Former Boise State players Winston Venable and Andrew Woodruff talk about returning as staff members
Boise State football is a unique brand, and Boise is a unique place. There's a reason that former Broncos find their way back onto the blue turf so often.
The latest example is the Broncos' recent additions — Winston Venable as player development coordinator and Andrew Woodruff as a strength and conditioning intern. Either as players for Boise State or as coaches/administrators, the staff has more than 100 years' experience with the Broncos.
"The players ... can make a life for themselves here, and I think we're living proof of that because we embraced it," Woodruff said.
Woodruff, who played offensive line for Boise State from 2005 to 2008, played five years in the CFL. He worked as a teacher and strength coach in Southern California before reaching out a year ago to Boise State strength coach Jeff Pitman, who kept him in mind when the job opened.
Venable, a nickel who played for the Broncos in 2009 and 2010, saw time in the NFL and CFL for six seasons. He was on the strength staff last season and will be the program’s academic liaison and community outreach coordinator. After his playing career, he moved back to Boise to finish his degree and would often be on hand at practices, letting coaches know he was interested in helping out.
"I was pretty persistent. ... I was that dude that was watching, watching, watching, wondering if there was an opportunity," Venable said.
"Having guys who gained so much from this program wanting to come back and give to the next generation of Broncos is what makes this place so special," Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin said.
Harsin, three assistant coaches (defensive coordinator Andy Avalos, safeties coach Gabe Franklin and running backs coach Lee Marks), three graduate assistants (Dustin Kamper, Kharyee Marshall and Derek Schouman), Pitman and two administrators (Venable and Taylor Tharp) played for the Broncos.
REALLY BIG TEAM, REALLY BIG RINGS
The Broncos were given their Mountain West champion rings (which include a Las Vegas Bowl win mention on one side) on Friday.