Listen to Austin 360 Radio

New Texas linebackers coach Jeff Choate calls job move a ‘slam dunk’ decision

By adding Choate, Texas coach Steve Sarkisian completes his coaching staff, although final hire is not yet official

Former Montana State coach Jeff Choate held a Zoom call with reporters Saturday to discuss leaving the school for a new job. He's expected to be announced as Texas' linebackers coach.

Texas has not made anything official, but Montana State coach Jeff Choate held a Zoom call with reporters Saturday to say goodbye before leaving for Austin.

Choate is expected to be named the Longhorns’ co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach under UT’s Steve Sarkisian. An official announcement is likely to come Monday. It would also complete Sarkisian's new Texas staff.

“As REO Speedwagon said, it’s time for me to fly,” Choate said on a Zoom call Saturday.

Texas Longhorns football:Steve Sarkisian’s staff mixes Power Five credentials with UT experience

Choate has extensive Power Five experience in his background, having been an assistant at Washington, Washington State, Florida and Boise State. He was 28-22 at Montana State and led the Bobcats to the 2019 FCS semifinals. 

Choate said he looked at a list of pros and cons and decided “it was pretty much a slam dunk.” He added the hardest part was talking with his family and Montana State players.

Kirk Bohls:Texas' Sarkisian did his homework, honed in on the best, not most familiar

“The hardest conversation that I had was with my son,” Choate told Montana State reporters. “My daughter was my biggest cheerleader. She’s always up for an adventure. And then talking to our staff and players. 

“I’m invested here. I never cheated anybody here,” he added. “I gave this place my best, I gave those boys my best. When you put your whole soul into something, it’s going to hurt. That pain means you’re alive and sometimes you’ve got to go through that.”

But Choate also said he’s excited to be an on-field coach again as opposed to a head coach that deals with boosters and off-field issues. He had been a candidate for Boise State’s opening. 

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com or @BDavisAAS.