Former Husky Assistant Jeff Choate Fills Out Texas Staff

Steve Sarkisian added the Montana State head coach as his Longhorns linebackers coach.

Jeff Choate, Montana State head coach and former University of Washington defensive-line coach, will join Steve Sarkisian's new Texas staff as the linebackers coach.

He's the ninth and final addition to a group that includes ex-Husky defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski running things defensively for the Longhorns.

"You know when it's time," Choate told reporters. "It's way better to know when it's time rather than overstay your welcome."

Choate, a Montana native, coached at the UW with Chris Petersen in 2014 and 2015, leaving Florida to come work with a Kwiatkowski-led defense. He left Seattle to become the Bobcats head coach. 

He departs Montana State after coaching 4-7, 5-6, 8-5 and 11-4 seasons, with the latter including a trip to the 2019 FCS semifinals where it lost to North Dakota State powerhouse 42-14. The Big Sky did not play football this past year because of the pandemic.

Choate, looking to make a career move, recently acknowledged that he was a finalist for the Boise State head-coaching job that went to Oregon defensive coordinator Andy Avalos.

Last March, he signed a Montana State contract extension that took him into January 2024. His yearly base salary in Bozeman was $206,000 where a typical Texas assistant-coaching payout will bump him somewhere between $500,000 and $800,000.

Choate and Kwiatkowski also coached together at Boise State in 2006-11. Choate left the Broncos to coach linebackers during the 2012 season at Washington State, on Mike Leach's first staff in Pullman. 

A replacement for Choate could be Montana State defensive coordinator Kane Ioane, a one-time highly decorated Bobcats safety who worked as a defensive analyst at Washington for Petersen and Kwiatkowski in 2017 and 2018