BOZEMAN — Spring football practices are just around the corner for Montana State. For Kane Ioane, the Bobcats’ new defensive coordinator, it’s great to be home once again.
He formed a special relationship with head coach Jeff Choate during his last stint as the DC in Bozeman in 2015 before moving to Washington. Ioane is a Bobcat legend — a four-time all-American, a Big Sky Conference defensive player of the year in 2003, and a safety that led MSU to back-to-back conference championships.
“It’s been fun to watch (Choate) go from the guy that came from the University of Washington to MSU to now, it’s now me that has came from the University of Washington and Coach Choate is telling me what it’s all about to be a Bobcat. That’s actually been really fun,” smiled Ioane. “For him to be like, ‘No, man, you have no idea what we do around here anymore. You’re a Husky now.’ And I’m like, ‘All right, fair enough.’ And so he is now teaching me what it’s like to be a Bobcat all over again, so that part has been fun.”
Ioane spent the past two seasons at the University of Washington as a quality control analyst. Ioane said it was a learning experience that elevated his knowledge of football and helped him grow into the coach he is today. He also contributes a lot of that to Choate, who helped get his foot into the door in Seattle.
“He was a big part of me getting a chance to go to the University of Washington and so I’ll be forever grateful to him,” said Ioane. “It was really his voice to coach (Chris Petersen) saying, ‘This guy would be great for you,’ and so I’ll forever be grateful in that regard.”
Choate has carried a lot of his tendencies from his time with the Huskies over to his team in Bozeman, and with Ioane getting to learn Washington’s system non-stop for two years, the two are clicking schematically.
“(Choate) and I have a good relationship,” said Ioane. “And I feel like that relationship will help us as far as, we are on the same page in what we want to do defensively and we’re on the same page as where we want to take this program, in general.”