Twelve Bronco linebackers from "The Blue Era" are eligible for your votes
Avalos had spent the last four seasons with his alma mater, the previous two working with the Broncos' linebackers, a position he played for Boise State from 2001-04. He also served as defensive line coach from 2012-13.
"One of the trademarks of our program has been the ability to hire from within and have coaches who are ready to take the next step, and who understand our culture and our commitment to winning both on the field and off," Harsin said. "We have one of those in Andy Avalos, who will be our new defensive coordinator. He is more than ready for this as a leader, teacher and motivator of young men, and he brings a passion and intensity for the game that will set the tone for us defensively."
Avalos has played a critical role in the Broncos' defense since returning to Boise State, a unit that concluded the 2015 season ranked 12th nationally in total defense (318.3 yards per game) and 18th nationally in scoring defense (20.2 points per game).
"I am thankful to Coach Harsin and Boise State for this opportunity," Avalos said. "It is an awesome challenge that I couldn't be more excited to be taking on. The Bronco Way has shaped me as a person, a player and a coach, and it is an unbelievable honor to now be able to share that same thing with our current and future players.
"Defensively, we will continue to build with the key players we return, and focus on developing our young guys. I can't wait to get in the meeting room and on the field with our players."
The Broncos forced 31 turnovers in each of the last two seasons, ranking tied for fifth nationally in 2015 and ninth nationally in 2014. Bronco linebackers contributed 10 fumble recoveries, eight forced fumbles and eight interceptions during that time.
During Avalos' two seasons overseeing the defensive line, three Broncos combined to earn five All-Mountain West honors, including two-time first-team honoree Demarcus Lawrence, and fellow first-team recipients Mike Atkinson and Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe. Lawrence also earned All-America accolades in 2013 from both the Walter Camp Foundation (second team) and SI.com (honorable mention).
The Broncos ranked 11th nationally in sacks in 2012 (2.92), and tied for 30th in tackles-for-loss (6.7) in 2013. Lawrence ranked amongst the national leaders in sacks in each season under Avalos, finishing 2012 ranked tied for 18th (0.86 per game), and tied for 10th-nationally in 2013 (0.88).
In Avalos's debut season with the Broncos, the Broncos also ranked eighth-nationally in scoring defense (15.77) and 12th-nationally in total defense (315.62).
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.
Following his graduation from Boise State, Avalos returned to his hometown of Corona, Calif., where he coached linebackers at Corona High School in 2005. He then joined the Colorado staff as a defensive graduate assistant.
Avalos spent the 2009-10 seasons at Nebraska-Kearney coaching defensive line, and the 2011 season coaching linebackers at Sacramento State.
Avalos and his wife Summer had their first child, a daughter named Paityn, Jan. 31, 2014.
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