The Idaho Statesman is reporting this afternoon that former Boise State assistant coach and player Marcel Yates will return as the defensive coordinator under new Broncos head coach Bryan Harsin. Yates has been the co-defensive coordinator at Texas A&M since 2011. Previously, he was cornerbacks coach at Boise State from 2003-2005 under former head coach Dan Hawkins, and defensive backs coach from 2006 to 2011 under former head coach Chris Petersen.
Mark Sanford, Jr., is also coming back to Boise State where he used to play quarterback, but dragging a wealth of experience that should benefit him as Harsin’s new offensive coordinator. Sanford started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at UNLV from 2005-6, then as an offensive assistant at Stanford from 2007-08. He followed that up with a stint as the tight ends coach, fullbacks coach and recruiting coordinator at Yale in 2009, and a coaching stop at Western Kentucky in 2010. He has spent the last three years back at Stanford where at present he is the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator for the Cardinal.
Both Yates and Sanford are known for their strong recruiting skills.
Two other familiar faces are being retained from the former staff: assistant coaches Andy Avalos and Scott Huff. Huff has spent eight years at Boise State working with the offensive line. He coached the offensive line under Harsin’s direction from 2007-09. Huff has spent the last eight seasons at Boise State, and while working with the offensive line, the Broncos averaged less than a sack allowed per game. Boise State led the nation in the statistical category in 2009. This season he coached the tight ends and doubled as the special teams coordinator.
Avalos' position has not been announced but he coached the defensive line under Chris Petersen’s staff. Like Yates, Sanford, Harsin and Huff, Avalos played football for the Broncos. He was a graduate assistant at Colordao for three years, the defensive line coach at Nebraska-Kearney from 2009-10, spent a year at Sacramento State as the defensive line coach in 2011, before returning to Boise State last season.
Returning from Arkansas State is former Boise State and current Arkansas State special teams coach Kent Riddle. He will take over that same position for the Broncos. Last year his special teams were ranked #19 nationally in kickoff returns, #19 in kicks and punts blocked, #16 in field goals, and #36 in kickoffs.
Also returning from Arkansas State is former Boise State defensive back Gerald Alexander, a graduate assistant under Harsin. No announcement has been made concerning his position on Harsin’s staff.