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Former Montana State coach Jeff Choate introduced as Nevada head coach

Montana State’s Jeff Choate sounds off on spring session, ‘glad it’s over’
Posted at 3:14 PM, Dec 04, 2023

Former Montana State head football coach Jeff Choate has his next head coaching opportunity.

Choate, who left the Bobcats in 2021 to become the co-defensive coordinator at Texas, was introduced as the head coach at Nevada at a Monday press conference.

During his four years at Montana State, Choate led the Bobcats to a 28-22 overall record, increasing the team's wins each season. MSU went 4-7 in Choate's first season in 2016, 5-6 in 2017, 8-5 in 2018 and 11-4 in 2019. The 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Montana State never lost to rival Montana during Choate's tenure, going 4-0 against the Grizzlies. The Bobcats reached the playoffs in 2018 and 2019, losing at North Dakota both seasons.

Choate has been on Steve Sarkisian's staff at Texas the past three seasons. In addition to his co-defensive coordinator role, Choate coached the inside linebackers. The Longhorns struggled in 2021 but have had a stellar 2023 season where they've gone 12-1 and qualified for the College Football Playoff. The Longhorns' defense led the Big XII Conference in rushing defense (80.8 ypg, third in the country), red-zone defense (71.4 percent, fourth in the country), scoring defense (17.5 points per game, 13th in the country), and total defense (321.7 yards per game, 23rd in the country).

Texas will play Washington in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1. During his introductory press conference, Choate indicated he would continue coaching the Longhorns' defense while getting acclimated at Nevada, where he will will be taking over a program that lost to Idaho and went 2-10 last season under coach Ken Wilson.

"Becoming the head coach at an FBS program has always been my dream," Choate said in a news release. "Along my journey, I've been fortunate to work with some exceptional individuals — players, coaches and mentors — whose influence has shaped me both as a person and a coach. I owe a heartfelt thank you to my family for their unwavering support; they have been my anchor through every climb and challenge."