After engineering the best defense in Big Sky history over the past four seasons, Montana State defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski has accepted an offer to become Boise State's new defensive line coach.
One of the all-time top defensive linemen in Boise State history, Kwiatkowski arrived at Montana State with current Bobcat head coach Mike Kramer in 2000, inheriting a struggling defense. In his second season at MSU, the Bobcats began a historic run atop the league's defensive charts. MSU led the Big Sky in total defense in 2001 (358.0 yards per game), 2002 (306.8) and 2003 (298.4), the first time a team had ever led the league three straight years. MSU punctuated its impressive run by leading the Big Sky again in 2005, allowing just 332.2 yards a game.
"Wow," MSU coach Mike Kramer said, when asked to consider Kwiatkowski's achievements as a Bobcat assistant. "This is a pretty heart-rending moment for me. His productivity in terms of numbers will stand the test of time. The achievements of Pete and his defensive staff go down in the history of Montana State and the Big Sky Conference as the new standard."
Kramer said Kwiatkowski's performance goes beyond yards allowed. "The impact he made on the young men in this program now extends to the Boise State program, and will grow and be more and more appreciated as the years pass," Kramer said. "Pete has been with me longer than any other assistant. I think Pete's leaving is particularly poignant because he's returning to his alma mater, but also because he's leaving the Big Sky Conference. He made such a huge imprint on this league at two different schools. He was one of the best defensive players in league history at Boise State, and he built the best defense in league history at Montana State. His impact on this league will be lasting."
"I am extremely excited to bring Pete back home to Boise because he is a true Bronco," Boise State head coach Chris Petersen said. "He is an awesome football coach, an expert at defensive line play and he brings a lot of experience with his coordinator position the last six years at Montana State. We are thrilled to have him because he is a super person that is going to fit in chemistry-wise perfectly. I'm excited for our players who are going to be around him and be coached by him."
Led by Kwiatkowski's defense, the Bobcats captured three Big Sky Championships and went to the I-AA national playoffs in both 2002 and 2003. Kwiatkowski coached Big Sky Defensive MVP's Kane Ioane and Roger Cooper and his players were also well received by the National Football League. Green Bay drafted Joey Thomas in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft and Detroit picked John Taylor in the fourth round of the 2003 draft.
Kwiatkowski has coached at Boise State (1988-96), Snow College (1997-98), Eastern Washington (1999) and Montana State (2000-05). He is a member of the Boise State Athletic Hall of Fame, and was an All-America for the Broncos in 1987. He was a three-time First Team All-Big Sky choice.
It is good to bring the legendary defensive lineman back to Boise State to coach many future Broncos to similar success.