The 2022 college football season is nearly here
How are the head football coaches in the Mountain West feeling heading into the new season?
Who’s on the hot seat heading into the season?
As the college football season comes into full view, it’s time to take a look at where each of the head coaches in the Mountain West stand.
Which coaches are feeling pretty comfortable heading into the year and which ones are asking their wives to research a good realtor in town?
Andy Avalos – Boise State
Seat: Cold, but warming. Let’s call a spade, a spade. Avalos failed to live up to expectations in his first year as head coach for the Broncos, at times looking a little overmatched, ultimately finishing with a 7-5 record. This year, expectations are high, with Boise St. picked to win the Mountain Division. Currently Avalos’ seat is cold—Boise St. athletic director Jeremiah Dickey is unlikely to fire someone as well-liked as Avalos this early in his tenure—but if things go south for the Broncos this year, Avalos seat will get very warm heading into the offseason. The positives for Avalos is that he has recruited well and while he may not be (former Boise St. head coach Chris) Petersen reincarnated—like some had hoped—he may actually be a viable option given some time to build from whatever unreported mess (former Boise St. head coach Bryan) Harsin left the program in.
Jeff Tedford – Fresno State
Seat: Cold. Tedford returns to Fresno St. after Kalen DeBoer bolted for the Washington job. While Tedford had some immediate success in his first two years in Fresno, his final year seems to be forgotten by many: 4-8 and 2-6 in conference. Expectations for the Bulldogs are sky high this year and rightfully so. But if Tedford is the coach from 2019 rather than the one from 2017 or 2018, his seat may get a little warmer sooner than expected.
Troy Calhoun – Air Force
Seat: Frozen. In what scenario would Air Force get rid of Calhoun? Outside of a scandal, there really isn’t one. Calhoun has earned a long leash and is a much more likely candidate to leave the Academy for another job than he is to be shown the door.
Blake Anderson – Utah State
Seat: Cold and getting colder. The second year coach from Logan led the Aggies all the way to the Mountain West Championship game, upsetting San Diego St. to claim the title. That alone secured Anderson as Utah St.’s head coach for another five years—at a minimum. The only way Anderson leaves Logan anytime soon is if he gets scooped up by a Big 12/Pac-12 program—which is a definite possibility. The only real knock on Anderson is recruiting, as Utah St. was ranked last in 247 Sports 2021 Mountain West recruiting rankings.
Brady Hoke – San Diego State
Seat: Frozen. Hoke is an interesting case study. He left San Diego St. relatively early in his tenure to take a job at Michigan. While he had success at SDSU (and Ball St.), he fell flat on his face at Michigan. He then had a forgettable (and short) stop at Tennessee before coming back out West to San Diego where he picked up where he left off prior to leaving for Ann Arbor. At this point, it must be clear to Hoke that SDSU is the perfect situation for whatever his real strengths and weaknesses are. If you’re John David Wicker, SDSU’s athletic director, you know Hoke’s likely not going anywhere and he’s built such a strong program, you really don’t want him to go anywhere either. Unless a scandal breaks or Hoke tries his luck in the Power 5 again, Hoke will be in San Diego for the foreseeable future.
Jay Norvell – Colorado State
Seat: Cold. Norvell made the rare interconference head coaching jump—from Nevada to Colorado State this offseason. At Nevada, Norvell’s resources were somewhat limited, but at Colorado St. he’ll have a lot more to work with. Can he turn the Rams into consistent winners? He’ll have plenty of time to do so because Norvell is not going anywhere for a while, regardless of how ugly it might be these first couple years.