When Rod Palmer left the Aztecs to take the UCLA assistant job, Coach Brian Dutcher was once again adding a new assistant to his staff. In three years, Dutcher has made three assistant coach hires, replacing Tim Shelton, Justin Hutson, and Palmer, for Jay Morris, Palmer, and now Chris Acker.
Yesterday the program announced the hiring of Acker as an assistant coach. Acker comes from another Mountain West institution, Boise State, where he has been an assistant for the last two years. While at Boise, Acker was the lead on player development.
Before his two years at Boise State, Acker was an assistant at Hawai’I for two seasons. His duties at Hawai’i included being in charge of the defense and player development.
While not a big name to the casual fan, getting Acker is a solid hire. Boise State has been known for developing players and Acker has a history of thriving in that role. He has also been known as a defensive specialist at each school that he has been at, including his time spent in the junior college ranks in Los Angeles. The Aztecs have been looking for a strong defensive coach since Coach Hutson left for Fresno State, and it appears that Acker will slide into that role rather easily.
Coach Dutcher mentioned that once again there was strong interest in the job, however he felt that Coach Acker was the right guy for the program.
"When we were looking at our requirements for this position, Chris checked all the boxes," Dutcher said. "He has been a head coach at the junior college level, served as a defensive coordinator at both Hawai'i and Boise State and has an outstanding reputation in the individual skills development of student-athletes. In addition, he has strong recruiting ties on the West Coast and is someone who will have a positive impact on the student-athletes in our program.”