Boise State on Saturday announced it is hiring Oregon defensive coordinator Andy Avalos as its new coach. Avalos, 39, will replace Bryan Harsin, who left after seven seasons to take the head coaching job at Auburn.

A former Boise State linebacker and assistant coach, Avalos spent the last two seasons leading the Ducks' defense.

"This is a dream come true, and a very humbling opportunity for myself and my family to be back in this program," Avalos said in a statement. "I'm excited to get back around the players I have missed the last two years, and to provide an elite experience for all the young men in the Boise State football program. I can't wait to get to work and help this program make our university, community and the state of Idaho proud by continuing to grow the blue-collar mentality that has been the staple of our program and allowed it to thrive for years."

Avalos had to beat out a list of candidates that included Florida offensive coordinator Brian Johnson, USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell and Montana State coach Jeff Choate. Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, a former Boise State star quarterback, was also reportedly considered for the job but recently signed a new contract to remain with the Cowboys.

"I am elated to bring Andy Avalos back to Boise State, where he belongs," recently hired athletic director Jeremiah Dickey said. "We did our due diligence with this search in a very short period of time, and this was a national search, not just something we were looking at keeping within the family. Andy left no doubt that he was the individual that would continue building on the well-established culture within Bronco Football. His passion for this program was evident, and I am excited for our student-athletes, our staff and Bronco Nation."

With Avalos, the Broncos are getting a well-respected defensive mind who knows the program in and out. He was a standout linebacker for Boise State from 2000-04 under former coaches Dirk Koetter and Dan Hawkins as the Broncos rose to prominence in the WAC. He was then an assistant for the Broncos under Chris Petersen and then Harsin from 2012-18 before taking the defensive coordinator position at Oregon.

The Ducks ranked ninth nationally in scoring defense during the 2019 season, allowing just 16.5 points under the direction of Avalos before allowing 28.3 points per game during the abbreviated 2020 season.