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With Harsin gone, Boise State names Danielson interim coach

| December 24, 2020 1:15 AM

By RON COUNTS

Idaho Statesman

Defensive line coach Spencer Danielson will serve as the Boise State football team’s interim head coach while the program conducts a national search for Bryan Harsin’s replacement, the team announced Wednesday.

Harsin was announced as Auburn’s new head coach Tuesday, ending a seven-year run as the Broncos’ head coach that included three Mountain West championships.

Danielson isn’t the most experienced member of the Broncos’ staff. Tight ends coach Kent Riddle and offensive line coach Brad Bedell have quite a few years on him, but it’s Danielson who will run the show until a permanent hire is made.

“I am incredibly humbled by this opportunity,” Danielson said in a statement. “Boise State has been a great place for a long time, and I want to make sure our current student-athletes and the student-athletes that are committed to us know that it will continue to be great. The best is still to come!”

Danielson just completed his fourth season at Boise State and third as a full-time assistant coach. He joined the program in 2017 as a graduate assistant working with the STUDs — a position that then included All-American Curtis Weaver, who ended his career No. 2 all-time at Boise State with 34 sacks.

He had a big impact this year on junior college transfer Divine Obichere, who showed up at Boise State out of shape and had to cut about 30 pounds just to get in playing shape.

“He’s just a loving dude with a bunch of energy,” Obichere told reporters Nov. 19. “He’s like one of those fun uncles who really cares about you.”

Danielson worked with the STUDs again in 2018 before he was promoted the following season to defensive line coach. This year, he was also named co-defensive coordinator and his base salary increased from $215,000 to $275,000.

The first job the native of Solana Beach, Calif., has to tackle this offseason is putting the finishing touches on the Broncos’ 2021 recruiting class. Boise State signed 15 recruits last Wednesday on early signing day, but highly touted running back Eli Sanders remains unsigned.

Given the way the Broncos struggled to run the ball this season without George Holani, finding a way to get Sanders signed Feb. 3 will be priority No. 1.

“Coach Danielson is a strong leader on and off the field and is well-respected among our student-athletes, coaches, staff and administration,” Boise State Interim Athletic Director Bob Carney said in Wednesday’s statement. “He is prepared to step in and lead this program as we search for a permanent head coach.”

Boise State has not offered a timeline for when it hopes to have a new coach in place, but the university did announce earlier this month that it plans to hire a new athletic director by March 2021.

Former Athletic Director Curt Apsey stepped down in October to assume a role in university level fundraising.