Dirk Koetter Becomes 21st ASU Football Coach
Dec. 2, 2000
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Dirk Koetter, the offensive mastermind of the nation's No. 1 scoring offense and No. 2 total offense and two-time Big West Coach of the Year, has been named the 21st head football coach in Arizona State University history, Director of Athletics Gene Smith announced Saturday.
From the time he was born, Koetter (pronounced Cutter) has been groomed to coach football. The son of a successful head coach, Koetter's coaching tour has taken him to some of the top collegiate programs in the country.
After cutting his teeth as a highly successful assistant coach, Koetter landed the head coaching position at Boise State University in 1998. In just three seasons, Koetter engineered a complete turnaround of the Bronco program as the Broncos won back-to-back Big West Conference Championships and posted a 25-10 (.714) record. Boise State had posted a 2-10 record in 1996 and a 5-6 mark in 1997 before Koetter took over the program.
This past season, Boise State posted a 9-2 record, led by a juggernaut offense that was first in the nation in scoring offense (44.91 ypg), second in total offense (496.27 ypg) and fourth in passing offense (321.55 ypg). His quarterback, Bart Hendricks, completed 210-of-347 passes for 3,364 yards and 35 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. Koetter's receiving unit had five players with 23 or more receptions and his leading rusher was Brock Forsey with 914 yards and nine touchdowns. The Bronco defense ranked 46th in scoring defense (22.82) and 20th in turnover margin (.73).
Koetter produced a 10-3 record in 1999 and won the Big West Conference Championship. It was the first Division I-A bowl berth in Boise State history, with the Broncos picking up a thrilling 34-31 victory over Louisville in Boise's own Humanitarian Bowl. After starting the season 1-2, the Broncos finished the 1999 campaign on a tear, winning nine of their final 10 games. Included in that span was a six-game win streak to end the season in which Boise State outscored the opposition by an average margin of 45.3-20.8. Koetter also directed just the seventh perfect home record in school history as BSU went 8-0 at Bronco Stadium. Boise State ended as one of just 16 teams to have both its offense and defense ranked among the top 30. The Broncos also became the first Big West Conference team since 1991 to win 10 games in a season. Koetter was honored by his peers as the Big West Conference Coach of the Year.
The building blocks for championship success were put in place on Dec. 10, 1997, when Koetter was hired as Boise State's seventh head football coach. He promptly led the Broncos to a 6-5 record in his first season (1998), marking the school's first winning season as a Division I-A member. Under Koetter's direction, the Broncos produced an offense which ended the season ranked 24th in the nation for total yardage and played for the Big West title in the season's final game.
A native of Pocatello, Idaho, Koetter arrived at Boise State after 13 seasons as an offensive coordinator at five different schools. During that span, he developed a national reputation as an innovative offensive mind and a coach dedicated to detail and player development.
'I basically started coaching when I was six years old,' says Koetter. 'Around the dinner table, all the talk was football. I guess you could say coaching has always been in my blood.'
A member of Idaho State University's 1981 Division I-AA National Championship team, Koetter was characterized by many as 'the offensive coordinator on the field' and that label fit well, starting his career as a graduate assistant at Idaho State in 1982. In 1983 and 1984, he took over as head coach at Highland High School, leading his prep alma mater to a 19-4 record and the 1984 Idaho state championship.
From there, Koetter's collegiate coaching career was launched, taking him to five schools prior to being named head coach at Boise State:
1985: Offensive coordinator at San Francisco State.
1986-1988: Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Texas-El Paso.
1989-1993: Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Missouri.
1994-1995: Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Boston College.
1996-1997: Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Oregon.
While his travels took him to both coasts, from the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) to the Big Eight Conference (now Big 12) to the Big East Conference and finally the Pac-10 Conference, one trademark always followed Koetter: offensive firepower.
His final game at Oregon was testimony to that. Koetter's offensive squad gained 583 yards of total offense in defeating then 21st-ranked Air Force in the 1997 Las Vegas Bowl, 41-13. Oregon ended the 1997 season as one of the top offensive teams in the nation, ranking among the top 30 in points per game, passing yards and total offense. During the 1997 season, Oregon's offense produced a school record 28 touchdown passes and the first individual Pac-10 Conference rushing champion from the school since 1971, displaying a balanced offensive attack. Koetter's 1996 offense also assaulted the school record book, setting all-time marks for yards passing in a season (3,321), total offense (4,939), touchdowns scored (49) and first downs (267). In both seasons with Koetter at the helm of the offense, Oregon produced dual 1,000-yard passers, marking the first time in school history with multiple passers going over the 1,000-yard mark.
