After five seasons as one of the nation's top offensive coordinators, Chris Petersen was promoted to head coach of Boise State on January 1, 2006. The 41-year old Petersen became the school's ninth head coach in the 38-year history of Bronco football.
Everywhere the offensive genius Petersen has gone, he's not only succeeded but excelled. In five seasons as Offensive Coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Boise State, Petersen was twice (2002 and 2004) a finalist for the prestigious Broyles Award, which honors the nation's top assistant coach. During the five seasons that he masterminded the Bronco offense, Boise State boasted the top scoring offense in the country averaging 41.6 points per game. Under Petersen's guidance, Boise State has featured one of the most balanced offenses in the country. The Broncos have finished in the top 15 in total offense four times including three top 10 finishes--first in 2002, fourth in 2004 and seventh in 2003.
The Broncos finished in the top 20 in passing four out of the five years, including a high ranking of fifth in 2003. Moreover, the Bronco ground game has ranked in the top 25 in the country in rushing three of the last four seasons, including 14th in 2004 and 15th last season.
Petersen guided one of the nation's most accurate passers at Boise State. Ryan Dinwiddie (2001-03) finished as the NCAA career passing efficiency leader with a rating of 168.19. Dinwiddie had a career-best 188.18 ranking in 2002 that would have set an NCAA single season record if he played in one more game.
In 2005 Petersen helped Boise State to its fourth straight WAC championship, the longest current league title streak in the country (tied with USC). Three of Petersen's offensive players were named either first or second team All-WAC highlighted by Daryn Colledge's second consecutive appearance on the first team. Running back Lee Marks and wide receiver Drisan James were named to the second team. The Bronco offense led the WAC in rushing and finished second in the league in scoring.
Dinwiddie was just one of five players to find a spot on the All-WAC team in 2003 under Petersen. In addition to Dinwiddie, Tim Gilligan earned first-team All-WAC honors as a wide receiver, while Colledge was second-team All-WAC on the offensive line and running back David Mikell and wide receiver Jerry Smith were honorable-mention selections.
During his time at Boise State, Petersen has seen his players rewrite the Bronco record books. Dinwiddie is the all- time passing yards leader, single season passing yards leader, and career pass efficiency leader. Brock Forsey, who played for Petersen for two years, is the single season rushing leader at Boise State, as well as the single season and career touchdown leader. Gilligan and Billy Wingfield rank one and two on the single-season receiving yards list, while Gilligan is second on the single season receptions list. Lawrence Bady set a new school record in 2003 with an average of 25.0 yards per reception and also holds the career record for average yards per catch with 20.20 yards per catch.
In 2004 the Broncos finished second in the nation in total offense, but set a school record scoring 48.9 points per game, 3.3 more points per game than the old record set in 2002. The Broncos finished in the top 20 in the country in five different categories and in the top five in two. In addition to finishing second in scoring, the Broncos were fourth in total offense (492.67 yards per game), 11th in pass efficiency (146.34), 14th in rushing offense (229.83 yards per game), and 20th in passing offense (262.83 yards per game).
Boise State's offense led the WAC in five separate categories in 2004 under Petersen. The Broncos were number one in scoring offense, total offense, pass effi ciency, first downs and red zone offense.
The 2003 season marked the second straight year the Bronco offense led the country in scoring under Petersen. Boise State averaged 43 points per game, while also ranking in the top seven in three other categories. The Broncos were third in passing efficiency at 159.76, fifth in passing offense with 336.29 yards per game, and seventh in total offense averaging 486.36 yards per game. Boise State was also either first or second in the WAC in six separate categories. The Broncos led the league in scoring offense, pass efficiency, and third-down conversions (43.1 percent).
Petersen took the Bronco offense to new heights in 2002. After leading the offense to three top 20 national rankings in 2001, Boise State led the country in scoring offense averaging 45.6 points per game, total offense averaging 501.5 yards per game, and passing efficiency with a rating of 169.4. The Broncos were also 12th in passing offense, 14th in fewest interceptions, and 22nd in rushing.
