"I'm a football coach," said Koetter.
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"He's got over 30 years of NFL and college experience in coaching," said Licht. "Coaching's in his blood. He told us in the interview process that one of his goals in life was to be his father, who was a very, very successful high school coach [and] went on to coach college as well. He wanted to be a coach since he was six years old. Coaching is definitely in his blood and the competitiveness is in his family with their sports background."
"I've got to thank my parents, Jim and Barb, Pocatello, Idaho. I know they're probably watching right now," said Koetter, his voice breaking. "Man, if you only know the things that they instilled in me along the way that led up to today. It's an amazing journey, it really is."
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Koetter had been a head coach previously on the college level, for a total of nine years at Boise State and Arizona State. On the NFL level, he had definitely found his niche as an offensive coordinator, in part because he always produced good results and in part because forming offensive strategy had always been his favorite part of coaching. As recently as a couple months ago, he told one member of the local press that being an NFL head coach 'wasn't on his bucket list.'
"I spoke from the heart when I [said] that," said Koetter regarding the 'bucket list' response. "I had the greatest job in the world, and through the powers that be it got bumped up a little bit. My parents always told me, 'You do a great job where you're at, you do a great job in the role you're in. You play your role, do what you're supposed to do and the rest works itself out. There are 32 of these jobs in the world and I know I can do the job."
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Licht clearly believes the same thing, and he said as much in his recommendation of Koetter to team ownership. Licht listed many of Koetter's strengths but pointed to a few as being most important, calling him authentic, passionate and very, very intelligent. As a coach and a teacher, Koetter is the complete package, and that package has been a long time in the making.
"I would describe myself as a football coach," he said. "As Jason mentioned in his introduction, I grew up wanting to be my dad from the time I was very little. My dad coached every sport – football, basketball, track. I saw what that was like from the time I was tiny. In those days, that meant lining the fields, cutting the grass, fixing the helmets, washing the uniforms; 16-millimeter film on the kitchen table; long, hard days; JV games, varsity games; weight room, teaching guys how to squat; buried in a basement, playbooks, notepads, napkins, plays all over the place. Every coaching book ever written was in our basement. I'm a football coach."