It's 45 days to Cougars football. Get to know No. 45 Chester Su'a.
Jeff Choate joined Mike Leach's at Washington State in January, 2012, as linebackers coach after spending the previous six seasons as a member of the Boise State staff. He will guide a very young, though talented, group of linebackers heading into the 2012 campaign.
Choate served as the special teams coach each of his six years at Boise State while also working with the nickels (2010-11), linebackers (2009) and mentored Boise State's running backs from (2006-08).
Choate has played an integral role both in developing explosive special teams units, and in mentoring the highest-scoring kicker in NCAA history (Kyle Brotzman; 431) and the Broncos' career leader in punting average (Brotzman; 44.6).
Last season the Broncos finished 18 th nationally in both punt returns (11.88) and kickoff return defense, surrendering 19.04
In 2010, the Broncos ranked amongst the nation's top 25 in both punt and kickoff returns, finishing 16th (12.65) and 23rd (23.55), respectively. Boise State also earned four WAC Special Teams Player of the Week honors that season - two each by Brotzman and punt returner Chris Potter. Potter ranked 13th-nationally in punt returns on the season (13.32), and Brotzman finished the season ranked No. 16 in scoring (8.92).
During his first season working with the Broncos' nickels, Winston Venable was named first-team All-Western Athletic Conference, and Boise State ranked second-nationally in total defense (254.69).
In 2009, Boise State finished fourth in the nation in kickoff return average (26.64), and Titus Young returned two kickoffs for touchdowns en route to being named first-team All-WAC. His special teams units were recognized by Phil Steele as the No. 1 overall team in the country.
Defensively, Choate's linebackers helped solidify a defense that finished the season ranked No. 1 in the WAC in five different categories: total defense (300.21), scoring defense (17.14), pass efficiency defense (103.42), pass defense (179.86) and tackles-for-loss (19).
Steele ranked the Broncos' special teams units second-nationally following 2008, which were anchored by punt return specialist Kyle Wilson. Wilson finished the season with the most punt return touchdowns in the country (three), earning him second-team All-WAC honors as a specialist. He also ranked 12th-nationally in punt return average (14.2).
In 2007, Brotzman went 16-of-18 on field goal attempts and made all 66 of his point-after-tries en route to All-WAC recognition for the second-straight year, and in 2006 - his first season working with the Broncos' special teams units - Boise State ranked No. 19 in Steele's rankings. Other players to earn all-league honors under Choate's direction have included place kicker Anthony Montgomery, a first-team All-WAC pick in 2006, and punter Kyle Stringer, a second-team selection in 2006.
In his three seasons as the running backs coach, Choate guided All-American Ian Johnson to one of the most prolific careers in school history. Johnson finished 2008 as the all-time leader in career rushing touchdowns (58) for both Boise State and the WAC. Johnson also finished with the second-most career rushing yards (4,183) in school history.
Johnson led the country in both rushing touchdowns and scoring in 2006, and also finished second in rushing and ninth in total offense. He earned first-team All-WAC honors in each of Choate's first two seasons working with the running backs, and set Boise State's single-season rushing record in 2006 with 1,713 yards on a school-record 277 carries.
Choate joined Boise State after spending one season as Eastern Illinois' special teams coach. The Panthers finished the 2005 season first in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Before going to EIU, Choate spent the previous two years as the special teams coach at Utah State. Choate was a graduate assistant at Utah State and worked with the defensive line and safeties before becoming the special teams coach.
From 1997-2001 Choate was the head football coach at Post Falls (Idaho) High School and also served as athletic director the final two years. Post Falls advanced to the state playoffs in both 1998 and 1999. Before coaching at Post Falls, Choate was the defensive coordinator at Twin Falls (Idaho) High School in 1996 and was the head coach at Challis (Idaho) High School from 1994-95. He earned District Six Coach of the Year honors after Challis had its first winning season in 10 years and made the playoffs for the first time since 1976.
Choate is a 1993 graduate of Montana-Western, where he served two seasons as an assistant coach while completing his degree. He graduated from St. Maries (Idaho) High School in 1988. He and his wife Janet have a son, Jory, and a daughter, Jacy.
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