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Andy Avalos

Introducing the Latino college football coaches in Division I

Andy Avalos prepares for debut season leading his alma mater Boise State

Spring is here, and Division I colleges and universities throughout the country are currently wrapping up or in the middle of their spring football seasons. This spring six Latino college football coaches lead Division I programs.

Before we know it, college football will be back and Saturdays will have that same familiar feeling. 

Beyond rooting for our respective alma maters, many of us will also root for the small fraternity of Latino head coaches that make up the 130 Football Bowl Subdivision. 

Currently only six Latinos serve as head coaches of Division I FBS programs. They are Danny Gonzales, Marcus Arroyo. Andy Avalos, Dave Aranda, Manny Diaz and Mario Cristobal.

Over the next two days, we’ll be highlighting these trailblazers in a new series titled: Meet the Latino coaches of college football 

We’ll update this series as the college football season progresses, including upcoming media days, kickoffs in late summer and bowl season in the winter. 

Let’s get started: 

UNLV, Mountain West Conference
2020 Record: 0-6 
ESPN Football Power Index: 122

Marcus Arroyo, UNLV

Like Gonzales, Arroyo will be entering his second season at the helm of UNLV. An offensive coordinator under Mario Cristobal at Oregon, Arroyo stands at the top of a program that has had a rather disappointing run over the last several years. 

The Rebels haven’t been to a bowl game in seven seasons, which is also the last time they’ve had a record over .500.

Of note, the team is currently embroiled in a quarterback battle between Justin Rogers, Doug Brumfield and Cameron Friel. One of those three along with Arroyo will look to right the ship come Sept. 2 when the team plays host to Eastern Washington. 

Andy Avalos, Boise State

Andy Avalos
Boise State University
Mountain West Conference
ESPN Football Power Index: 78

Avalos, a former star player at Boise State, is the newest member of the Latino head coach fraternity.

He was introduced to the Broncos’ faithful earlier this year as the University’s 11th head coach. 

Avalos, another student of Cristobal, served as Oregon’s defensive coordinator, helping the Ducks go to back-to-back conference title games and New Year’s Six bowl games.

The Broncos have been to four straight conference championship games and will look to return to the national spotlight on a permanent basis with Avalos leading the charge. The team kicks off Avalos’ head coaching debut on Sept. 4 against UCF. 

Danny Gonzales, University of New Mexico 

Danny Gonzales
Danny Gonzales, New Mexico

Mountain West Conference, 2020 Record: 2-5 ESPN Football Power Index: 117 

The 2020-21 season was Gonzales’ first as the head coach of New Mexico. The native of Albuquerque played at UNM and served as an assistant before returning home to his alma mater to head its football program.

He previously spent time at Arizona State as its defensive coordinator. Last season, the Lobos finished near the bottom of their conference, but expect to bounce back, due in part to a loaded running back room. The Lobos boast three capable backs in Bobby Cole, Chad Alexander and newcomer Aaron Dumas. Expect Gonzales’ defense to also step up. The Lobos open their season on Sept. 2 vs. Houston Baptist.

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