BOISE, Idaho - New Boise State coach Bryan Harsin has convinced top assistants at Texas A&M and Stanford to come back and coach at their alma matter.
Harsin announced this week that former Broncos player and assistant Marcel Yates will return to be defensive coordinator. On the other side of the ball, Harsin tapped former Boise State quarterback Mike Sanford Jr. to be the offensive coordinator.
Yates played defensive back at Boise State and joined the coaching staff from 2003 to 2011 before taking the job of co-defensive coordinator at Texas A&M.
"Being able to bring a coach, and person, of high quality like Marcel to our program is a home run," Harsin said. "We worked and played together at Boise State, and he is one of the sharpest defensive minds in the country."
Sanford was a backup through 2004 and has spent the last three years at Stanford, where he coached receivers and quarterbacks. This year he served as the team's recruiting coordinator.
Harsin praised both as savvy coaches and recruiters.
"Mike is a young, bright coach, and having played the quarterback position at Boise State, he has a great understanding of what we are trying to do," Harsin said.
So far, Harsin has officially announced the hiring of four assistants.
Harsin accepted the job last week and will take over from his mentor, Chris Petersen, who is now at Washington after eight highly successful seasons with the Broncos.
Earlier this week, Harsin added Andy Avalos and Scott Huff to his staff, coaches also with ties as Boise State players.
Yates played defensive back at Boise State and between 2006 and 2011 coached the Broncos secondary before leaving for Texas A&M. He built a reputation in Boise for recruiting and grooming NFL-caliber players, including recent top draft picks like Kyle Wilson, now with the New York Jets, Jamar Taylor of the Miami Dolphins and Orlando Scandrick of the Dallas Cowboys.
"It's an honor for me and my family to come back to Boise State," Yates said. "As excited as I am, I understand I have big shoes to fill. Coach Petersen and his staff have left Boise State in a great position, and I am elated about the opportunity to help continue this success."
For Sanford, his coaching experience included stops at Western Kentucky, Yale and UNLV, where he worked for his father, former head coach Mike Sanford Sr.