Boise State's offense was even more dominating in the WAC under Petersen. Boise State led the league in five categories (scoring, total offense, pass efficiency, red zone offense, and fewest interceptions), was second in three others (rushing offense, first downs, and fourth down conversions), and was fourth in one more (passing offense).
Individually, players got the chance to put up big numbers in the Bronco offense under Petersen. Running back Forsey was named the WAC Offensive Player of the Year after leading the country in scoring, finishing fifth in all-purpose yards, and 11th in rushing (he led the WAC in all three categories). Quarterbacks Dinwiddie and B.J. Rhode combined to lead the country in passing efficiency, while wide receivers Wingfield, Lou Fanucchi, and Jay Swillie made assaults on the Bronco record book.
In all, seven Bronco offensive players earned All-WAC honors with Forsey, Dinwiddie, center Scott Huff, and guard Rob Vian all finding spots on the first team. In 2001 under Petersen, the Boise State offense finished in the Top 20 in three separate categories. The Broncos were 14th in total offense, 18th in scoring offense, and 20th in passing offense. In addition Peterson had three players named first- team All-WAC and two players drafted by NFL teams.
Petersen came to Boise State from the University of Oregon where he joined the coaching staff in 1995, and immediately helped contribute to a passing attack that ranked among the nation's elite each of the six seasons he served as wide receivers coach. Twice during Petersen's stay at Oregon, offensive teams he was linked to broke the school record for single season passing yards, and three times the Ducks broke the single season school record for most touchdowns. In the process, Petersen had a hand in the development of four of Oregon's top six all-time receivers.
Prior to working in Eugene, Petersen served as the quarterbacks coach at Portland State in 1993-94, helping the Vikings advance to the NCAA Division II playoffs both seasons. In 1992, Petersen also guided the quarterbacks at the University of Pittsburgh. That season, the Panthers established a school record for passing yards and ranked eighth nationally in total offense and passing. In addition, he contributed to the development of first-team All-Big East quarterback Alex Van Pelt, who topped the school's passing yardage totals previously held by Dan Marino.
Petersen's success as a coach can be directly linked to a record-setting career as a quarterback at his alma mater, UC-Davis. He was named the Northern California Athletic Conference Player of the Year as a senior and was the top rated Division II quarterback in the nation. Petersen received second team Kodak Division II All-American honors while at Davis and still holds the Division II record for career passing percentage at 69.6 percent.
After receiving his bachelor's degree in Psychology from U.C. Davis in 1988, Petersen started his coaching career at Davis, serving as the head freshmen coach in 1987-1988, and the receivers coach from 1989-1991.
Assistant Head Coach / Offensive Line
After five seasons coaching in the National Football League, Sean Kugler returns to the college ranks this season to become Boise State's assistant head coach and offensive line coach. He spent the last five seasons with the Detroit Lions, coaching the offensive line from 2004-2005 and tight ends from 2001- 2005.
Kugler served as the Lions' offensive line coach for the final five games of the 2005 season. Prior to that, he was the team's tight ends coach for five seasons, while doubling as the assistant offensive line coach and tight ends coach the last two years. During that time he coached under head coaches Marty Mornhingweg, Steve Marriucci and Dick Jauron. In 2004 tight end Stephen Alexander was second on the team in receptions, and in 2005 Marcus Pollard was the team's leading receiver.
In 2003 Kugler aided the emergence of Casey FitzSimmons from an undrafted free agent to a regular starter in the team's offense. FitzSimmons was second in the NFL in receptions among rookie tight ends. In 2002 Kugler was instrumental in helping Lions' tight end Mikhael Ricks to a 2003 Pro Bowl alternate selection, and in 2001 David Sloan set a Lions' record for touchdowns in a season by a tight end with seven.
