Mountain West Football Coaching Changes Impact Transfer Decisions

Tracy Ringolsby

There is something about a coaching change that changes the minds of college players with their college of choice.

Brady Hoke led San Diego State to a bowl game in the second year of a two-year head coaching stint with the Aztecs (2009-10), returned a year to be a defensive line coach for Rocky Long, and was named the new head coach at the end of the 2019 season when Long retired.

Even though he has a track record, including four years as the head coach at Michigan between stints in San Diego, the impact of a coaching change is apparent. San Diego State has had a Mountain West-high 10 players transfer or opt out early for the NFL draft.

Colorado State, which replaced head coach Mike Bobo with Steve Addazio, is No. 2 on the list with nine transfers. Air Force has had eight transfers, but four of those are grad transfers who can work on a masters for a year at a new school before going to active duty.


Wyoming lost upperclassmen Tyler Vander Waal, who was a no longer a QB factor, and Javaree Jackson,dismissed before the Arizona Bowl.

Air Force sent two players to the Ivy League, and two players to Power 5 schools.

Boise State lost six players, including Curtis Weaver and Ezra Cleveland, NFL draftees.

Colorado State QB Colin Hill and FB Adam Prentice followed Bobo to South Carolina.

Fresno State had a conference-low two transfers.

Hawaii had three leave early, including QB Cole McDonald to the NFL.

Nevada linebacker Jalen Williams left after one year to play basketball instead.

New Mexico had a coaching change, but lost only four players -- three grad transfers and a junior.

San Diego State WR retired with a year of eligibility because of a series of injuries.

San Jose State lost three potential sophomores.

UNLV lost only three players despite a coaching chair -- former Wyoming OC Marcus Arroyo.

Utah State linebacker David Woodward took a chance on the NFL draft, but did not have his name called in the draft.


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