Newly hired Montana State football coach Jeff Choate wasted no time in hiring a few members of his staff, needing just to think of some of his brightest former players at Boise State.
First was Matt Miller, a receiver with the Broncos from 2010 to 2014 who spent this season as a graduate assistant for his alma mater.
“I think he got hired on a Friday (Dec. 4), I shot him a text ... and I received a phone call about a minute later, so it happened pretty fast,” Miller said Friday.
Choate had his new receivers coach right away.
Next was Byron Hout, a linebacker with the Broncos from 2008 to 2011, a graduate assistant at Boise State the last three seasons who also was a GA in 2012 when Choate was at Washington State.
“I believe it was Saturday night he gave me a phone call, asked if I wanted to be a part of the Bobcats, and I said, ‘Yeah, when do we go to work?” Hout said.
Choate had his defensive line coach.
Both former Broncos will start working in Bozeman with Choate, who was an assistant at Boise State from 2006 to 2011, after the Poinsettia Bowl on Wednesday in San Diego.
It has been a rapid ascent for Miller, a Montana native who was in the Denver Broncos’ rookie minicamp in May and went to work in Montana after being released. He joined the Boise State staff the week before Sept. 3’s opener against Washington.
“He was welding and ranching about five months ago,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said.
“His journey, he’s kind of on the fast track ... he’s one of the smartest players I’ve been around, really picks things up and has a maturity beyond his experience.”
On Hout, Harsin said the time was right for him to get a full-time coaching job.
“He’s really worked himself into where he’s at, he’s very smart, detailed, all the qualities that you want,” Harsin said. “... To me, that’s a great hire for coach Choate, I think it’s a great fit for Byron.”
More from Miller
-On how he imagined his future: “If I was either ranching or coaching football, being involved with football, I would have been happy ... I was kind of away from the game a bit, started to miss it a lot.”
-On his past year: “I kind of knew what to expect, just because I dealt with it last year for the last part of the season (while injured), kind of being a student assistant.”
-Miller said his mom and his sister graduated from Montana, but his grandpa is a big Montana State fan: “we’re kind of a split household, but now we’re all Cats.”
-On working with the team this season: “I had a lot of fun coaching for my alma mater, it’s a place I love dearly and want to come back to someday.”
More from Hout
-On Choate: “I love the energy and passion he has for the game, it’s something that fired me up as a player ... that’s kind of why I’ve been drawn to him all this time.”
-Hout’s first bowl game, in 2008, was the Poinsettia Bowl, and he’ll end his GA tenure in the game in 2015. He had an interception in that first bowl off Andy Dalton: “I think the main thing I remember is the slowest spin move ever, you had to clock that thing on a sundial it was so slow.”
-What he’s most excited to do: “I just can’t wait to get up there and be in the room with the guys, get to know the players up there and get to know the recruits that are coming in.”
-Montana State opens the 2016 season against Idaho, and finishes against Montana State: “That’s exciting to me. It was rivalry here in Boise with U of I, a big-time rivalry, and I was never part of the Cat-Grizz rivalry, so to start a game off like that is really amazing, and to finish it off with a rivalry is amazing, too.”
▪ Also Friday, former Boise State defensive end Beau Martin said he has been hired as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Broncos. He worked at Auburn this season.