Prior to joining the Lions, Kugler coached at UTEP for eight years. He served as the offensive line coach from 1995-2000, helping the Miners win the 2000 WAC Championship and a berth in the Crucial.com Humanitarian Bowl, where they lost to Boise State. Kugler also worked as the Miners' tight ends coach in 1994 and as a graduate assistant with the defensive line in 1993.
The Lockport, N.Y., native was a four-year letter winner (1985-99) at UTEP and went on to sign a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1989. He split the next three years coaching at two high schools (1990 and 1992) and playing as a starting guard for the Sacramento Surge of the World League of American Football in 1991. Kugler was on the staff at Tampa Bay (Fla.) Tech in 1990 and coached at Gaither High School (also in Tampa) in 1992 before returning to UTEP as a graduate assistant.
Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks
Bryan Harsin is in his sixth season as a member of the Bronco football staff and his first as Offensive Coordinator and quarterbacks coach. The 29-year-old Harsin is one of the top young coaches in the country and just one of two offensive coordinators in Division I football under the age of 30.
After serving as tight ends coach, Harsin was promoted to Offensive Coordinator when Petersen was named head coach. Harsin was a graduate assistant in 2001.
Under Harsin, the tight ends have played a vital role in a Bronco offense that led the country twice and finished in the top 10 in scoring in each of his four years as tight ends coach. During his tenure as tight ends coach, two Bronco tight ends earned honorable mention All-WAC honors.
Last season, four Bronco tight ends combined to catch 27 passes for 298 yards and three touchdowns. Junior Derek Schouman finished sixth on the team with 17 catches for 177 yards and a touchdown, while Sherm Blaser and Ryan Putnam each caught four passes and Jared Hunter added two catches.
In 2004, Harsin helped Bronco tight ends contribute to the top scoring offense in school history. Tight ends Derek Schouman, Andy Weldon and Sherm Blaser combined for 29 catches, 447 yards and three touchdowns. Weldon earned honorable mention All-WAC honors and Schouman finished fourth on the team with 15 catches despite missing five games with an injury.
In 2003, Harsin blended a pair of returnees with three new tight ends, including a pair of freshmen. The five tight ends combined to catch 41 passes with five touchdowns. True freshman Derek Schouman made an immediate impact on the team, catching 17 passes while scoring four touchdowns, including the game winner against TCU in the PlainsCapital Fort Worth Bowl.
In 2002, Harsin helped turn a group of tight ends into a cohesive unit that made plenty of big plays for the Bronco offense. Rocky Atkinson was an honorable mention selection on the All-WAC team. Harsin was a member of the Bronco football team from 1995-1999, earning three varsity letters during that time. He served as Boise State's No. 2 signal caller in 1999, when the team went 10-3 and won the Crucial.com Humanitarian Bowl.
After graduating from Boise State in 2000 with a degree in Business Management, Harsin entered the coaching profession at Eastern Oregon. During the 2000 season he coached running backs and receivers at the La Grande, Oregon school.
Justin Wilcox returns to Boise State this season to assume the duties of Defensive Coordinator after spending three seasons at the University of California as the Golden Bears' linebackers coach. The 29-year-old Wilcox is one of the top young assistant coaches in college football and is just one of three defensive coordinators in Division I football under the age of 30.
While coaching linebackers at Cal from 2003-2005, Wilcox helped the Golden Bears to three straight bowl games and a 26-12 record. The Bears played in the Insight Bowl in 2003, the Holiday Bowl in 2004 and the Las Vegas Bowl in 2005.
Wilcox was credited with turning his linebackers into a tight-knit unit that epitomized the Cal defense's swarm-to-the-ball philosophy. In 2005 he coached a second-team All-Pac 10 player and two first-team freshman All-America picks.
In two seasons (2001-02) as a graduate assistant at Boise State, Wilcox worked with outside linebackers. He helped Boise State to a victory over 8th-ranked Fresno State in 2001, the highest ranking of any team Boise State has beaten, and a 12-1 record and a No. 15 national ranking in 2002.
