BOZEMAN, Montana — In 2015, Kane Ioane was impossible to miss on the Montana State sideline, his bright red hat signaling the eyes of a Bobcat defense that could never find his footing.
Now Ioane sees his Bobcats from a bird’s eye view on game day. No hat is necessary four years later as Ioane serves as Montana State’s sole defensive coordinator for the first time in his career.
Ioane, the only four-time All-American player in MSU history, served as an assistant defensive coach on Mike Kramer’s staff in 2005 and 2006 before spending 2007 through 2015 on Rob Ash’s staff. That final year, Ioane shared defensive coordinator duties with longtime defensive play-caller Jamie Marshall.
Ioane coached from the sideline, Marshall from the box. A comedy of errors including several big misses on transfers expected to contribute, the need to play young and underdeveloped players and a struggle to find pre-snap alignment consistency, the Bobcats gave up points in bunches. A team that led the country in scoring offense at nearly 42 points per game finished 5-6.
Ash was fired. But Jeff Choate retained Ioane as his linebackers’ coach and assistant head coach for the 2016 season. In 2017, Ioane took a job as a defensive analyst on Chris Petersen’s staff at the University of Washington, a place Choate spent three seasons previous to taking the MSU head job in December of 2015.
With Choate’s dismissal of lightning rod defensive coordinator Ty Gregorak, Ioane had an opportunity to return to his alma mater. He jumped at the chance to be a defensive coordinator in a solo role under a defensive head coach for a unit stocked with talent.
Photos by Brooks Nuanez. All Right Reserved.