Boise State names interim Spencer Danielson new head coach

Boise State has hired interim coach Spencer Danielson as the school's next head coach, it was announced Sunday.

Danielson, 35, is the former Boise State defensive coordinator who turned around the program's fortunes after getting promoted to interim head coach Nov. 12.

Danielson led Boise State to a 3-0 record as interim coach, including a 44-20 blowout over UNLV in the Mountain West title game Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Danielson became the first interim coach in FBS history to win a conference championship. The title marked the fifth in school history, an achievement that appeared to be a long shot when Boise State fired coach Andy Avalos on Nov. 12.

"I value process over results," Boise State athletic director Jeramiah Dickey said in a statement. "As exciting as it was to win the last three games and reclaim the conference championship, from the standpoint of hiring a head coach, it was more exciting to me to hear Spencer's vision for the future and how he is going to approach the job full time."

Boise State won its final two regular-season games after starting the season 5-5, including three nonconference losses. Under Danielson, the Broncos blew out Utah State on the road and registered a solid win over Air Force at home.

Those wins clinched a spot in the Mountain West title game. And from there, Boise State held UNLV more than two touchdowns below the team's scoring average to cruise to victory.

Danielson prioritized reenergizing the program, keeping practice periods tight and making sure that joy was emphasized. He'd been on staff at Boise State since 2017, which meant he had developed strong relationships with everyone on the roster.

"I am so honored and excited to be able to stay at home here at Boise State and to keep guiding these incredible young men," Danielson said in a statement. "It is truly a blessing to be here in the Treasure Valley and to lead this program. This place has become home for me and my family. I am incredibly thankful to [Boise President Dr. Marlene Tromp] and Jeramiah Dickey for their faith in me to lead the Broncos. When you play together and you love each other you can accomplish amazing things, and we're just getting started."

Since Danielson took over, the players in the program have consistently voiced their support for his head-coaching candidacy. That was amplified after the runaway victory in the Mountain West title game, as safety Alexander Teubner lobbied for Danielson while accepting the game's defensive MVP, saying: "Stop the search right now. We've got our guy."

Before Boise State, Danielson coached at his alma mater, Azusa Pacific, from 2013 to '16. He has an MBA from Azusa Pacific and was named to college football's 30 Under 30 by the American Football Coaches Association.

He was Boise State's defensive coordinator the past two seasons and served as the co-defensive coordinator in 2019 and 2020. He had already served once prior as the program's interim coach, as he took the helm briefly when Bryan Harsin left for Auburn after the 2020 season.

Danielson takes over a proud program that hit a lull, as Boise State was ranked for a remarkable 19 consecutive seasons from 2002 to 2020. Boise State, which finished 8-5 and will head to a bowl game, has gone three straight years without a national ranking.

The program's long run of success transcended coaches, as it wove through Dan Hawkins, Chris Petersen and Harsin. Under Petersen, Boise State reached the top five in four different seasons.

That's the standard that Danielson will be chasing as he takes over as the permanent coach.