Boise State Football

Boise State football finds new D-line coach in ex-Wisconsin, Oregon State assistant

Oregon State defensive line coach Chad Kauha’aha’a talks to his players in a game last season. He was hired as Boise State’s defensive line coach Thursday.
Oregon State defensive line coach Chad Kauha’aha’a talks to his players in a game last season. He was hired as Boise State’s defensive line coach Thursday. Courtesy of Oregon State athletics

The Boise State football team moved quickly to find a new defensive line coach to replace Steve Caldwell.

The Broncos announced Thursday they have hired Chad Kauha’aha’a, who spent the last three seasons as an assistant at Oregon State. He also has coached at Wisconsin, Utah State, Utah and Weber State.

“Boise State is a program that I have watched and admired for years, and now to be a part of it, I can’t tell you how excited we are,” Kauha’aha’a said in a statement. “I am looking forward to working for a program that is rich in tradition, and with a staff that is coming off another tremendous championship season. I’m ready to get started.”

Caldwell left last week after four seasons on the Boise State staff. His landing spot has not been confirmed, but he is expected to join Arkansas’ staff.

Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said of Kauha’aha’a (pronounced cow-ha-a-ha-a): “Chad is a great person and wants to be part of this culture. We have a blue-collar group returning along the defensive line, and I’m excited to see Chad have the opportunity to work with them. He has worked with and developed some high-level players over the years at Wisconsin, Utah and Oregon State.”

A native of Maui, Kauha’aha’a played at Utah from 1993 to 1996. The 44-year-old is married with two sons.

Boise State has found success in recent seasons with Polynesian defensive players, including Sonatane Lui and David Moa on the line. Kauha’aha’a will certainly continue to help that pipeline. Hawaii native Kukea Emmsley is set to join as a defensive end this summer. The defensive line, pivotal in a big 2017 for the defense, loses just one from its two-deep in backup nose tackle Daniel Auelua. Two nose tackles (Scale Igiehon and Keeghan Freeborn) signed Dec. 20.

▪  In other Boise State assistant coaching news, former offensive line coach (2006) Sean Kugler will be the Denver Broncos’ offensive line coach, according to the Denver Post. Another former Boise State offensive line coach, Chris Strausser, is on staff as the assistant offensive line coach.

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Kauha’aha’a coaching history

2002-04: Baldwin (Wailuku, Hawaii) High (head coach)

2005-08: Weber State (defensive line)

2009-10: Utah State (defensive line)

2011-12: Utah (defensive line)

2013-14: Wisconsin (defensive line)

2015-17: Oregon State (defensive line; also associate head coach/outside linebacker in 2016-17)

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