BOZEMAN — 2020 has been a weird year across the board, largely because of the coronavirus. That probably won’t change anytime soon, which is why Montana State is preparing for the unexpected this upcoming football season and naming special teams coordinator B.J. Robertson as associate head coach.
“As a coach, I think having been a head coach, you’re always trying to look ahead at what you can do to help the head coach take things off his plate,” said Robertson.
A longtime fixture in the Treasure State, Robertson is entering his fifth season with the Bobcats and has nearly 20 years of coaching experience under his belt.
“I work both sides of the ball, so I think that just naturally fits, and with (head coach Jeff Choate) being a special teams guy, his background understands that and knows that," added Robertson. "It just made it easy for the transition if something does come up, which hopefully that doesn’t happen.”
While 2020 has taught people to be prepared for the unknown, Choate’s decision to restructure some of his coaching staff was based on personal experience. During the 2018 season, he coached a game while suffering from appendicitis. He didn't have a plan in place back then, so he made sure to put one in place before the upcoming season.
"Coach Choate’s pretty superhuman, so maybe he has two appendixes, I don’t know," chuckled Robertson. "Crazier things have happened, but I guess just making sure our eggs aren’t all in one basket.”
Choate released a statement earlier in the week.
“I had the opportunity to watch what other programs are going through this fall and how they’ve handled the circumstances we all find ourselves in,” he said in an MSU media release, “and I think this restructuring gives us a better balance of responsibilities. If for some reason I’m unavailable B.J. will manage that game, and that’s an appropriate role for him. He has head coaching experience, and it wouldn’t really disrupt his special teams responsibilities. That also allows everyone else to remain in their game-day roles without any adjustment.”
Not much will change for Roberston’s daily coaching duties except sitting in on a few more meetings leading up to game week.
"One of the things he mentioned when we’re preparing that I will be involved in, is those meetings as well with the offense and defense so we’re all on the same game plan," said Robertson.
In an effort to streamline communication and balance responsibility across the coaching staff, assistant head coach and linebackers coach Bobby Daly will now also coordinate the Bobcats' defensive recruiting.