How much does defensive coordinator Spencer Danielson like Boise State and the city of Boise?
So much so that Danielson turned down interest from multiple Power 5 programs, according to sources, and potentially more money to stay with the Broncos.
Boise State’s defense was statistically one of the best in the country last season, and other, bigger schools took notice. Sources said Danielson was highly coveted by others during the coaching cycle – and he admitted as much.
“There was different interest even prior to the season being over,” Danielson told Bronco Nation News during a media session with a small group of reporters on Wednesday’s National Signing Day.
Danielson said he told interested parties he wouldn’t talk to them until after Boise State’s bowl game. When the game was finished, the job possibilities came.
“After the bowl game there were some things that came up that me and my wife had to pray about and walk the path and talk to certain people about,” Danielson admitted. “But we prayed about them and we just continued to be called to this place. We feel like this is where we want to be.
“After the bowl game a lot of the players were like ‘coach, we want you here’, and I was like ‘I want to be here with you guys, too.”
Danielson declined to name specific teams he talked with, but multiple sources told Bronco Nation News recently that Stanford, Washington State and Baylor were among the teams interested in his services.
He ultimately elected to return to Boise State on a new, two-year, $875,000 contract. He’ll receive $425,000 in 2023 and $450 in 2024 – the largest yearly salaries by an assistant coach in Boise State Athletics history.
“Very thankful,” Danielson said. “I’m thankful for that and so thankful for the administration being able to do that. We love this place and we feel called to this place. I told my wife as we went through this, I couldn’t even imagine going to some of these kids and telling them ‘hey, I’m leaving.’ I couldn’t even think about it.
“I’m very thankful for the administration for what they did and I’m excited for the future. I really do believe the best is yet to come for us here and I’m passionate to be a part of it.”
Danielson has been at Boise State since 2017, starting as a defensive GA working with the STUD position before being elevated to full-time STUD coach in 2018. He spent two seasons as defensive line coach in 2019 and 2020 before he was retained under new coach Andy Avalos in 2021 and promoted to defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach.
He previously had an opportunity to join Bryan Harsin as Auburn but ultimately turned that down to remain at Boise State in 2021 under Avalos.
“I’m loyal to these kids and I care about them,” Danielson said. “I love them. I’m going into my seventh season coming up at Boise State, which is crazy even saying, but every single one of these kids on defense I’ve been able to recruit and I’ve been able to go in their living room and say this is the standard with which we’re going to live and this is where we’re going to help you grow.”
Danielson admitted he turned down more lucrative offers because of his love for Boise State.
“Different opportunities that on paper, yeah, would have paid more money,” Danielson said. “But for me and my wife, it was like ‘what matters to us?’ We love these kids, we love this place. This place has opened their arms to me and my wife and we love it. It’s become home for us. And being able to coach these kids and continue to do that was where we feel called.”
Boise State’s defense must replace a number of key starters including safety JL Skinner, nickel Tyreque Jones, linebacker Ezekiel Noa and defensive tackle Scott Matlock.
But Danielson, who is one of the youngest defensive coordinators in the country, is happy to still be at Boise State tackling the challenge.
“Going through that process in regards to jobs and different things that came up, we just prayed about it and walked the path but when it came down to it, we said we want to be here,” Danielson said. “And the only reason is because we love these kids, we love this place and we felt called to this place. It had nothing to do with anything outside of that.”
Danielson and the Broncos start spring practices on March 2nd. The annual spring scrimmage is set for April 8th.