Broncos tab Coyle as new AD
BSU picks former Kentucky official to replace Bleymaier in JanuaryBOISE — When Mark Coyle landed in Boise on Wednesday, he spoke to a few locals, not knowing who he was, about what to do in town. “You’ve got to go see the turf,” they told him. Well, that blue turf will now be part of Coyle’s office. Boise State announced on Thursday that the 43-year-old, currently the deputy athletic director at Kentucky, will be the Broncos’ new athletic director, to begin work full-time in January. “It represents so many good things about college athletics,” Coyle said. “College athletics has so much turmoil going on right now. Boise State has that image of they do it the right way when they compete, they’re doing it the right way in the classroom. I always told myself when I found that right opportunity, I wanted to be at a school that valued the athletic success and the academic success.” Coyle joins the Boise State athletic department at a pivotal point in its history — he replaces Gene Bleymaier, whose 30-year stint with the school ended in September. Plus he will oversee a new football facility, a possible conference move and the persistent attempts to lure Chris Petersen away. “Some of the biggest challenges for him could happen in the next few weeks, if football goes to the Big East and we find another home for the other sports,” Kustra said. “Generally speaking, though, this is a program that needs to move to the next level with a more sophisticated fundraising strategy.” Kustra pointed to Coyle’s abilities as a fundraiser and his commitment to compliance as key reasons for the hire. Coyle, whose contract will be for five years and $325,000 a year, pending State Board approval, was the director for external affairs at Minnesota from 2001-05 before joining Kentucky in that same capacity. He was promoted to deputy AD last September. Before joining the Gophers, he worked at Host Communications, a sports marketing firm. “Our football program is now at a point nationally where we need to be able to figure out how to get support, financially and otherwise, from that group,” Kustra said. “We’ve done a great job of that in the Treasure Valley, but we need to take the next step. Mark’s background in that area, in social media, in marketing, will help us tell our story and help facilitate that, I believe.” At Kentucky, Coyle began a program called the 110% Club, where donors would give $110 and received a special shirt recognizing that donation. He said it raised about $350,000. “Every dollar helps — I tell people it doesn’t matter if someone gives us a dollar or a million dollars, it has an impact on our program,” Coyle said. Coyle interviewed for the athletic director vacancy at Cincinnati in October, and said Thursday he wanted his first job as an AD to be at a “a destination, not a transition.” “Mark has been a great asset to the University of Kentucky over the last seven years and I’m happy that he’s getting this opportunity,” Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart said in a statement. “The work he’s done in terms of facilities and donor relationships has been tremendous. Boise State made a great choice and he’ll be missed by the Wildcat family. Mark is ready and capable to lead a Division I program.” Bronco men’s basketball coach Leon Rice was on the search committee, and when Coyle’s name came up, he had two colleagues who knew him well — Kentucky coach John Calipari and former Minnesota coach Dan Monson, now at Long Beach State. “I had great conversations with both of them, and Calipari gave him just a glorious review — that guy has a pretty good idea of what it takes,” Rice said. “He’s a tremendous family man, and that’s valued here in Boise. He’s a good fit here and in the community.” Though he gets a top 10 football team and a basketball program on the rise, Coyle said he is aware of the challenges — he said among them, he’s in favor of expanding Bronco Stadium, and that keeping Petersen is his top goal as athletic director. “I wouldn’t say difficult tasks, I think they’re all opportunities,” he said.
This guy should be good for BSU. That is if Kustra will let him do his job. Kustra has a tendency to govern rather than lead which pisses folks off.
No. 1 priority: keep Petersen at Boise State
New athletic director also will be part of potential Big East moveBOISE —New Boise State athletic director Mark Coyle certainly knows his priorities. When he was introduced as the Broncos’ new man in charge of the department, he made it a point that he is well aware of the high interest, as it is every winter, in football coach Chris Petersen. “My No. 1 goal is to keep Chris Petersen at Boise State University,” Coyle said about 15 minutes after he was introduced. The new Bronco boss said he told Petersen that very sentence in a conversation earlier in the day. Petersen did not speak with the media Thursday after Coyle’s news conference. The Broncos’ sixth-year coach is rumored to be courted by UCLA. “We’re being very attentive to coach Petersen at this time of year, as we always are,” Boise State president Bob Kustra said. “Obviously, people reach out and contact him. I’m in daily conversations with him. He reassures me we’re in a good place. I can’t predict the future. Those phone calls will come and it’s our great challenge.” Kustra said Petersen has not had in-depth conversations with anyone and that he “is focused solely on Saturday’s game” against New Mexico. Coyle pointed to the planned new football facility, due to be completed before the 2013 season, as a reason for Petersen’s excitement about remaining with the team. Coyle, who will be at the Broncos’ bowl game, said he wants to find out what Petersen needs to build his program and “move the needle.” “Any time you have anyone with the success he’s had, he’s going to be on someone’s radar screen,” Coyle said. “I don’t know if ‘threat’ is the right word, but I think there’s an awareness … I want to have that opportunity to have a relationship with him.” By the time he takes full control, Coyle also will be in the middle of a potential move to the Big East, which has been on the burner for nearly two months. Kustra received approval from the State Board of Education early last month to accept an invitation, but the realignment is on hold. On Thursday, Kustra said he is hoping that the plan will come together in a few weeks, but had also thought it would be complete by now. “It still seems like something that makes sense to me,” Kustra said. “My problem right now is that there is no immediate solution to where the other programs would go.” The Western Athletic Conference and Big West are two likely destinations, and Kustra said some conferences are concerned about the distance to Boise and that others often travel by bus within California (the Big West, namely). A western travel partner that made sense and was possible until recent weeks was BYU, but the Cougars appear to be happy as football independents and in the West Coast Conference in other sports. Still, the Broncos may have one in a fellow Mountain West team. “I think they’ve pretty much taken themselves out of it,” Kustra said. “San Diego State is in the exact position we’re in. They’re interested in doing this, but also have the same problem.” Coyle said he’s quickly being briefed on the potential move by Kustra and interim athletic director Curt Apsey, but added that “it’s not fair” Boise State likely won’t be in a BCS game despite being in the top 10 and 10-1. “To me, it’s not fair to have Boise State with one loss this year, one loss last year, and it knocks them out of the conversation,” Coyle said.
Keeping Pete is very important to the BSU football program. He's made it what it is right now. It isn't that he's not replaceable, it's that he should not be replaced. He's good for the program...he has the correct attitude...he has the ability to get good coaches to work with him cause he can LEAD.