Bush Hamdan — COME ON DOWN!
The University of Kentucky is working to finalize a deal to bring Boise State’s offensive coordinator to Lexington. The news was first reported by Pete Thamel. You can expect a formal announcement of Liam Coen’s successor in the coming days.
Mark Stoops kept this offensive coordinator search quiet. There were no leaked names before the Kentucky head coach got his guy, and it’s one we’ve circled before.
Second Time’s the Charm for Bush Hamdan
This is not the first time Mark Stoops has interviewed Bush Hamdan to be his play-caller. Hamdan was a finalist for the job, along with Joe Moorhead and Brian Brohm, when Stoops hired Liam Coen in 2021. At the time, Hamdan was the quarterbacks coach at Missouri. A look at his coaching resume:
|Sacramento State (TE)
|Arkansas State (co-OC/QB)
|Atlanta Falcons (QB)
|Boise State (OC/QB)
A Tie to Kyle Shanahan (Kinda)
Mark Stoops has made it clear that he wants to run an offense that does not abandon downhill-running principles. Liam Coen and Rich Scangarello directly worked with Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan. Bush Hamdan has experience with that successful offensive style, albeit without working side-by-side with one of those NFL head coaches.
He joined the Falcons coaching staff the year after Atlanta reached the Super Bowl with Shanahan as the team’s offensive coordinator. Steve Sarkisian was Shanahan’s replacement who used the same framework that Shanahan left behind.
Hamdan told the Idaho Statesman in March of 2023 he based his Boise State rushing attack off Shanahan’s scheme. “The first thing that comes to mind is whether it’s a run or pass, you’re trying to make everything look the same,” Hamdan said. “Every time there’s a midzone play being run, there’s a (QB) keeper off of that and a play-action pass off of that.”
Recruiting Wins in the SEC
As we’ll detail shortly, Hamdan has spent most of his career out West. During his one venture into Kentucky’s geographic footprint, he was successful at Missouri. He briefly took over play-calling duties at the end of the 2022 season and logged significant recruiting wins for Eli Drinkwitz.
Former Boise State QB
Bush Hamdan was a part of the greatest game in Boise State history. A backup quarterback from 2004-08, he was on the sideline when Jared Zabransky led a comeback in the final minute to stun Adrian Peterson’s Oklahoma Sooners. The Broncos ran three trick plays in the overtime win, which is still one of the greatest football games I’ve ever watched.
Hamdan remained close with his Boise State head coach. He worked for Chris Petersen for four years at Washington, including two seasons as his offensive coordinator. In each of those seasons, Washington had a 3,000-yard passer (Jake Browning, Jacob Eason).
The Correct Pronunciation of his Name
There is no schwa sound. It’s pronounced like the piece of pig that the Crafts and Central Bank spent $10 million on at this year’s Kentucky State Fair.
Hamdan is from Kuwait
Originally from Kuwait City, every person in his family has a long list of achievements.
The Hamdans are a successful family. His father, Latif, is a nuclear scientist. His mother, Laila, built a mini-empire in the cosmetology industry. Gibran, a two-sport star at Indiana, owns a luxury men’s fashion line and works as a graphic artist/illustrator, photographer and consultant.Kitsap Sun
The family was vacationing in San Diego when the Gulf War broke out in 1991. Ten years later he was living right down the road from the Pentagon on 9/11. If you want to know more about Hamdan the person, read this story right now.
Led Boise State to a Conference Title
There was much talk this offseason about how much control Kentucky’s offensive coordinator actually had over the offense. There was no debating Hamdan’s role at Boise State last year.
Head coach Andy Avalos was fired after a 5-5 start. The defensive coordinator was promoted to the interim role, while Hamdan controlled the entire offensive operation. The Broncos rattled off two straight wins to punch a ticket to the Mountain West Championship Game where they beat UNLV on their home turf. Boise State averaged 38.6 points per game through that exhilarating three-game stretch.
The magical run ended when starting QB Taylen Green, who will play at Arkansas next fall, opted out of the L.A. Bowl in a loss to UCLA. Ahead of the MWC title game, Hamdan spoke with Andy Staples about the wild ride.
Hamdan is leaving the former No. 1 QB in the Country
Following the impressive late run to end the season, Boise State removed the interim tag and elevated Spencer Danielson to the role of full-time head coach. Hamdan was set to bring back eight starters to his offense, including running back Ashton Jeanty, the Mountain West Player of the Year in 2023.
All Hamdan needed was a quarterback, so he went to the portal and recruited the former No. 1 player in the 2023 recruiting class, Malachi Nelson. Hamdan had all the tools he needed to succeed at his alma mater this fall, but he still decided Kentucky was a better opportunity. That should tell you something.