Boise State offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford Jr. interviewed for the same spot at Ohio State to succeed the outgoing Tom Herman but has elected to remain with the Broncos, according to a source.
With Sanford considered one of college football’s brightest offensive minds, his retention is a coup for Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin. In Harsin’s inaugural campaign in charge of the Broncos this season, his team posted an impressive 12-2 record in winning the Mountain West title and took down Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl.
Boise State’s offense ranks ninth in the FBS this season in scoring (39.7 points per game) and 14th in total offense (494.3 yards per game). Ohio State is the latest suitor for the 32-year-old Sanford, who had also been approached recently about offensive coordinator gigs at Oregon State and Vanderbilt.
Sanford’s decision to stay at Boise State indicates he’s interested in his next job coming as a head coach. It also means it’s more likely to come in the West, an area he’s familiar with, instead of potentially the MAC had he gone to Ohio State.
A 2005 Boise State graduate, Sanford returned to the Broncos this season after three years as an assistant at Stanford. He coached running backs his first season with the Cardinal, was also given the responsibility of recruiting coordinator his second season and keep those extra duties when he became quarterbacks and wide receivers coach his final season.
Sanford was Western Kentucky’s quarterbacks coach and pass game coordinator in 2010 and spent the previous season as the tight ends and fullbacks coach at Yale as well as the recruiting coordinator. He was also an offensive assistant at Stanford from 2007-08 and got his start coaching in college at UNLV from 2005-06 under his father and then-Rebels coach Mike Sanford Sr., now the head coach at Indiana State.
A Seal Beach, Calif. native, Sanford was a quarterback for Boise State from 2000-04. The elder Sanford was Ohio State coach Urban Meyer’s offensive coordinator when the two worked together at Utah from 2003-04.