During Sean Lewis’ introductory press conference on Wednesday, he said his first order of business was talking to the current players and staff in the program. Part of his evaluation was determining which coaches from Brady Hoke’s staff should be retained and which coaches from the outside should be brought in.
Among the new coaches Lewis’ is bringing in is offensive line coach Bill O’Boyle multiple sources told the East Village Times. O’Boyle and Lewis worked together the past six seasons at Colorado and Kent State.
“It goes back to the philosophy of controlling the line of scrimmage,” Lewis said about O’Boyle at a Colorado press conference in February. “He’s a guy that I’ve done great work with the past five years. We’ve been in the foxhole together.”
He is replacing Mike Goff at SDSU. Goff’s exit was a key reason starters Cade Bennett, Brandon Crenshaw-Dickson, and Tommy Mirabella entered the transfer portal. Bennett and BCD have already announced offers from multiple P5 schools.
In their place could potentially be linemen who previously played for O’Boyle. Colorado offensive linemen C Van Wells and Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan have entered the transfer portal. O’Boyle brought players with him from Kent State when he moved to Colorado. NIL opportunities could prove vital in these pursuits. Sources told the East Village Times that Bennett has received multiple six-figure offers.
O’Boyle hit the ground running for the Aztecs. Separate sources told the EVT that O’Boyle has been actively recruiting on SDSU’s behalf since last week.
O’Boyle adds another element that complements Lewis, experience. SDSU’s new head coach was born on April 11, 1986. In 1987, O’Boyle got his first coaching job as a graduate assistant at Chadron State, a DII college in Chadron, Nebraska. To understand O’Boyle, his time at Chadron is essential.
“When I came to Chadron in 1987 as a graduate assistant, I had no intention of staying in this area any longer than what time it would take to finish my master’s degree,” O’Boyle wrote in a Letter to the Editor published in the school newspaper The Eagle in 2012. “What a complete change of heart I had in such a short time. I met my wife here, raised my daughter here, and had the privilege to meet and become friends with some of the best people a person could ever ask for, people from across Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming.”
Including his time as a GA, O’Boyle worked more than two decades at Chadron. He was an assistant and the offensive coordinator before taking over as head coach from 2005-2011. While leading the Eagles to a 57-21 record, O’Boyle was a three-time Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. He was also named Division-II Liberty Mutual National Coach of the Year following the 2007 season.
O’Boyle was removed from his head coaching job at Chadron after the NCAA handed down penalties to the school following an investigation by the Division II Committee on Infractions that found O’Boyle mishandled $30,000. The committee also stated that O’Boyle was unaware his infractions would lead to NCAA violations because of the “absence of a rules education program.”
Despite this episode that has a different look in the world of NIL, O’Boyle continued to be employed first at Colorado Mesa (2012), then Southern Illinois (2013-2015), and South Dakota (2016-2017) before joining Lewis at Kent State.
Everywhere O’Boyle has been, offenses have thrived. His experience as an offensive coordinator and head coach allows him to govern aspects of practice many lieutenants cannot. Lewis explained last February that O’Boyle was key to quickening the learning curve as he installed his offense at Colorado.
O’Boyle could completely run the parts of practice related to blocking, which would allow Lewis to focus on the passing game. That synergy should be even more important at SDSU. Lewis’ duties extend beyond just of the offensive side of the ball. Having trusted coaches who he knows will teach the Aztecs his system properly, is invaluable.
“Basically, I’m along with coach Lew,” O’Boyle said at a press conference in March. “I’m the offensive line coach and been with him for five years. Just an overall honor to be with him (and), learn his system. Being the offensive line coach (at Kent State), he called me in two weeks before our last game and said, ‘what do you think about Colorado?’ … It didn’t matter where he went, I was going with him. That’s what it came down to.”
That stance has brought O’Boyle to San Diego.
“You win the game up front with the o-line and d-line,” Lewis said in February. “I know everyone else gets the stats and everyone else gets the headlines, but if you don’t keep those ball carriers clean and you don’t keep the quarterback upright, all the X’s and O’s don’t matter whatsoever, so it was critical to have him with me on this journey.”
My earliest sport’s memory involve tailgating at the Murph, running down the circular exit ramps, and seeing the Padres, Chargers and Aztecs play. As a second generation Aztec, I am passionate about all things SDSU. Other interests include raising my four children, being a great husband and teaching high school.