Boise State football coach Andy Avalos has been fired, athletic director Jeramiah Dickey announced Sunday.
Defensive coordinator Spencer Danielson will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
Avalos, a former linebacker for the Broncos, returned to his alma mater as head coach in 2021, replacing Bryan Harsin, who left for Auburn. Avalos was a position coach at Boise State from 2012 to 2015 and the defensive coordinator from 2016 to 2018, when he left to take the same job at Oregon.
“I am grateful for the passion, effort and dedication Andy has given to our community and his alma mater while serving as our head coach,” Dickey said in a statement. “Andy will always be a Bronco, and we wish him and his family all the best in their next steps.”
Avalos still had two years left on the five-year deal he signed in 2021. His buyout is 85% of his base salary, which is $1.55 million, according to his employment contract.
Avalos went 22-14 in almost three seasons as the Broncos’ head coach, but the team faced plenty of adversity during his tenure.
Boise State went just 7-5 in 2021, the first time the program had a five-loss season since 2013, when the Broncos finished 8-5. They lost three games at Albertsons Stadium that season.
In 2022, Avalos fired offensive coordinator Tim Plough after a surprising loss to UTEP dropped the team to 2-2. Four-year starting quarterback Hank Bachmeier left a few days later so he could transfer, but the Broncos rebounded to end the season with a 10-4 record, including a bowl win.
This season, Boise State lost its first two games and had a sub-.500 record in November for the first time since 1997. Avalos and his staff haven’t been able to settle on a starting quarterback, the defense has been getting gouged week after week, and lead receiver Eric McAlister opted to sit out the final three games of the season to transfer when the portal opens Dec. 4.
Still, the timing of the decision to dismiss Avalos seems odd. The Broncos (5-5, 4-2 Mountain West) are coming off a 42-14 win late Saturday night over New Mexico that guaranteed the team a winning record at home and kept it alive in the Mountain West title race.
Boise State doesn’t have much time to dwell on the decision. The Broncos hit the road Saturday for a Mountain West game at Utah State (5 p.m., CBS Sports Network).
The school said in a press release that a “national search” for the next Boise State coach would begin immediately.