Note: I’m reposting the profiles I wrote on each of the Boise State football coaches with some additional reporting that didn’t make the stories. The last one will appear on game day.
Hometown: Corona, Calif.
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Playing career: Linebacker at Boise State (2000-04). He earned All-WAC first-team honors in 2003 and 2004. He made 365 career tackles, leading the team three times.
Coaching career: Corona (Calif.) High linebackers coach (2005), Colorado defensive graduate assistant (2006-08), Nebraska Kearney defensive line coach (2009-10), Sacramento State linebackers coach (2011), Boise State defensive line coach (2012-13).
Education: Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Boise State (2004), master’s degree in education from Colorado (2008)
Family: Wife, Summer; newborn daughter, Paityn
Did you know? Avalos returned an interception 92 yards for a touchdown in the 2004 Liberty Bowl against Louisville. That play has led to many jokes in the office. “He about died on that,” coach Bryan Harsin said. “It’s 75 yards down that hallway (in the coaches’ offices). He’s 65 yards from me, so I’m always asking if I should come down to see him. I know it’s a long way for him.”
Quotable: “He’s sharp. Because he played the position, he takes it personal. He’s very detailed. He has great ideas. He’s a star.” — Defensive coordinator Marcel Yates on Avalos
— Avalos on staying at Boise State: “One of the biggest things for me was the guys that are in that linebacker room, the guys that are coming back. They’re great people, good football players and fun guys to be around.”
— On the coaching transition: “I went through the same thing when I went to school here and coach (Dirk) Koetter left. That experience helped me a ton in getting through the transition and making it as smooth as possible for the players. I remember the feeling. There’s a lot of unknown, a lot of uncertainty really, about finding out who’s going to be my coach.”
— On replacing Bob Gregory: “We’re going to build off what coach Gregory has done here with the linebackers. I’ve learned a lot of things from my time as a coach with coach Gregory. I admire him. That was my deal with the linebackers. We’re going to build off the things you guys have been doing.”
— Coach Bryan Harsin told a story about Avalos as a player to illustrate how well he understood the game. Then-coach Dan Hawkins decided one day to try 4-foot splits between the offensive linemen, like Mike Leach likes to do. Avalos moved up to the line, shot through one of those gaps and blew up the play. That was the end of that idea.
— Yates: “I know he wants to get the corps back to how it was when him and Korey Hall were here. That was probably the best linebacker corps here in a long time.”
— Special teams coach Kent Riddle, who coached Avalos for four years at Boise State: “He’s a superstar. He’s detailed. He’s a great teacher. He’s got great intensity.”
— Senior defensive end Beau Martin, who played for Avalos the past two years: “He’s a really well-balanced coach. Off the field as well as on the field he makes a good personal connection with the guys and can relate to anybody from anywhere.”
— Sophomore linebacker Ben Weaver: “Coach Avalos has an incredible amount of passion for it. He’s been teaching us quite a bit.”
— I wrote a story on Avalos in 2012 when he was hired as the defensive line coach. He left such an impression at Nebraska Kearney, where he was the defensive line coach in 2009-10, that coach Bob Crocker said his influence was still felt in 2011. "He was a difference-maker as far as, we had a really solid program before Andy got here, but he helped take it to a different level," Crocker said in 2012. "We had a great year both years he was here. ... There was a carryover for (2011), too. He left a really good mark on our program."
Tomorrow: Steve Caldwell
Previously: Kent Riddle