andy Avalos speaks at a press conference introducing him as the new head coach of the Boise State football team on Sunday afternoon at Boise State University.

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BOISE — New Boise State football coach Andy Avalos plans to keep at least one assistant from Bryan Harsin’s previous staff. And it’s a big one.

Avalos confirmed during Sunday’s introductory press conference that defensive line coach and co-defensive coordinator Spencer Danielson will remain as a defensive assistant, although he declined to give his specific title or position group.

“You know what? Spencer is sitting right there, so we’re ready to go, to answer your first question,” Avalos said in response to whether Danielson would remain with the Broncos.

There had been reports from FootballScoop.com and others that Danielson was “likely” to join Harsin at Auburn. But Danielson, who has been with the Broncos since 2017, has a close relationship with Avalos was a logical fit to stay.

Danielson is seen as a future star in the coaching profession and is known to have a great relationship with his players. Many defensive players have spoken highly of him in recent years and Avalos’ ability to retain him on staff is a big early win in his tenure as head coach.

Avalos originally brought Danielson to Boise State as a graduate assistant in 2017 after the two previously met at a summer camp. Danielson coached at his alma mater Azuza Pacific from 2013-16.

After a year as the graduate assistant working with the STUDS, Danielson took over as the STUDS coach full time in 2018 when the NCAA allowed teams to add a tenth full-time assistant. He switched to defensive line coach in 2019 and also earned the co-defensive coordinator title.

“That’s my brother,” Avalos said. “It takes the right type of people and he’s the right type through and through. We intend to build our staff with people as such.”

Avalos said “there’s a lot of things in the works” in regards to his staff and assistant coaches and that he plans “to work as quickly and as professionally and with as much clarity as we can.”

Avalos did confirm that Da’Vell Winters will be joining the staff in an administrative role. Winters was the assistant director of player personnel/player development at the University of Oregon, where Avalos spent the past two seasons as the defensive coordinator.

It’s unclear what role Winters will be filling, but a family member tweeted he would be the chief of staff — a role previously held by Brad Larrondo.

“Da’Vell is a man of character,” Avalos said. “Da’Vell is a man that can engage all people. He’s a people person and that starts because of a big heart. He cares for people and he’s truly in it to help people. I believe in my heart that the more and more people get around Da’Vell Winters, they will see the impact Da’Vell is going to have not only on our student-athletes and our coaches and this University and the athletic department as a hole, but within this community as well. These are the types of men we desire to have here.”


Avalos signed a five-year deal worth $7.75 million according to a term sheet released by Boise State on Sunday.

He’ll earn $1.4 million in his first season, and the number goes up by $75,000 each year. He’s set to make $1.7 million in year five of the contract.

Avalos will have $2.1 million to spend on his 10 assistant coaches, and that number will go up by $50,000 each season. He can also spend $631,000 on support staff such as a strength and conditioning coach, chief of staff and other non-coaching positions.

Oddly enough Bryan Harsin’s initial contract at Boise State called for a $2.2 million pool for nine assistant coaches.

There’s up to $200,000 in performance incentives and bonuses possible for Avalos as well, although the term sheet doesn’t individualize them.

Other perks include the use of a car, free travel for his wife to away games, tickets to other Boise State events like football and basketball games and a paid trip to any postseason bowl game for his entire family.

He also earns $100,000 in annual deferred money that vests if he stays three years, which brings the total value of the deal to $8.25 million over five years.

Maybe the most noteworthy number on the term sheet was the buyout. Avalos will owe Boise State $3 million should he leave after the first two seasons, $2 million after year three and $1 million if he leaves after years four or five.

B.J Rains has covered Boise State athletics for the Idaho Press since 2013. He is an Associated Press Top 25 men's basketball poll voter, and also contributes to KBOI-TV as a Boise State insider.

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