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Boise State basketball set to hire Nebraska assistant; three football coaches up for two-year deals

Nebraska men’s basketball assistant coach Phil Beckner is set to join the Boise State staff.
Nebraska men’s basketball assistant coach Phil Beckner is set to join the Boise State staff.

The Boise State men’s basketball team wasted no time filling the vacancy left by assistant coach Danny Henderson’s departure last week.

Henderson was officially hired at Oklahoma State on Thursday. His departure was first reported by the Idaho Statesman on Tuesday.

Late Sunday night, Brian Rosenthal of the Lincoln Journal Star reported the Broncos will hire Nebraska assistant Phil Beckner.

“As we got toward the end of the season, we evaluated everything we do,’’ Nebraska coach Tim Miles told the Omaha World-Herald on Monday. “As we evaluated everybody’s role and where we’re trying to go, I think Phil is better off in the West. I think it’s really better for everybody.

“Phil made our program better. I’m going to miss him. But at the same time, I think this was the right move for him.’’

Boise State has not confirmed the report, but a source said Beckner is the choice. Beckner was on the staff at Weber State for seven seasons, from 2007-08 to 2013-14, then spent the 2014-15 season as an assistant with the NBA D-League’s Oklahoma City Blue before coming to Nebraska last season. At Weber State, Beckner worked with Boise State associate head coach Jeff Linder for one season and coached Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard during his entire college career.

“Phil is one of the best player development coaches I have ever worked with,” Lillard was quoted as saying on Nebraska’s website. “His knowledge of the game and his ability to motivate players truly separates him. I still train with him every offseason and I'm better because of it. I've never met someone who is as passionate as him about getting the absolute best out of people and not just on the court. I would not have made the changes I made as far as maturity goes nor would I be in the NBA if I hadn’t met Phil ... And that's real.”

Beckner is likely to take a fairly significant paycut to come to Boise State. Nebraska releases its salaries each summer, so Beckner’s is not yet available, but the Cornhuskers’ other two assistants currently on staff made $237,000 in the 2014-15 season. Henderson’s base salary was $96,544.

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In other coaching news, three Boise State football assistants are up for two-year contracts, pending Idaho State Board of Education approval. The board meets Wednesday and Thursday in Moscow.

The three coaches up for two-year deals are defensive coordinator Andy Avalos, co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Scott Huff and tight ends coach/special teams coordinator Kent Riddle. Avalos’ potential base salary is $305,000, Huff’s is $285,000 and Riddle’s is $275,000. All three have maximum bonuses of $20,750 to $22,250. For Avalos, it is a raise of more than 35 percent, up from the $225,015 base salary he made last season. Huff will make about $15,000 and Riddle $10,000 more than their 2015 season salaries.

Boise State first offered multi-year deals to assistants last year, with defensive coordinator Marcel Yates the lone recipient, getting a three-year contract. He left for Arizona in January.

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