Football

Ioane steady in first year as Bobcat DC

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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.

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.

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Photos by Brooks Nuanez. All Right Reserved.

About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.

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