EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Sometimes, universities have to make difficult decisions.

Ater UTEP upset Boise State 27-10 on Friday at the Sun Bowl, the Broncos made the choice to fire offensive coordinator Tim Plough and, coincidentally, promote former UTEP offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter into his spot.

The man who had to make the ultimate decision, was Boise State Director of Athletics Jeramiah Dickey, an El Paso native and rising star in college athletics.

When the Broncos took the field at the Sun Bowl for the first time since 2004 on Friday, it doubled as a homecoming for Dickey. He grew up in El Paso and graduated from Franklin High School, before going to college at the University of Texas.

His entire family – parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents – still call the Sun City home.

“My first memories as a kid are coming to UTEP games. It’s a foundation I’ll forever be grateful for,” Dickey said prior to UTEP’s win over Boise State. “It’s surreal, it’s emotional. My grandfather is in the sports hall of fame, he was the team doctor under Don Haskins. This is where it all started for me.”

Dickey has used his El Paso roots to skyrocket up the ranks of college athletics. He got his start under Bob Stull at UTEP in the mid-2000s, then followed Mack Rhoades to Akron, Houston and Baylor, before getting his first job running his own athletic department at Boise State.

While at Houston and Baylor, Dickey is credited with helping the Cougars and Bears hire Tom Herman and Dave Aranda, respectively, as their new football coaches. For his part, he credits Stull, Rhoades and UTSA AD Lisa Campos in helping him rise.

“Those people, I learned a tremendous amount of what to do as a first-time AD learning as I go,” he said. knew enough to be dangerous, but you’re still learning daily. There’s nothing that can prepare your for being in that chair other than being in it.”

Dickey’s lifelong dream was to be the athletic director of an FBS school; that goal was achieved in January of 2021 when he was named the AD at Boise State, one of the top Group of Five teams in the country. One week later, he hired the Broncos’ new head football coach, Andy Avalos, as his first big move.

BSU’s athletic programs – specifically the football team – have had a lot of success over the last two decades. Dickey has been tasked with taking them to new heights.

He has his eyes on the future, including a potential move to a Power-5 conference one day, if the opportunity arises. Currently, he’s overseeing a $300 million project to upgrade the athletic facilities, which was announced over the summer.

“I know the foundation of what I inherited and the power of that story,” Dickey said. “I’m really excited to have that opportunity to lead us into the future. Now I want to take this department and this institution and do something epic.”

Dickey is considered to be a rising star in the world of college athletics; he’s gotten to where he is, he says, because of where and how he grew up in El Paso.

“It’s a huge part of me. It led me into this career and it’s a foundation that I’ll forever be grateful for,” Dickey said.