AD on Joe Southwick: ‘We have a bigger program … we’re going to maintain and protect’

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com
© 2013 Idaho Statesman

Mark Coyle reacts to Southwick suspension

Boise State Athletic Director Mark Coyle said Saturday that he and interim football coach Bob Gregory discussed senior quarterback Joe Southwick’s team-rules violation Friday and agreed that he should be sent home. New coach Bryan Harsin was informed but was not part of the decision-making process, Coyle said.

“Those are hard decisions to have to make but at the end of the day, we have a bigger program, bigger culture, that we’re going to maintain and protect,” Coyle said.

Coyle also had kind words for Southwick:

“I have great appreciation and respect for Joe Southwick. I got here when Joe took over and Joe replaced Kellen Moore and, as you know, and rightfully so, our fan base thinks of Kellen as ‘the guy.’ And I really appreciate and respect how Joe stepped into that role and worked hard and fought hard and unfortunately we all make decisions that aren’t the best decisions and, again, those have consequences.

“… When he had the ankle injury, that kid worked so hard to get back here. Again, it’s just an unfortunate situation for everybody involved. … I know Joe’s going to get better from this, we’ll get better from this, and we’ll all move on. But very appreciative of what Joe’s done for our program.”

WR Matt Miller on coaching changes

— “I was one of those guys who knew Coach Hars, so I know we’ve got a great guy coming in — and he’s assembling a great staff. It kind of created a new buzz around the locker room, which is nice, to see those young guys kind of getting excited again.”

— “Everybody kind of goes through that, but Boise State is a great place to play football and go to school and we have a lot of faith in our administration to bring in a great football coach, which they did with coach Harsin. When it first happened, there were thoughts of (leaving) but now everyone is pretty happy. … We’ve got great offensive minds coming in and they’re excited to play for those types of guys.”

Boise State adds two coaches, administrator to football staff

Boise State on Saturday announced the hiring of Kent Riddle as the running backs and special teams coach, Steve Caldwell as the defensive line coach and Brian Wilkinson as the director of football operations.

All three come to the Broncos from new coach Bryan Harsin’s staff at Arkansas State.

Riddle was the Broncos’ special teams coach from 2001 to 2005. He also coached running backs. He followed Dan Hawkins to Colorado (2006-10) and spent two years at North Texas (2011-12) before joining Harsin at Arkansas State. He was the assistant head coach, tight ends coach and special teams coordinator at Arkansas State.

“Kent Riddle brings great experience coaching running backs and special teams to Boise State,” Harsin said in a press release. “He has coached running backs before, and one of the things I really like about him is the great examples he gives the players. Kent is also a great recruiter and great person whom I really enjoy working with.”

Caldwell has more than 30 years of experience and has won two national titles, including one at Tennessee. He was at Arkansas (2010-12). He was the defensive ends coach at Tennessee from 1995 to 2008. He was co-defensive coordinator at Nevada in 1994. He won a junior college national title at Northwest Mississippi Community College in 1982.

“Steve has great knowledge and passion for the game,” Harsin said in the release. “He brings a lot of experience to our staff, is a great coach and motivator, and is a top-notch recruiter.”

The Broncos have retained defensive line coach Andy Avalos but did not name an assignment for him. He could serve as the linebackers coach — the position he played in college — or form a tandem with Caldwell, as he did with Pete Kwiatkowski.

Wilkinson was the assistant athletic director for football operations at Arkansas State.

Here is the Broncos’ updated staff:

Head coach: Bryan Harsin
Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks: Mike Sanford
Offensive line: Scott Huff
Tight ends: TBA
Running backs/special teams: Kent Riddle
Wide receivers: TBA
Defensive coordinator: Marcel Yates
TBA: Andy Avalos
Defensive line: Steve Caldwell
TBA: TBA
Director of football operations: Brian Wilkinson
TBA: Gerald Alexander* (possibly a graduate assistant)
Strength coach: Jeff Pitman*
(* indicates the hires haven’t been announced)

Another recruit switches to Washington

Tight end Drew Sample of Newport (Wash.) High has switched his commitment from Boise State to Washington, following coach Chris Petersen, he confirmed via text message. He is the second Boise State commit to do so, joining quarterback Jalen Greene.

Mike Riley is an Idaho native

HONOLULU — The Boise State and Oregon State football programs will be led by native Idahoans next year.

Boise State recently hired Boise native Bryan Harsin.

Oregon State has one of the nation’s longest-tenured coaches, Mike Riley — and he was born in Wallace, Idaho.

“I’m very proud of my Idaho background,” Riley said.

His dad, Bud, was a football coach. He was the coach at Wallace High when Riley was born. Bud moved to Lewiston High when Riley was in first through third grades and then to the University of Idaho in Moscow, where he was the freshman coach for the Vandals. The Rileys followed Idaho coach Dee Andros to Oregon State.

Riley’s last school year in Idaho was sixth grade.

Riley’s dad died last year and he no longer has any family in Idaho.

Beavers need to run

Oregon State fell in love with its passing attack this season — and Riley says that cost his team eventually.

The Beavers rank third in the nation in passing (382.1 yards per game) but 118th in rushing (86 yards per game). They had rushed for a season high of 120 yards against Colorado until breaking through for 231 yards in the regular-season finale against Oregon.

“It’s kind of bittersweet to me,” Riley said. “We were 6-1 and throwing the ball and being very, very successful and then we ran into the really hard part of our schedule with Stanford and Arizona State looming — the two teams that played for the championship (in the Pac-12) — and we never did get the ground game established. That really has hurt us. We’ve always had a good running game. We really missed it when we got into the hard part of our schedule. We came back against Oregon and ran the ball well. It just looked so much better. It was so much of a better way for us to play. We want to continue that, we hope, against Boise.”

Boise State’s run defense was stingy late in the season, holding Colorado State’s Kapri Bibbs and San Diego State’s Adam Muema to a combined 115 yards.

NOTES & QUOTES

—Riley on the bowl experience: “There’s a lot of hoopla about going different places and the practices. None of it feels very good if you don’t win. It’s a long memory going into the next year. We went through that last year with the Alamo Bowl (loss to Texas). We led most of the game. That stood with us for a long time.”

— Riley on Boise State: “Boise State has been … maybe the most solid football program in the last decade, in the 2000s, in the country. I mean a consistently good football team, good character, well coached, winning. They’ve been as consistent and solid as anybody in the country over a long period of time. It’s a real credit to Chris Petersen and the coaching staff and their university for maintaining that.”

— All four of Saturday’s bowl games feature a team on Boise State’s 2014 home schedule: Colorado State, San Diego State, Fresno State and Louisiana (Lafayette). The other two home opponents, BYU and Utah State, also will play in bowls.

— Boise State players and assistant coaches meet with the media at about 5:15 p.m. MT today. I’ll add notes after that.

•••

OUR COVERAGE

Thursday story: Broncos need a break
Friday blog: Watch video from Friday’s press conference
Saturday story: Southwick sent home, Patti reinstated

•••

GAME NOTES

Boise State game notes
Oregon State game notes
Mountain West bowl notes

•••

OREGON STATE COVERAGE

The Oregonian’s coverage can be found here.

You can follow beat writer Lindsay Schnell on Twitter at @lindsayrae19.


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Chadd Cripe has spent the past 12 years as the Boise State football beat writer. You can follow him on Twitter @IDS_BroncoBeat.

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