BOISE - Boise State officials announced Mark Coyle as Boise State's new athletic director. Coyle, 43, most recently held the position of Deputy Director of Athletics at the UK.
Dr. Robert Kustra made the announcement Thursday as a number of coaches looked on, including head football coach Chris Petersen and Coyle wasted no time in pitching to keep Petersen at the school.
My number one goal is to keep Chris Petersen at Boise State University, Coyle said. No pressure coach (laughs). He s raised the bar. I look forward to working closely with him in that.
Reports say the University of California-Los Angeles is pitching Petersen to take over the head coaching job for the Bruins.
Kustra said the search had four key criteria: A history of working with coaches at a nationally-known school, marketing and fundraising, experience and commitment to compliance and a commitment to student athletes.
Mark will provide superb leadership experience in sports marketing and communications, Kustra said. I am absolutely certain of Mark's commitment to compliance and integrity.
Former Athletic Director Gene Bleymaier left Boise State amidst an NCAA investigation into the school's compliance that found a number of infractions.
A source at Kentucky described Coyle as slick and corporate, and noted he has extensive fundraising experience. He was in charge of raising money in his role at UK before he moved to oversee the school's basketball program.
Kustra introduced Coyle during the news conference with a frank assessment of excitement: Boy have I waited for this moment for quite a few weeks, and it's a delight and an honor.
Coyle thanked his family and several folks who helped shape his career. He talked about his experience fundraising and noted he met with Petersen and was excited what's ahead for the program.
We're going to do everything we can for our student athletes, for our coaches, our staff and administrators, Coyle said. We're going to do everything we can to take Boise State to the next level.
It's become more important to take the Bronco Nation on the road, so to speak, Kustra said. To take that national fan base that we've built up across the country to not just watch us on television, but after they turn it off to open the checkbook and help us build (the program).
Kustra said Coyle reached out to him by e-mail quickly after Bleymaier's dismissal one of many inquiries he received for the job - and Coyle was also identified by the national search firm contracted by Boise State as a candidate.
I talked with the coaches today. I want to be at a place where we bring in kids who compete - athletically obviously, but academically as well, Coyle said. At the end of the day you've got to roll up your sleeves and work. Kentucky is a special special place. It's one of those places that has national recognition. Boise State has that recognition. We need to leverage that.
Coyle said he looked at Boise State as a destination, and found a place he wanted to spend a lengthy amount of time. He said his family has already found Boise to be a welcoming community.
Change is good sometimes, he said. I've been in Boise one day. I don't know what's gone on in the past, but I do know what I'm prepared to do. I do know I bring some best practices and ideas to bring to the table.
In his first one-one-on interview, Coyle told KTVB's Jay Tust that he was at dinner with his family a few weeks ago, and a Boise State game was on a nearby TV. One of his children said hey dad, look at that blue field, without knowing that their father was talking about moving to Boise and working just a few steps away from the famous turf.
He came to Kentucky after a stint at Host Communications where he spent seven years, and helped manage collegiate rights agreements for the company. Host is similar in scope to Learfield Communications - which manages Boise State's media and sponsorship rights. In addition to Host, he has worked at University of Miami and the University of Minnesota.
Coyle has a bachelor's degree in English and master's in education from Drake University, as well as a master's in sports administration at Florida State. He and his wife Krystan have three children under the age of 10.
Mark Coyle's contract will be for 5 years at $325,000 a year. Bleymaier reportedly made $266,115 a year.
Bleymaier was let go as the school's athletic director on Aug. 10 after nearly 30 years with the university. His last day with the school was Sept. 8.
Curt Apsey has been serving as interim athletic director since Bleymaier's departure. Kustra praised Apsey in his interim role and expressed hope he would remain with Boise State.