Wilcox played at Oregon from 1995-99, and was a part of four Duck teams that advanced to bowl games. He played in the 1997 Vegas Bowl, the 1998 Aloha Bowl and the 1999 Sun Bowl, while red-shirting in 1995 when Oregon participated in the Cotton Bowl. His first three years at Oregon were spent as a safety before he moved to cornerback as a senior in 1999 and earned second-team All-Pac 10 Conference honors.
The Wilcox name is one very familiar to Bronco football, as Justin's father is former Boise Junior College great Dave Wilcox. The elder Wilcox played for the Broncos in 1960 and 1961, where he earned All-America honors before transferring to the University of Oregon. Dave Wilcox went on to become an All-Pro linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers and was later inducted into the Boise State Athletic Hall of Fame and the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2000 class.
Special Teams / Running Backs
Jeff Choate is in his first season as running backs and special teams coach at Boise State.
Choate joins the Bronco program after one season as the Eastern Illinois special teams coach. The Panthers finished first in the Ohio Valley Conference and 22nd in the nation in net punting at 34.3 yards per punt. The Panthers' punter finished second in the OVC and placed 27 of his 69 punts inside the 20, 18 of those inside the 10. Choate's placekicker at Eastern Illinois was named to the OVC All-Newcomer team.
Before coaching at Eastern Illinois, Choate spent two seasons as the special teams coach at Utah State, where the Aggies led the country in punt returns in 2004. They also ranked 24th in the country in kickoff returns and were 27th in net punting. Utah State was one of just six NCAA Division I teams to have three special team units rank among the top 30.
Choate was a graduate assistant at Utah State and worked with the defensive line and safeties before becoming the special teams coach. From 1997-2001 he was head football coach at Post Falls High School and also served as athletic director the final two years. Post Falls advanced to the Idaho state tournament twice in 1998 and 1999.
Before coaching at Post Falls, Choate was Defensive Coordinator at Twin Falls High School in 1996 and was the head coach at Challis High School in 1994-95. Challis had its first winning season in 10 years and first playoff appearance since 1976 during his tenure. He earned District Six Coach of the Year honors.
Scott Huff returns to his alma mater this season to serve as the Broncos' tight ends coach. Huff, a 2002 graduate of Boise State, spent the last two seasons working with the offensive line as a graduate assistant at Arizona State under former Bronco coach Dirk Koetter.
As a player, Huff started 40 games at center during his four-year career. During that time he earned first-team All-WAC honors as a senior anchoring an offensive line that helped Boise State lead the nation in scoring and total yards. During his career, Boise State won three conference championships—one in the Western Athletic Conference and two in the Big West Conference. In 2005 he was named to the Bronco Stadium 35th Anniversary Team as the team's center.
Huff, a team captain his senior year at Boise State, was also named first-team All- WAC by The Sporting News following his junior season and was on both the Rimington and Lombardi Award watch lists as a senior.
Pete Kwiatkowski returns to Boise State, his alma mater, this season as the Broncos' defensive line coach after spending the last six seasons as Montana State's defensive coordinator.
Under Kwiatkowski, Montana State's defense allowed a league-low 332.2 yards per game in 2005, while also leading the league in passing defense, allowing just 165.6 yards per game. The Bobcats were second in scoring, giving up only 22.8 points per game. The Bobcats also led the Big Sky in total defense in 2001, allowing 358.0 yards, in 2002, giving up 306.8 yards and in 2003 with 298.4 yards per game. In addition to leading the Big Sky in pass defense last year, the Bobcats also led the league in pass defense under Kwiatkowski in 2001 with 203.9 yards per game, in 2002 with 194.1 yards per game and in 2003 with 168.7 yards per game. The Bobcats also finished the 2003 season first in scoring defense, allowing only 16.5 points per game.
With Kwiatkowski as defensive coordinator, Montana State qualified for the I-AA playoffs in 2002 and 2003, its first appearances since the 1984 season. The Bobcats also beat in-state rival Montana three of the last four seasons.
