Top 5 Replacements for Bush Hamdan as Boise State Offensive Coordinator Include Nate Potter

    With Bush Hamdan headed to the SEC with Kentucky, who are the top five replacements for the Boise State Broncos offensive coordinator?

    Liam Coen’s second stint as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at Kentucky under head coach Mark Stoops ended like it did the first time — with Coen off to the NFL after one season in Lexington.

    Stoops needed an OC, and he reportedly found one in Boise State OC Bush Hamdan, per ESPN’s Pete Thamel. That situation appears settled for the Wildcats, but Broncos head coach Spencer Danielson needs someone to manage his offense before his first full season as head coach.

    Boise State Offensive Coordinator Candidates Following Bush Hamdan Exit

    Danielson became the first FBS interim coach to win a conference championship, guiding the Broncos to the program’s fifth Mountain West Championship last year.

    Boise State’s DC since 2021, Danielson took over when head coach Andy Avalos was fired 10 games into the season with the Broncos at 5-5. The interim tag was lifted in Dec. after beating UNLV in the Mountain West Championship game, 44-20. The Broncos went 8-6 last season, losing to UCLA in the LA Bowl, 35-22.

    Danielson and his staff then pulled off one of the biggest recruiting coups this offseason when they secured USC transfer quarterback Malachi Nelson last month, bringing the top-ranked recruit on the 2023 ESPN 300 to the Group of Five. Nelson has four years left to play and joins an offense that ranked sixth nationally for rushing last year (214.9 yards per game).

    The Broncos also return eight starters on offense, including running back Ashton Jeanty — the 2023 Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year. One of the top offensive coordinator jobs in the Group of Five is available, and there are plenty of contenders for the position to replace Hamdan.

    Nate Potter, Boise State Co-Offensive Coordinator and Run Game Coordinator

    It’s fairly common for internal promotions to occur when a coach leaves following a successful season. While it wasn’t the most standard successful season, with the initial head coach being fired, the Broncos still won the conference and boasted a top-10 rush attack.

    Not to mention, the precedent of internal success has been set with Danielson.

    Potter was the run game coordinator and tight ends coach the last two seasons before being named the co-OC by Danielson following this last season. With Hamdan on his way out, it seems like the obvious move would be to take the “co” out of Potter’s OC title.

    Aside from success running the ball last season, Potter is in Boise State’s Hall of Fame as a former offensive tackle for the Broncos (2007 to 2011). An All-American in 2011 and third-round NFL draft pick in 2012, Potter would be in the running for the largest OC in the country at 6’6″.

    Eric Kiesau, Florida Offensive Analyst

    It wouldn’t be the first time Eric Kiesau coached for the Broncos, having served as receivers coach (2017-2018), co-OC/receivers coach (2019), and OC/quarterbacks coach (2020) under former head coach Bryan Harsin.

    Kiesau followed Harsin to Auburn as the Tiger’s pass game coordinator/receivers coach in 2021 and OC/quarterbacks coach in 2022 before Harsin and his staff were let go.

    Kiesau resurfaced at Florida as an offensive analyst for the 2023 season, but there’s no doubt he’d likely jump at an opportunity to be an FBS coordinator again. It didn’t go great at Auburn, but Kiesau succeeded at Boise, with the Broncos going 12-2 and winning a Mountain West Championship in 2019.

    He and Danielson coached together on staff at Boise for four seasons (2017-2020), so there is a prior relationship. It might even be interesting to bring in Kiesau and pair him with Potter as co-OC. Kiesau could coordinate the passing game, while Potter handles run game responsibilities.

    Ryan Dinwiddie, Toronto Argonauts Head Coach

    There’s a good chance Ryan Dinwiddie is holding out for a head coaching position, as he has a 36-14 record, a 2022 Grey Cup, and was named 2023 CFL Coach of the Year in three seasons leading the Argonauts. He’s also coached in the CFL as offensive quality control for the Montreal Alouettes (2013-2015) and as quarterbacks coach for the Calgary Stampede (2016-2019).

    That being said, if there were ever an opportunity for the former Boise State quarterback to jump back stateside, it might be this one.

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    The 2003 WAC Player of the Year, Dinwiddie threw for 9,819 yards, 82 touchdowns, and 21 interceptions in 42 games over four seasons (2000-2003) at Boise State.

    It’s unclear if Dinwiddie’s scheme would translate between the vastly different leagues, but it would at least be a popular hire amongst fans.

    Mack Leftwich, Texas State Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach

    The youngest player on this list at 29 years old, Mack Leftwich has overseen two of the highest-scoring offenses in the nation in his first two years as an offensive coordinator. In his first season as an OC in 2022 at Incarnate Word, the Cardinals led the FBS and FCS in scoring, averaging 51.5 points per game.

    Texas State’s offense was 11th in the nation last season, averaging 36.7 points per game.

    Leftwich called the plays in both seasons and revamped the careers of two transfer quarterbacks along the way. Former LSU, Missouri, and Nicholls State quarterback Linsdey Scott Jr won the Walter Payton Award in 2022, and former LSU and Auburn quarterback T.J. Finley set the single-season program passing record (3,439 yards) at Texas State last season.

    A former quarterback at UTEP, Leftwich’s ability to reinvigorate transfer quarterbacks could prove to be beneficial with a player like Malachi Nelson joining the program. He is a long shot here, but worth considering if the Broncos are looking for an outside hire.

    Drew Hollingshead, Western Kentucky Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach

    Drew Hollingshead hasn’t been an OC long, with just one season under his belt, but he led the Hilltoppers to the second-highest-scoring offense in CUSA last season (30.5 points per game).

    He also has strong tutelage, having been on Mike Leach’s staff for six seasons before Leach passed away, primarily working with quarterbacks at Washington State and then Mississippi State.

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    This is another long shot because, like Leftwich, Hollingshead is currently employed as an FBS OC. Boise State has a higher budget for its assistant pool, so money could always talk here if the Broncos decide to think outside the box.

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