FootballSports & Rec

Andy Avalos adds new coaches to his crew for the 2022 football season

Two coaches from the Boise State football staff chose to step down after the team withdrew from the Barstool Sports’ Arizona Bowl. Since then, head coach Andy Avalos chose to bring on several members to his coaching staff for the 2022 football season. 

Winston Venable, running backs coach and player development director, was the first to step down from his position to pursue other opportunities. 

“Winston is one of the greatest players to suit up for Boise State, and has done a tremendous job of mentoring not only our running backs, but every young man that has chosen to play for the Broncos over the last several years,” Avalos said. “Although he is leaving his current role, he will always be part of this brotherhood and I know he will find a way to continue to impact our student-athletes.”

Venable completed his second season as running backs coach in 2021 and had served as the Broncos’ player development director from 2018-19 and in 2021.

Taking his place is former Boise State football assistant coach Keith Bhonapha. He will return as the associate head coach and running backs coach. 

Bhonapha previously coached running backs at Boise State before leaving for the University of Washington with former head coach Chris Petersen. He spent the last eight seasons working with the Huskies’ running backs.

“Coach Bhonapha has both the experience and knowledge that comes with building and growing programs, and his work developing running backs speaks for itself,” Avalos said. “I am excited to bring him back to a place that he helped build, and am looking forward to him assisting us in taking this program to the next level.”

Cornerbacks coach Jeron Johnson also stepped down from his position to pursue other opportunities. 

“This was a tough decision,” Johnson said. “I will always have love for Boise State football and Bronco Nation but, at this time in my life, my professional goals weren’t matching up with my personal goals. I’m stepping away to be a dad.”

Special teams coordinator Stacy Collins also decided to leave Bronco football to step into a new role at Penn State University as the special teams coordinator/outside linebacker/nickelback coach. 

Photo by Claire Keener | The Arbiter

Despite these coaches leaving, Avalos brought on several new Broncos to fill these positions within the football program. 

Avalos brought on Kelly Poppinga to coach the Broncos’ edge position. Prior to Boise State, Poppinga coached at Virginia for six years, including four as the co-defensive coordinator. 

Poppinga also coached linebackers for five seasons at Brigham Young University as a full-time assistant as well as a special teams coordinator for two years. 

Avalos also brought on Demario Warren as the cornerback coach. Prior to his hire, Warren coached at Southern Utah University for 14 seasons, including the last six as the head coach. 

“Demario has gained outstanding experience as an assistant, a coordinator and a head coach, has built outstanding relationships as a recruiter in our region and has a proven track record of building young men of character,” Avalos said. “I am excited to add him to our staff and welcome him to Bronco Nation.”

The Boise State football team has added Jason Cvercko as director of recruiting operations. For the last two seasons, he served as the chief of staff for Washington State football. 

“I am extremely grateful to Coach Avalos and his staff for giving me this opportunity,” Cvercko said. “Having previously worked in the Mountain West, I had always held Boise State in high regard. The Broncos have been the standard for a long time, and I am looking forward to helping continue that tradition well into the future.”

The schedule for the 2022 football season has yet to be finalized, but the Broncos have started conditioning for the upcoming spring season.

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