SDSU to bring back Mike Schmidt as OL coach to replace departing Bill O’Boyle

Credit: (SDSU Athletics)

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Mike Schmidt as a coach for the Aztecs. (Sara Smith/The Daily Aztec)

For the second consecutive year, a newly hired SDSU offensive position coach has left without coaching a single game. Last year, RBs coach Ron Gould departed in the middle of spring camp to accept the same role with the Los Angeles Rams in the NFL. This time, the coach departs before the start of the spring semester. OL coach and Run Game Coordinator Bill O’Boyle is accepting the OL coach position at Northwestern. Matt Zenitz at 247Sports first reported the hiring. O’Boyle is no longer listed on the coaching staff at 

Head coach Sean Lewis announced the hiring of O’Boyle at SDSU on December 5th, a little over a month ago. O’Boyle followed Lewis from Kent State to Colorado to SDSU before making the move away to Northwestern. 

Northwestern head coach David Braun made several coaching changes yesterday, parting ways with last year’s OL coach Kurt Anderson and moving quickly to hire O’Boyle.  

It does not appear Lewis has taken long finding a replacement, however. Sources tell EVT that former SDSU OL coach Mike Schmidt has been tabbed to replace O’Boyle.

After playing at SDSU from 2005 through 2008, Schmidt was a GA on staff before taking over as OL coach from 2012 to 2020. During his nine-year tenure, 15 offensive linemen earned All-Mountain West honors, including six first-team selections over his final six years on The Mesa. 

Mike Schmidt at Syracuse. (Credit: Syracuse Athletics)

He departed San Diego in early 2021 to fill the same role at Syracuse for two seasons. In his second and final year with the Orange, he also fulfilled run game coordinator duties. The Orange rushed for 2,562 yards during Schmidt’s first season, the fifth most in Syracuse program history.

This past season, Schmidt joined former Aztec Zach Arnett’s staff at Mississippi State as his tight ends and tackles coach and run game coordinator. Under Schmidt’s tutelage, LT Percy Lewis was an honorable mention on College Football Network’s All-SEC team. Schmidt was dismissed at the conclusion of the season after Arnett was fired by the Bulldogs. 

Two years of experience as a run game coordinator in two different offenses makes Schmidt a good fit to replace both of O’Boyle’s responsibilities. 

Another connection that bridges Lewis and Schmidt – Dino Babers. Babers is the person Lewis has credited the most with mentorship and offensive scheme and who Schmidt worked for at Syracuse for two seasons. Hiring an OL coach that worked in a very similar offense makes a lot of sense. 

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Since the end of the season, the Aztecs lost four starting offensive linemen to the portal. Three of them, Cade Bennett (TCU), Brandon Crenshaw-Dickson (Florida), and Drew Azzopardi (Washington), committed to Power 4 conference teams.

During his month stint at SDSU, O’Boyle recruited three offensive linemen from the transfer portal but none from P4 teams. Nate Williams (Akron), Brayden Bryant (North Dakota), and Saipale Fuimaono (Allan Hancock Junior College) will join the roster in the spring. 

Reinforcements will likely need to be brought in during the second transfer portal window after spring camp, and the new OL coach will need to be front and center in recruiting. 

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