Almost six months after it was initially reported that Mike Breske was joining the Vandals’ coaching staff, Idaho officially hired the former Washington State defensive coordinator as the team’s defensive coordinator and safeties coach.
“Coach Breske has been a coordinator for more than 20 years and he’s won three national championships,” Idaho coach Paul Petrino said. “We are excited to have him lead the Vandal defense. He will do a great a job of leading and teaching.”
Breske coached with the Vandals during the spring on a volunteer basis before officially being hired Wednesday.
Prior to joining Idaho, Breske held the defensive coordinator position eight miles west at WSU for three seasons under coach Mike Leach. He was fired by Leach in November. Breske also had coaching stints at Montana (twice), Wyoming, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado and Wayne State.
He is a 1981 graduate of South Dakota State, where he was a four-year starter at cornerback, a team captain and all-conference selection. He was a member of the Montana coaching staff that led the Grizzlies to the FCS (formerly NCAA Division I-AA) Championship in 2001 among several other deep runs in the playoffs.
Breske replaces former defensive coordinator Ronnie Lee, who left Idaho following the 2014 season. Lee held the position for two seasons.
The Vandals will field a new 3-4 defensive scheme under Breske. The system appeared to allow the Vandals to field more speed during spring ball and will allow more blitzing than the previous 4-3 defense. Idaho had the 116th worst passing defense and the 111th worst total defense in the nation in 2014.
Stephan Wiebe can be reached at email@example.com