FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – For a long time, the Fresno State-Boise State rivalry was one-sided.
From 2001-2012, the teams met 12 times on the football field. Boise State won eleven of those 12 games.
“The two programs, between Boise and Fresno, obviously I know what people would say, they grew at different paces, right?” says Fresno State assistant coach Lee Marks. “That’s what people would say as far as brands, the outsider perspective.”
Lee Marks has the insider perspective.
Since January, Marks has been on the Fresno State coaching staff, hired to be the assistant head coach, the running backs coach and the run game coordinator. Previously, he coached at Boise State. And before he was a Boise State coach, he was a Boise State running back from 2002-2005.
“This has been a program, Fresno has, that we have competed and competed and competed against for years and years and years,” said Marks. “Now being on the other side, now it’s me just being a competitor. It’s just like ‘hey, now I’m with you.'”
The same can be said for Julius Brown.
Julius Brown and Lee Marks were teammates at Boise State, as both players and as coaches. The biggest difference? Aside from the fact one was on offense and the other defense, Brown went to high school in Stockton and was recruited by Fresno State.
“They recruited the heck out of me,” says Brown, the Bulldogs’ ‘Huskies’ coach and recruiting coordinator. “It was a great place but I had my mind made up for a long time that I just wanted to go away from home and challenge myself to do it. That was the reason. But shoot, it goes back, Bernard Berrian, me and him played against each other in high school. We were recruited here at the same time.”
Julius Brown has been recruited again, and now he is reunited with Lee Marks. There is one more Fresno State coach who knows what it is like to be a Boise State Bronco: wide receivers coach Kirby Moore, who was a Boise State wide receiver from 2009-2013.
“Even though we’ve only been together for three months now, and really the whole staff hasn’t even been together that long, I do feel like this is a staff that feels like they have been together for years,” said Fresno State head coach Kalen DeBoer. “Because they are all kind of pieces that I was able to tie in together.”