Last September, 247 Sports unveiled their annual list of the top 30 college football coaches who were under 30 years old. The Mountain West Conference had two of their assistant coaches make the list, and while that isn’t a lot, it is nice for the teams in the conference to have young talent on their coaching staffs. Today’s post will review their impact on their respective 2022 seasons and discuss their specific outlooks for 2023.
This year, since only two Mountain West coaches made the list, this post will also look at a few coaches who could be considered for the future. Looking at potential coaches proved to be a worthwhile exercise last year, as both Savage and Bohl were featured and then made the 247 list this past fall.
It is also worth noting quite a few Mountain West coaches have graduated from this list as they are now no longer under 30, but they are still talented coaches.
Chad Savage (Colorado State, WR coach)
Why he made the list in 2022 (via 247): A fast-rising coach out West, Savage was the Mountain West Recruiter of the Year for the 2022 cycle in only a brief time at Colorado State. Savage came with Jay Norvell from Nevada to Fort Collins, initially being named tight ends coach before being moved to wide receivers prior to spring practice. Savage coached tight ends at Nevada last year, where he mentored Cole Turner, a fifth-round draft pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Before joining the Nevada staff in 2021, Savage served as the wide receivers coach at San Diego. He also spent time as a GA at both San Diego and Nevada.
2022 recap: This past season was a trying one for Colorado State, including all of the coaching staff. However, Coach Savage was a bright spot for two reasons. First, in his first season as the wide receivers coach, he oversaw the development of Tory Horton, who broke out in a big way and ended up being named to the All-Mountain West first-team. Secondly, as the recruiting coordinator, Savage helped the Rams put together one of the top recruiting classes in the MWC.
2023 outlook: Now, with a year of coaching wide receivers under his belt, expect Savage to continue to grow and take a step forward in 2023. He has a number of young wide receivers from the past two recruiting classes, and at least one of them seems destined for a breakout season next year in the air-raid offense.
Aaron Bohl (Wyoming, LB coach)
Why he made the list in 2022 (via 247): Bohl has been at Wyoming since 2017 and was elevated to the full-time linebackers job in 2020 after serving in an interim capacity during the 2019 season. Since he got on the field in 2019, Bohl has worked with a trio of NFL Draft picks (Logan Wilson, Cash Maluia and Chad Muma). Bohl has worked with a first-team all-conference linebacker every year of his on-field Wyoming coaching career. The Cowboys have also had a top 50 defense in terms of yards allowed per play each of the last three seasons. Bohl is the son of Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl.
2022 recap: Another season, another all-conference caliber linebacker for the Cowboys. Wyoming, and specifically Coach Bohl, have shown they are especially skilled at developing stud linebackers year after year. This season, Bohl mentored Easton Gibbs, who continued his ascent to becoming one of the best at his position in the conference. Overall, the top two tackles on the Wyoming football team were linebackers.
2023 outlook: Expect Bohl to continue to oversee a great linebacking unit that will get even better in 2023. He returns his two top tacklers and both are still young enough when they can continue to get better as they enter the fall. Plus, who knows which unknown player could burst onto the scene as well.
Other coaches to keep an eye on heading into 2022:
Jabril Frazier (Boise State, Edge)
2022 Recap: Coach Frazier, a former Boise State pass-rushing standout, has been a graduate assistant for the past three seasons. During this time, he has been heavily involved with the Edge/Stud players, most recently helping players like George Tarlas and Demitri Washington succeed.
2023 Outlook: Frazier was promoted to Edge coach this winter, much to the delight of the players. He brings youthful energy but also commands the respect of players due to his knowledge of the position and his personal experiences during college. Look for Frazier to develop the position group into a formidable unit going forward.
Jalen Ortiz (Nevada, Cornerbacks)
2022 Recap: Coach Ortiz got a full-time opportunity as the Wolf Pack’s cornerbacks coach last fall. Though it was a trying season for the Nevada football team, as they only managed two wins, He helped the secondary have some bright spots over the course of the season, with Nevada’s top three tacklers being defensive backs. One of them, Bentlee Sanders, had a great season under the tutelage of Ortiz. He led the team in tackles, interceptions, and forced fumbles.
2023 Outlook: Ortiz should continue to mold the young cornerbacks for Nevada in 2023. He now has a year under his belt with the team and it will be interesting to see what improvements both he and his unit can make going into their second season together.