On Friday evening Bobcat fans found out that their head football coach Jeff Choate would be leaving for the University of Texas. Then on Saturday, it was reported that defensive coordinator Kane Ioane would be moving on to become the co-defensive coordinator at Boise State.

When the Choate news broke on Friday, many fans thought it might be Ioane, who has a storied history with the Bobcats, who would take over as head coach. Ione was a four-time All-America, two-time First Team All-Big Sky as a player with the Bobcats. He closed out his playing career as the Big Sky’s all-time tackles leader, and he led Montana State to 2002 and 2003 Big Sky titles, the program’s first since 1984.

Both coaches were hugely popular with Bobcat Nation, especially Choate, who never lost to the Grizzlies in the four games he coached against them. While we don't want to see either coach leave, it's completely understandable why they would leave for those jobs.

"When I remove the emotion from the situation,” Choate said in a virtual press briefing on Saturday. “I've got to take this next step."


And no doubt it is the same for Ione. These are big-time Division 1 college programs they are moving to. The financial boost alone will benefit themselves and their families. In Choate's case, where he will be the co-defensive coordinator and inside linebacker's coach, the Texas Longhorn football program is one of the most respected largest in college football.

MSU Athletic Director Leo Costello issued the following statement on Saturday:

I want to extend my sincere appreciation to Jeff Choate for his tremendous work as Montana State University’s head football coach. His success on the field speaks for itself, but his work in developing young men and creating championship culture also stands out. He has positively impacted so many people, inside the football program and throughout the MSU community, and I’m grateful for his contributions to Bobcat Athletics.

Costello said a national search will begin immediately.

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