Avalos, 39, spent the past two seasons at Oregon, helping the Ducks to consecutive Pac-12 championships. He came to Oregon from Boise State, where he spent seven seasons as an assistant, the last three as the team's defensive coordinator.
"This is a dream come true, and a very humbling opportunity for myself and my family to be back in this program,'' Avalos said in a statement. "I'm excited to get back around the players I have missed the last two years, and to provide an elite experience for all the young men in the Boise State football program.''
A former All-WAC linebacker at Boise State, Avalos replaces Bryan Harsin, who left last month to become Auburn's head coach. Avalos coached under Harsin at Boise State and both played and coached for Chris Petersen at the school. Petersen, who resigned as Washington's coach after the 2019 season, assisted Boise State with its coaching search, according to sources.
"We did our due diligence with this search in a very short period of time, and this was a national search, not just something we were looking at keeping within the family,'' said new athletic director Jeremiah Dickey, who was hired by the school just a week ago. "Andy left no doubt that he was the individual that would continue building on the well-established culture within Bronco Football.''
Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, a star quarterback at Boise State for Petersen, announced Saturday he would no longer be pursuing the school's head-coaching job and had agreed to a multiyear contract with the Cowboys.
Moore and Avalos had been considered the front-runners to replace Harsin, although Boise State also considered Montana State coach Jeff Choate, a former assistant for the Broncos, as well as Florida offensive coordinator Brian Johnson and Southern California offensive coordinator Graham Harrell, according to sources.
In 2019, Avalos was a semifinalist for the Broyles Award, recognizing the nation's top assistant coach, after overseeing an Oregon defense that finished ninth nationally in scoring. The Corona, California, native helped Boise State to three Mountain West Conference titles as an assistant.