Texas Head Coach Steve Sarkisian's search for the final spot on his coaching staff officially came to an end on Thursday, when the school announced the hiring of former Montana State head coach Jeff Choate as its linebackers coach.
Jeff is an awesome final piece to an assistant coaching staff that, as I’ve said before, I’ll put up against anyone in the country,” Sarkisian said. “He is a highly-respected, accomplished coach who has a long history of working with outstanding defenses and developing players. When you watch the players he’s coached, they play hard, are fundamentally sound and he clearly does an exceptional job with them."
Choate has previous experience with new Longhorns defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski, who coached defensive line under in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Choate also coached special teams for the Huskies that season.
At Montana State, Choate led a very successful turnaround of the program, guiding the Bobcats to a 28-22 record over four seasons, including a 19-9 record and two consecutive playoff appearances in his final two seasons.
"His experience as a head coach, extensive background with special teams, and wealth of knowledge in many areas will be a tremendous asset to our staff, as well," Sarkisian said. "And, in talking to him about the job, I could really tell he’s passionate about football, brings a ton of energy to everything he does, and cares deeply about the players. He’ll be a great culture fit with our staff and players, and I’m excited about all he’ll bring to our program."
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In his final year with the Bobcats, Choate's team finished as the fourth-ranked FCS team in the nation, following a semi-final loss to the eventual national champion North Dakota State Bison.
Choate has a plethora of division one experience outside of Washington, including stops at Florida, where he coached linebackers, UTEP, where he was defensive coordinator, as well as Washington State and Boise State, where he coached linebackers at each.
“The camaraderie among our coaching staff is already strong, we’re off to a good start recruiting, I like where we’re headed from a football standpoint and the players are understanding the expectations and getting on the same page, as well," Sarkisian said. All in all, I feel really good about where we are at this point.”
Choate was also a candidate for the Boise State head coaching position, that ultimately went to former Oregon defensive coordinator Andy Avalos.
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