Who is the 2009-10 Bronco Coach of the Year?

A decision awaits BroncoCountry members. Coaches of four conference championship teams join another who has led her program to a third-place finish in just two years of existence. Read about all five and then vote on the Blue Turf board for 2009-10 Bronco Coach of the Year.

It is time for the annual BroncoCountry awards for "Broncos of the Year".  Each year, the #1 web site for Bronco sports votes on nominees in four categories:  Male Athlete of the Year, Female Athlete of the Year, Team of the Year and Coach of the Year.  We begin the fun with the latter award.


Kristin Hill  

It took Hill just four years to build a Western Athletic Conference championship team.  Boise State enjoyed a tremendous regular season, surged into the lead on Day Two of the WAC Swimming and Diving Championships and did not look back.  The Broncos won eight individual WAC titles, broke 15 school records and shattered the school record for WAC scoring with 547 points.  San Jose State was the school closest to the Broncos with 494 points.   

Amber Boucher won the 50-meter freestyle and the 100-meter butterfly in an NCAA provisional time of 54.49, Stephanie North won her second consecutive WAC title in the 100-meter freestyle with an NCAA provisional time of 49.86.  Christine Raininger captured titles in the 400-meter individual medley and the 200 butterfly.  The 400-meter freestyle relay team also won with an NCAA provisional time of 3:23.02, the 400-meter medley relay team captured the WAC title with a pool record time of 3:44.03 and the 800-meter freestyle relay team also captured first.   

Boucher was named WAC Swimmer of the Year, earning five gold medals at the Championships.  In addition to the two individual titles, Boucher swam on all three WAC-champion relay teams.  

11 members of Hill's Boise State team were named to the WAC All-Academic team. 



Steve Lucas  

Steve Lucas has been with the Broncos for 12 years, including 10 as head coach of the soccer team.  He has steadily built Boise State into a contender, getting the most out of his players each year.  Now, Lucas and Boise State are the defending WAC Champions.  

Lucas's squad stormed through Fresno State (2-1), Utah State (1-0) and Nevada (1-0) to win the first-ever WAC Championship for Boise State .  Boise State got goals from Brandy Hickcox in the 59th minute of play to down Fresno State and from Erica Parks in the 58th minute to beat Utah State .  The Broncos earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament (also the first-ever for the school) before running into #3 UCLA.  

Boise State set a school record for victories in a season, compiling a 13-7-4 mark.  Goal keeper Liz Ruiz led the WAC with a stingy .50 goals against average and was second with 5.75 saves per game.  Shannon Saxton was sixth in the WAC in shots with 25 while Chelsea Robinson was second in assists with three.   

  Sophomore defender Lindsay Roberts was named to the All-WAC first team while sophomore midfielder Hickcox and junior forward Sexton were tabbed as second-team members.  Saxton was also honored as Academic All-District by ESPN The Magazine.  

Roberts was part of Boise State 's league-leading defense that recorded seven shutouts on the season and allowed just 17 goals for a .81 goals allowed per game.  Both were school records.  Saxton tied for the WAC lead in scoring with six goals and two assists.  With one season to go, Saxton already owns school records for career points (73) and career assists (15).  She can tie the career record for goals (30) with one more.  While scoring two goals last fall, Hickcox directed the Bronco offensive attack that scored 26 goals on the season.  

Lucas's teams have recorded the best APR (academic performance rating) in the conference in each of the last two years.



Erin Thorpe  

In just the second year of the program, Thorpe led Boise State 's softball team to a third-place finish in the WAC during the regular season and another third-place finish in the conference tournament.  Boise State finished 13-8 in the WAC and 29-32 overall.   

Reliever Lela Work and third baseman Kathy Cox were named to the all-tournament team.  Cox hit three home runs in a pair of games against perennial NCAA team Fresno State ; two tied up games in the sixth inning or later.  Cox hit .444 in the tournament with eight RBI's and six runs scored.  Her four home runs in the tournament gave her 21 on the season.  Work allowed New Mexico State just one hit in five innings to earn the win, keeping the Aggie hitting attack at bay while the Broncos rallied from an 8-0 deficit to win 9-8 in their tournament opener.  She then held Fresno State to one hit in three innings in Boise State 's final game.  Work did not allow a run in her eight innings, striking out eight and limiting opponents to a .074 batting average.

Cox was honored as an All-WAC selection as well as a member of the All-Region second team during the regular season, while sophomores Allie Crump and Kellie Caplan were second-team WAC choices. 

Cox led Boise State during the season with a .353 batting average, 45 runs scored, 43 RBI's and 17 homers.  She ranked second in the WAC with a .431 average in conference and seventh with her seven WAC home runs.  Cox was also third in the league with 21 runs and ninth with 18 RBI's during the conference season.  Cox was the only third baseman chosen to the All-Region second team and the only player from the WAC chosen.

Caplan was 11th in batting, hitting at a .364 clip, and led the Broncos with 16 stolen bases, five of those in conference action (6th in the WAC).  Crump won 15 games during the season, including a 7-2 record in conference play (third), and she ranked 10th with a 3.90 ERA.  Crump led the Broncos with 124 strikeouts and also carried a .314 batting average in conference games.