He coached cornerback Joey Thomas, a third-round pick by Green Bay in 2004 and now with the New Orleans Saints, and defensive tackle John Taylor, a fourth-round pick of the Detroit Lions. Kwiatkowski also coached a pair of Big Sky Conference defensive MVPs, Kane Ioane in 2003 and Roger Cooper in 2004.
Kwiatkowski began his coaching career as an assistant at Boise State, where he coached for eight seasons (1988-96) under three different Bronco head coaches. During his first stint with the Broncos he coached defensive backs, outside linebackers and the defensive line at various times. After leaving Boise State, Kwiatkowski moved to Snow Junior College where he was the defensive co-coordinator and defensive line coach for one season and then coached at Eastern Washington for two seasons.
Kwiatkowski was inducted into the Boise State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996. He earned four fi rst-team All-America awards in 1987 and was named the Big Sky Conference's Defensive Player of the Year. He also received first-team All-Big Sky honors in 1986 and 1987 and second-team honors in 1985. He received honorable mention All-America recognition from the Associated Press in 1986.
Brent Pease, who is in his first season as wide receivers coach at Boise State, brings a wealth of experience to the Bronco offense. Pease spent the last 15 seasons coaching at four different schools in three different conferences, the last 10 as his team's offensive coordinator.
Most recently, Pease spent the last three seasons (2003-2005) as the offensive coordinator at Baylor. While at Baylor, Pease helped the Bears improve and finish with a 5-6 record last season, the team's best finish since 1995.
From 2001-2002 Pease served as Offensive Coordinator at the University of Kentucky, where he helped turn the Wildcats into one of the top scoring offenses in the country. After posting its second straight 2-9 season in Pease's first year, the Wildcats finished 7-5 and ranked 23rd in scoring offense in 2002. The 7-5 record matched the Wildcats' best record since 1984.
Pease coached future National Football League players Artose Pinner (Detroit Lions) and Jared Lorenzen (New York Giants) during both his seasons at Kentucky. Pinner finished 13th in the nation in rushing in 2002 and Lorenzen was 23rd in pass efficiency that season, while Derek Abney was 10th in all-purpose rushing in 2002 and 12th in 2001.
Before moving to Division I football as a coordinator, Pease spent 10 seasons at Division I-AA schools Montana and Northern Arizona, five of those as a coordinator. Pease served as assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Northern Arizona University from 1999-2000. He was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Montana from 1996-1998 and was an offensive assistant coach for the Grizzlies from 1991-1995.
Pease helped the Grizzlies establish themselves as one of the premier I-AA teams in the mid-90s when the Grizzlies won the I-AA National Championship in 1995, finished second in 1996 and advanced to the semifinals in 1994. During his time coaching at Montana, the Grizzlies finished with 10 or more wins four times in eight years and while he was offensive coordinator Montana boasted records of 14-1 (1996), 8-4 (1997) and 8-4 (1998).
Montana led all of I-AA in passing in 1996, averaging 339.6 yards per game, while leading the Big Sky in both 1996 and 1998. Under Pease's tutelage as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Grizzly quarterback Brian Ah Yat threw a Big Sky record 42 touchdown passes in 1996.
During his time at Montana, Pease mentored quarterbacks Dave Dickenson and Ah Yat. Dickenson is first in Big Sky Conference history in total offense and Ah Yat is 12th. Dickenson was the 1995 Walter Payton Award winner and was an AP All-American in 1993, 1994 and 1995. Ah Yat was a Walter Payton Award finalist and was an All-American in 1996 and 1998. Dickenson and Ah Yat combined to win five Big Sky MVP awards.
Pease graduated from Mountain Home High School in 1983. He played at Walla Walla Community College from 1983-1984 and then played at Montana from 1985-1986. Pease ranks ninth at Montana in both single season and career passing.
