Jeff Choate

Jeff Choate, the head football coach at Montana State for the past five years, is reportedly being hired as the linebackers coach at Texas.

BOZEMAN — Texas has chosen Jeff Choate as its next linebackers coach, just a couple weeks after he nearly became Boise State’s head coach.

Football Scoop reported Friday that the Montana State head coach could complete a deal with the Longhorns in as little as 24 hours. 

Attempts to reach Choate and Montana State athletic director Leon Costello were not immediately successful.

New Texas coach Steve Sarkisian had filled his staff with the exception of linebackers coach as of Friday morning. When asked by Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman about the vacancy, Sarkisian said Friday, "I'm really excited about who we're talking to."

Sarkisian hired former Washington and Boise State assistant Pete Kwiatkowski as defensive coordinator. 

Choate has compiled a 28-22 record at MSU. In 2019, he led the Bobcats to the FCS semifinals, a place they didn’t reach since they won a national title in 1984.

Choate was among the top candidates to become the head coach at Boise State. However, former Oregon defensive coordinator Andy Avalos was picked instead.

When MSU announced it wasn't participating in the Big Sky's spring schedule, Choate acknowledged his candidacy at Boise State. However, he said he still looked forward to remaining in Bozeman.

“There’s a lot of reasons why this is still the best place for me, outside of the unfinished business we have on the football field," Choate said. "… It wasn’t my time, and as I stated, unfinished business. I’m excited to get after that in the near future.”

In March, Choate signed a contract extension that ended in January 2024. His buyout of the contract is $250,000 and he may terminate the agreement for any reason.

Choate’s yearly base salary was $206,000, but with tens of thousands of further performance incentives. That included a retention incentive, which gave him an additional $35,000 for staying at MSU one year after the contract signing and an additional $5,000 more from the previous year for every year he stayed.

When Football Scoop reported MSU assistant coaches who would possibly go with Choate to Boise State, Bobcats defensive coordinator Kane Ioane, a former MSU all-American safety, was not mentioned. Ioane would be a potential candidate to be the Bobcats’ next head coach if Choate were to leave.

Colton Pool can be reached at cpool@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2690. Follow him on Twitter @CPoolReporter.

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