He enjoyed similar success at Boston College, Missouri and UTEP. His offensive unit helped lead Boston College to a 7-4-1 record in 1994, including a 30-11 regular season victory over Notre Dame and a 12-7 Aloha Bowl triumph over eighth-ranked Kansas State. Following the 1995 season, Koetter, along with then Boston College head coach Dan Henning, were selected to coach the offense for the North squad at the Blue-Gray All-Star Classic, guiding the team to victory. Koetter's longest stay in one place came as the offensive coordinator from 1989-93 at the University of Missouri. While guiding the Tigers offensive attack, Koetter coached three of the school's top five career passers, including all-time leader Jeff Handy. Missouri's passing game generated more than 15,000 yards during Koetter's final four seasons, including better than 3,200 yards during the 1990 and 1992 seasons. Following the 1990 season, Koetter was rewarded by being named the Top Offensive Assistant in the Big Eight Conference by The Sporting News.
While at Texas-El Paso, Koetter coached quarterback Pat Hegarty, who finished third among the school's career passers in just two seasons, and played in the NFL with the Denver Broncos. In 1988, the Miners had one of their best seasons in school history, posting a 10-3 record and playing in the Independence Bowl. The 41-year old Koetter is a 1981 graduate of Idaho State University, where he was a model student-athlete. A four-year letterwinner in football, he also received Big Sky Conference and NCAA Region 7 all-academic honors. In 1982, Koetter earned his master's degree from Idaho State in Athletic Administration.
He and his wife, Kim are the parents of two daughters, Kaylee (8) and Kendra (4) and two sons, Derek (6) and Davis (2). Koetter was born February 5, 1959.
At A Glance...
Hometown: Pocatello, Idaho
Education: Highland HS, 1977, B.S. Idaho St., 1981, M.S. Idaho St., 1982
Born: February 5, 1959
Playing Experience: Idaho State 1978-81
Children: Kaylee (8), Derek (6), Kendra (4), Davis (2)
Collegiate Head Coaching Record
Year / W-L -T / Postseason
1998 6-5-0 / dnq
1999 10-30 / Humanitarian Bowl (Won 34-31 over Louisville)
2000 9-2-0 / Humanitarian Bowl (Dec. 28)
Career 25-10-0 / 1-0
1982 - Idaho State graduate assistant
1982 - Highland HS Assistant Coach
1983-84 - Highland HS Head Coach
1985 - San Francisco St. Assistant Coach/Offensive Coordinator
1986-88 - Texas El Paso Assistant Coach/ Offensive Coordinator
1989-93 - Missouri Assistant Coach/ Offensive Coordinator
1994-95 - Boston College Assistant Coach/ Offensive Coordinator
1996-97 - Oregon Assistant Coach/ Offensive Coordinator
1998- Pres. - Boise State Head Coach
*BSU posted its first shutout since 1987 when it blanked North Texas 59-0.
*The Broncos struck for 66 points in each of their last two games, tagging Utah State and Idaho.
*BSU has a streak of 17 straight games of scoring more than 30 points.
*The Broncos have won 13 straight at Bronco Stadium.
*For all of his school and conference records, Bart Hendricks only cracked the 400-yard passing mark once in his career. It came in his final regular-season game -- a 405-yard effort against Idaho.
*Hendricks, Mikell and Koetter were named Big West offensive player, defensive player and coach of the year, respectively. Mikell shared his award with Idaho's Wil Beck.
Broncos Heading To Humanitarian Bowl For Second Straight Year
Boise State will go to the Crucial.com Humanitarian Bowl for the second straight season after defeating Idaho, 66-24, on Saturday to claim the Big West championship in front of the largest crowd to ever witness a sporting event in the state of Idaho. The Broncos await the announcement of their opponent, a representative from the Western Athletic Conference. Bart Hendricks led the way once again for the Broncos, throwing for a career-high 405 yards and five touchdowns and running for a score as well. Two of his touchdown strikes went to Robby Snelling, who recorded his first 100-yard game of the season with 120 yards on five catches. Brock Forsey had 136 combined yards and three touchdowns as well.
The Broncos jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead before Idaho kicked a field goal in the first minute of the second quarter. Boise State put three more touchdowns on the board before half to put the game out of reach.
Boise State became the first team to go undefeated in league play since Nevada went 6-0 during the 1995 season.
The Broncos will carry a six-game winning streak into the bowl game to be played on Thursday, December 28 on the blue turf in Bronco Stadium. Last year, the team won five straight heading into the game.