As we wrap up our Hispanic Heritage Month celebration on Good Morning Idaho, we want to highlight an individual making history. One of the most high-profile jobs in the state belongs to the head coach of the Boise State football team, and for the first time in program history, a coach with Hispanic roots is taking on the role.
After being hired as Boise State's new head football coach in the off-season, former Bronco linebacker Andy Avalos wants his Hispanic heritage to be seen as hope for others.
"For me, in particular to my heritage and being a minority in the game, I just hope that it provides an example that people can achieve whatever they set their mind to," said Avalos. "If they put their mind to it and have purpose and they set out a plan and they stick to that plan, that they can achieve things that might even seem impossible."
Avalos is one of only seven head coaches in Division One college football and the first Hispanic and first minority head coach in Boise State history. It's a moment that may have hit him hardest during his introductory press conference when he was told a Hispanic family had already bought season tickets because their young son saw Avalos and said, "He looks like us."
"That's why we do what we do," said Avalos. "You talk about pressure and expectations and things like that. We focus on doing it right so that we can provide an example for young people like that."
As a new role model for young Treasure Valley Latinos, he has a message.
To trust yourself and surround yourself with the right people. And again, I think it's something different when you learn to compete, no matter what it is you're getting into. Whether it's me or it's anybody else, you've got to learn to compete from within first, and what you create inside and how you strengthen your mind and commitment to what it is you're trying to get done and your relentless pursuit of trying to learn and grow.
Whether it's Hispanic Heritage Month or any other day of the year, Avalos proudly represents his roots with a lead-by-example approach, bringing in new fans along the way from all different walks of life.
"We want to provide an example for others; we want to be able to lead and serve, not only in our immediate community but across America. And make Bronco Nation proud. And that's what we focus on."