Boise State QB Hank Bachmeier to transfer in wake of Broncos firing offensive coordinator

Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier will enter the transfer portal, the veteran signal-caller confirmed to ESPN on Tuesday. The decision comes three days after the program fired offensive coordinator Tim Plow following a 27-10 loss to UTEP in Week 4 — a loss that marked one of the worst performances for the program since it made the jump to the FBS level in 1996.

Bachmeier started 29 games over a four-year career, throwing for more than 6,600 yards and 41 touchdowns. He cleared the 3,000-yard passing mark as a junior while completing 63% of his passes. However, things went downhill in the first four games of the 2022 season, with Bachmeier completing a career-low 54% of his passes for fewer than 500 yards.

“I loved my time at Boise State, and I feel like I’ve given everything that I had,” Bachmeier told ESPN. “I’m super thankful.”

Bachmeier said that he hopes to find a school that can best prepare him for the NFL and win games immediately. As the No. 6 quarterback recruit in the country in 2019, Bachmeier had a long list of suitors that included Georgia, Tennessee and Colorado. He also considered Cal, Minnesota and UCLA during his process.

By transferring now, Bachmeier is eligible to credit the 2022 season as a redshirt year and will have two full years of eligibility remaining at his next stop; Bachmeier did not use his redshirt season, nor the NCAA-granted Covid exception. Redshirt freshman quarterback Taylen Green is the next man up on the depth chart. The Lewisville, Texas, native completed 19 of 28 passes for 155 yards in a loss to Oregon State in Week 1.

With Plow out, Boise State will bring in former NFL and Boise State coach Dirk Koetter to run the offense. Koetter, an Idaho native, was working as an offensive analyst for the Broncos. His son, Davis Koetter, is a wide receiver on the team.

Wasted potential

Bachmeier was a game-changing recruit when he committed to Bryan Harsin’s program in 2019. The Murrieta, California, native ranked as the No. 6 pro-style quarterback and No. 235 overall recruit in the class, making him the best quarterback and second-best recruit in Boise State history.

He flashed major ability in his first season, throwing for 407 yards in a win over Florida State and starting eight games before his season was cut short by injury. Bachmeier and 1,000-yard running back George Holani seemed to be the next great duo at Boise State after leading the Broncos to a 12-2 season.

However, things started careering downhill at Boise State even as Bachmeier’s performance remained solid. The Broncos allowed more than two sacks per game in each of the past two seasons, and Bachmeier was often injured because of it. Last season’s 7-5 campaign ranked as the worst winning percentage for the program since 1998.

Bachmeier will have another shot to rewrite his college legacy somewhere else as it was unlikely to get resolved in Boise.

Disappointing tenure

Plow, 37, was hired to revamp the offense at Boise State after an impressive stint under Dan Hawkins at UC Davis. He was named to the 35 Under 35 by the American Football Coaches Association in 2019 after leading the Aggies to three straight top-10 passing offenses. However, his offenses tanked in two years at Boise State.

Losing to UTEP dropped Boise State down to No. 121 nationally in total offense at just 283.2 yards per game and 4.4 yards per play. The passing offense averages just 15 more yards per game than Army, which runs the triple option.

Boise State’s offenses began trending in the wrong direction during the latter half of the Harsin era, but Plow’s struggles stood apart. He will almost certainly still be a sought-after name at offensive coordinator in the FCS ranks, but he might have to work his way back up to the FBS ranks.

Critical juncture for Avalos

The changes mark a critical moment for second-year coach Andy Avalos, who is 9-7 through two seasons. The former Boise State linebacker was hired after lengthy stints with the Broncos under Chris Petersen and Bryan Harsin, with a two-year gap as Mario Cristobal’s defensive coordinator at Oregon.

Avalos is only in his second year, but he has nearly as many losses in 16 games (7) as Petersen had in eight seasons (12). Boise State athletic director Jeremiah Dickey is highly regarded in the industry. However, he might have to make a difficult decision if things don’t get better — for the sake of the program.

The Broncos sit at 2-2 for a second straight season. Prior to Avalos’ tenure, Boise State had not started any season 2-2 since 2017. Boise State plays San Diego State at 8 pm on Friday night in the first game of the post-Bachmeier era.

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