Always The Student

John Rade was one of the fiercest defensive players ever to play at Boise State, and certainly one of the most successful in the NFL. Where is John Rade Now? That's the topic in our continuing series on BroncoCountry.

John Rade played two years at Modesto Junior College in California before transferring to Boise State .  He played defensive lineman and excelled at pass rushing.  

 In 1981, Rade was sixth on the team with 62 tackles, including eight for loss, with a fumble recovery.  In 1982, Rade set a school record that still stands 27 years later.  John was credited with eight tackles for loss in a game (vs. Utah State ).  He is second all-time with 31 tackles for loss in the '82 season and he is fifth with 39 for his two-year career.  Rade was named All-Big Sky Conference in both 1981 and '82, and Big Sky Defensive Most Valuable Player his senior year.  

 In 1983, Rade was selected in the eighth round of the National Football League Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.   

Playing linebacker was new for Rade, and he studied the position intensely.  Rade went on to star for the Falcons and was made team captain.  He played linebacker in 122 games for Atlanta for nine seasons (1983-1990), one of the longest NFL careers for any former Bronco.  Rade had 4 100-plus tackle seasons. posting a career high 145 tackles in 1990.   In 1988 John led his team in tackles with 137 for the second straight year.  He had 10.5 career sacks (five in 1985), a fumble recovery and three interceptions, one of which he returned for a 38-yard touchdown in 1985.

Following his retirement from the Falcons in 1992, Rade and former Boise State teammate Paul Unger began a successful telecommunications business.  Rade surprised those around him (as well as Boise State professors) by going back to college.  He retook several classes to improve his grades, getting 4.0 averages, and graduating with a degree in finance. 

But when Rade's son Jared began playing little league football, John served as his coach.  It was there that he met Eagle High School head coach Mike Glenn.  Glenn brought Rade to Eagle as a motivational speaker and soon hired him as his defensive coordinator in 2002.

Eagle High School head coach Mike Glenn hired Rade as his defensive coordinator in 2002.  That fall, the Mustangs reached the 5A state playoffs before losing to Lewiston on their home field 29-20.  In 2003, Eagle downed Twin Falls 23-21 away from home to reach the state semifinals before losing to Highland in Pocatello 34-17.  Eagle again made the state playoffs but lost to Capital High School in the opening round.

Glenn was hired by Wood River High School prior to the 2005 season and he brought Rade with him to continue his role as defensive coordinator.  "I wasn't goingto take this job without him coming up here with me," Glenn said.

When Glenn and Rade were hired, Wood River was coming off a dismal 0-9 season.  The team was 4-6 in 2005 but achieved something that wasn't lost upon Wood River locals.  The Wolverines beat Jerome for the first time in 30 years (16-0).  That win hasn't catapulted the team to new heights yet however, as they slipped to 4-5 in 2006, 1-7 in 2007 and again last season. 

Rade also was to serve as Assistant Athletic Director.  He was soon promoted to Athletic Director and was named in May as the Idaho 4th District 5A/4A Athletic Director of the Year. 

John and his wife Lori (his college sweetheart at Boise State ) now live in Hailey.  Lori is a middle school assistant counselor in Wood River .  Their daughter Jenna is majoring in education at Boise State .

John has continued to further his education, serving as a student teacher at Wood River .  He recently received a teaching certificate in economics and business.

Rade continues to be recognized by Bronco fans 27 years after his playing days at Bronco Stadium ended.  He was selected to the Dream Team in 1994, the All-Time Boise State Football Team by BroncoCountry in 2005, and the Bronco 35 Team in 2005.


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