Bronco Beat

Longtime Boise State football assistant Scott Huff leaves for Washington

Boise State co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Scott Huff, far right, is a top candidate to replace former Bronco assistant Chris Strausser at Washington.
Boise State co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Scott Huff, far right, is a top candidate to replace former Bronco assistant Chris Strausser at Washington.

Former Boise State head coach Chris Petersen is bringing another Boise State assistant coach with him to Washington.

Boise State co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Scott Huff was hired by the Huskies on Wednesday to fill their offensive line vacancy.

“We want to wish Coach Huff the best of luck as he makes this move to Washington,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. “There are few that have been as loyal to the Boise State program as Scott Huff, both as a player and coach. Beyond his coaching acumen, his ability to build relationships with his players and develop them on and off the field is what makes him special.”

Huff was the longest-tenured assistant on the Boise State staff, having been a player from 1998-2002 and an assistant for the past 11 seasons.

“As a former player, then having the privilege to coach at my alma mater, I can’t thank Bronco Nation enough for the support throughout the years,” Huff said. “Although I am excited about this new opportunity, I will sincerely miss the players, coaches, administration and fans that have made Boise State such a special place for myself and my family.”

Chris Strausser left Washington to become the Denver Broncos’ assistant offensive line coach on Tuesday. Strausser was a longtime Boise State assistant, coaching offensive line from 2001-05 and 2010-13, along with tight ends from 2007-09. He left when Petersen was hired at Washington following the 2013 season. According to USA Today, Huff had a salary of $285,000 last season, while Strausser’s was $440,000.

“I was surprised, because I never thought he’d leave,” former Boise State offensive lineman Mario Yakoo said. “But I’m also excited, it’s a great step in his career, the chance to reunite with coach Pete. A lot of people think the Mountain West doesn’t have elite players or coaches, but I think he’s going to shine there.”

When Petersen left, he took six of nine on-field assistants with him. Only Huff and then-defensive line coach Andy Avalos remained as holdovers when Harsin was hired. Offensive coordinator/receivers coach Robert Prince went to the Detroit Lions. From Harsin’s initial staff in 2014, only three assistants remain: Avalos, tight ends/special teams coach Kent Riddle and defensive line coach Steve Caldwell.

Huff is regarded as a strong recruiter, playing the primary role in holding onto junior college tackle Isiah Moore, who had offers from UCLA and West Virginia after he had committed to Boise State.

“If anything, their recruiting is going to be even better,” Yakoo said. “That’s where he excels, he really can connect with people. He’s shown it year in and out. He already was getting Pac-12 players in the Mountain West.”

Huff’s departure does not give the Broncos much time to find a replacement with spring practices starting Monday. Former Boise State and NFL lineman Nate Potter is currently a graduate assistant and could at the very least be a de facto interim coach. Fourteen former Boise State players are FBS head coaches or assistants.

Boise State will have an entirely new look on the offensive line this spring minus Huff and missing Archie Lewis, Garrett Larson, Mason Hampton and John Molchon, all recovering from postseason surgeries. Washington returns two all-conference linemen in tackle Trey Adams and center Coleman Shelton.

“I’ve known Scott as a player and as a coach for a long time. He was one of my first hires as a newly-appointed head coach,” Petersen said. “We’re just thrilled to have him join us here.”