The Oregon Ducks issued a press release Friday afternoon officially announcing Andy Avalos as the new defensive coordinator of the football program.
The reports of Avalos’ hiring originally came out earlier this week. He replaces Jim Leavitt, who was bought out earlier this month after mutually agreeing to part ways with the program.
From the press release:
EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal completed his coaching staff on Friday with the addition of Andy Avalos as the program’s defensive coordinator. Avalos has spent the last seven seasons at Boise State, including the last three as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.
“After a very thorough search that drew interest from a number of college and pro level coaches, I’m fired up to have Andy as our defensive coordinator,” Cristobal said. “One of the top defensive minds in the country, Andy teaches, coaches and mentors his players with tremendous passion and energy. His ability to connect with people not only helps him develop players but also the coaches he works with.
“Andy’s defenses are aggressive, disruptive and keep offenses off balance with his use of multiple fronts and coverages. His ability to teach and articulate concepts allows his players to be fast and physical. Mostly importantly, he is a great person, father and husband who is a perfect fit to our culture. I’m excited to welcome Andy, his wife Summer and their two daughters, Paityn and Paige, to Eugene.
“Andy will be surrounded by exceptional coaches. I feel that it is important to note that during this process, Keith Heyward continued to assert himself and his value to the organization. Keith not only is a great coach and mentor, but also a team guy who certainly makes our program better. Aside from his duties as a co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach, Keith will also assume the title of assistant head coach.”
In each of Avalos’s three seasons as defensive coordinator (2016-18), Boise State finished in the top four in the Mountain West Conference in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and third down defense. The Broncos won 31 games over those three seasons and held 17 of their last 27 opponents to 20 points or less.
A former standout linebacker at Boise State, Avalos took over the defense at his alma mater in 2016 after two seasons as the program’s linebackers coach and two seasons coaching the defensive line. Boise State advanced to the Mountain West Championship game in both 2017 and 2018, allowing only 33 points combined and an average of 299 yards.
This past season, Boise State backed up its league-leading 34 sacks in 2017 with 39 sacks to rank 10th nationally and lead the Mountain West for the second consecutive year. The Broncos led the Mountain West with 24 forced turnovers in 2018, including a nation’s best 17 fumble recoveries. Boise ranked 22nd nationally in total defense in 2017, allowing 332.6 yards per game.
Avalos helped the Boise State defense hold 20 opponents from 2016-18 to 20 points or less, while the Broncos ranked tied for sixth nationally with 10 defensive touchdowns over that span.
Avalos’s defenses produced 21 All-Mountain West Conference selections from 2016-18, including eight first-team choices. Highlighting the 20-plus honorees is 2017 was Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year Leighton Vander Esch, who was selected in the first round (No. 19) of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Vander Esch earned second-team All-Pro honors and an invitation to the Pro Bowl in his rookie season.
Over his seven seasons at Boise State, the defense ranked in the top 25 nationally in turnovers forced six times, highlighted by top 10 performances in 2012, 2014 and 2015. During Avalos’ two seasons (2012-13) overseeing the defensive line, three Broncos combined to earn five All-Mountain West honors, including two-time first-team honoree DeMarcus Lawrence. Named an All-American in 2013, Lawrence was taken in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys and has been named to the Pro Bowl twice.
A four-year letterwinner for the Broncos, Avalos earned first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors at outside linebacker in each of his final two seasons. He completed his career ranked fourth all-time with 365 tackles, and led the Broncos in the statistical category in each of his final three seasons. He was named to the All-Blue Team during the 2016 season, a list of the 30 greatest players at Boise State since the inception of blue turf in 1986.
Avalos began his coaching career in his hometown of Corona, Calif., where he coached linebackers at Corona High School. He then spent three seasons (2006-08) at Colorado as a graduate assistant, two years (2009-10) at Nebraska-Kearney coaching the defensive line and one season (2011) at Sacramento State as the linebackers coach.
2016-18 Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Boise State
2014-15 Linebackers Boise State
2012-13 Defensive Line Boise State
2011 Linebackers Sacramento State
2009-10 Defensive Line Nebraska-Kearney
2006-08 Graduate Assistant Colorado
2005 Linebackers Corona High School