Chris Petersen

Petersen led Boise State 's football team to a perfect 14-0 record, including a 17-10 victory over #3 TCU in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl.  It was the second time that Petersen and the Broncos won the Fiesta Bowl in four seasons.  The 14 wins not only set a school record but were the most by any team in the nation since Ohio State did it in 2001. 

Petersen not only was named WAC Coach of the Year but became the first college coach in history to win the prestigious Paul "Bear" Bryant Award for National Coach of the Year.  Petersen also won the Bryant Award in 2006.  Coach Petersen also was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year Award.  Boise State was undefeafeated in the regular season for the third time in four years. 

Additionally, Offensive Coordinator Bryan Harsin was named as one of five finalists for the Broyles Award given annually to the nation's top assistant coach.

Petersen's high-powered offense once again led the nation in scoring, tied with Houston at 42.2 points per game.  Boise State was 26th in rushing (186.07 yards per game), 29th in passing (264.14 ypg), 10th in total offense (450.21 ypg).  The Broncos paced the country with just five sacks allowed.  Boise State ranked 28th in rushing defense (120.36 ypg), 21st in passing defense (179.86 ypg), 14th in total defense (300.21 ypg) and also 14th in scoring defense (17.14 ppg). 

Boise State led the WAC in scoring, scoring defense, passing defense, total defense, kickoff returns (26.6 ypg) and interceptions with 24.

Quarterback Kellen Moore and the Broncos set NCAA records for the lowest interception ratio of all-time. 

Moore led the nation in passing efficiency most of the season before finishing second to Florida 's Tim Tebow.  Moore finished with a rating of 161.7.  Cornerback Brandyn Thompson finished the season #19 in the country in interceptions with six.  Titus Young was 20th in the nation in kickoff returns with a 26.87 average.  Kyle Brotzman led the WAC with 117 points and in field goals with 18. 

Moore was one of 15 players named to the Watch List for the Walter Camp Award for National Player of the Year and was also one of 10 finalists for the Allstate Sugar Bowl Manning Award.  The The Manning Award, which is named in honor of the accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning, recognizes the top college quarterback each season from the FBS.  Kyle Wilson was named a semifinalst for the Jim Thorpe Award.

Moore was named first team All-America by SI.com and CBSSportscom and was a third-team All-American on the Associated Press team.  Wilson was named to the second team by both the Associated Press and the Walter Camp Football Foundation.  Titus Young was an honorable mention selection of SI.com.  Moore tossed a school-record 39 touchdown passes against only three interceptions and completed 64.8% of his passes (254-392) for 3,325 yards.  Wilson recorded 40 tackles (28 unassisted) and three interceptions, including two returns for touchdowns.  Young averaged 27.8 yards per return and returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.

  Moore was voted as the WAC Offensive Player of the Year to lead Boise State 's 11 All-WAC selections.  Junior wide receivers Austin Pettis and Titus Young and sophomore offensive lineman Nate Potter joined Moore as first-team All-WAC members.  Two members of Boise State 's top defense in the conference were honored—junior defensive end Ryan Winterswyk and senior defensive back Kyle Wilson.  Young was also chosen All-WAC as a kickoff returner.  Running back Jeremy Avery, defensive lineman Billy Winn, linebacker Winston Venable and defensive back Jeron Johnson were selected to the WAC's second team.

Petersen sent another First Round draft choice to the National Football League when cornerback Kyle Wilson was drafted by the New York Jets.



Mark Tichenor

Tichenor has built Boise State into a perennial WAC contender, finishing second in the conference in each of the last four seasons to eight-time WAC Champion Fresno State .  This year, Tichenor took the Broncos to the top.

Tichenor was named WAC Coach of the Year as well as Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Women's Mountain Region Coach of the Year.  He led Boise State to a 23-6 record, including WAC Championships in the regular season (with a perfect 8-0 record) and tournament.   The Broncos knocked down their second Top 25 opponent in as many years at the NCAA Tournament, this time blasting #21 Iowa 4-1 in the opening round.  Boise State was eliminated last weekend by #6 Notre Dame. 

Pichittra Thongdach, the #1 singles player for Tichenor, was honored as the WAC Player of the Year.  Thongdach was 18-10 in dual action in singles (including 5-7 against nationally-ranked opponents) and paired with Lauren Megale for a 21-7 doubles mark.  Thongdach and Megale finished the season ranked #45 in doubles. 

Megale and Thongdach were named to the All-WAC doubles team and both were also tabbed All-WAC in singles.  Bianca Jochimsen earned second-team All-WAC in singles.

Thongdach was also honored by the ITA as the 2010 recipient of the Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship.  The award is given to a women's player who displays inspiring dedication and commitment to her tam, which has enhanced her team's performance and exemplified the spirit of college tennis.

Thongdach was invited to the NCAA Indivudal championships in singles and Thongdach and Megale will also represent the Broncos in doubles at the National Championships.

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