Linebackers / Recruiting Coordinator
Viliami Tuivai is in his fourth season at Boise State and his first as linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator. Tuivai spent last season as director of football operations after serving the previous two seasons as a defensive graduate assistant at Boise State. He worked primarily with the linebackers as a graduate assistant.
Marcel Yates is in his fourth season as a member of the Boise State coaching staff. Yates, a four-year letterman at Boise State, will coach the cornerbacks and safeties after coaching corners the last three seasons. He joined the Bronco staff after two seasons at Montana State University, where he served as the secondary coach for the Bobcats.
Yates continued a successful run of his players garnering postseason recognition for their play. Last season, true freshman Orlando Scandrick was named to pair of Freshman All-America teams after starting 12 of Boise State 13 games. Scandrick finished eighth in the WAC in passes defended while Gerald Alexander was sixth.
In 2004 Yates had a cornerback earn all-league honors for the third straight year and first-team All-WAC recognition for the first time. After two seasons as a second-team all- league pick, Gabe Franklin was named first team after leading the WAC in passes defended. Yates' other corner, Gerald Alexander, led the WAC in interceptions with five and was fi fth in passes defended.
In 2003, both of Yates' starting cornerbacks earned All-WAC recognition. Gabe Franklin was named to the All-WAC second team, while Julius Brown was an honorable mention All-WAC choice. Brown was second in the league in passes defended, while Franklin was fourth.
In 2002, Yates helped lead Montana State to an overall record of 7-5, the school's first Big Sky Conference championship, and its first NCAA Division 1-AA playoff appearance in 18 years.
While playing at Boise State, Yates had an outstanding rookie season making 70 tackles in 1996. Yates finished his career with 138 tackles, 89 unassisted. Following the 1999 season he received the team's Denny Erickson Memorial Award for Valor.
Offensive Graduate Assistant
Klayton Adams is in his second season with Boise State and his first as the offensive graduate assistant. Last season Adams worked as a student assistant coach for the Broncos. Adams will continue to serve as the assistant offensive line coach.
Adams played two seasons at Boise State, earning second-team All-WAC honors as a center in 2004 after anchoring a dominant offensive line. He helped the Broncos finish second in the nation in scoring, while the team rushed for a school-record 48 touchdowns. Adams served as a backup offensive lineman during his junior season after walking on. He got his first start in Boise State's 34-31 win over TCU in the PlainsCapital Fort Worth Bowl.
Defensive Graduate Assistant
Wes Nurse enters hissecond season as the defensive graduate assistant at Boise State. Nurse, who played for the Broncos from 2000-2003, will work with the defensive backs after spending last season working with the linebackers.
Nurse graduated from Boise State in 2004 with a degree in Business Marketing. He spent the 2004 season as the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Capital High School in Boise. He helped coach the Eagles to a conference title and a spot in the semifinals of the state tournament. Three of his players were named to the all-state team.
As a player at Boise State, Nurse earned first-team All-WAC honors as a senior in 2003 and second-team All-WAC accolades as a junior in 2002. He finished his career with 294 tackles (13th most in school history) and 10 interceptions.
Head Strength and Conditioning Coach
Tim Socha is in his first season as head strength and conditioning coach at Boise State University. Socha joined the Bronco staff on May 15, 2006.
Before coming to Boise State, Socha spent two seasons as the assistant director of strength and conditioning for football at Louisville, where he helped the Cardinals to a pair of bowl games and an overall 20-4 record.
Socha worked three years at Wyoming, where he served as the assistant strength and conditioning coach for football and was the head strength and conditioning coach for wrestling and track and field and cross country.
Socha was a graduate assistant at Auburn during the 1999-2000 seasons, where he assisted with football, baseball and softball and served as the head strength and conditioning coach for men's golf. He received a masters of Education in Exercise Physiology from Auburn in May 2001. Socha is a 1999 graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in Kinesiology and a minor in coaching. He was a four-year letter winner in football (1995-1998).