Ian Johnson: 'It makes sense, but it's a shocker'

Ian Johnson: 'It makes sense, but it's a shocker' »Play Video
BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Many former BSU players were also shocked by the news of Coach Chris Petersen's departure.

Ian Johnson is one of Boise State's most adored running backs of all time. Friday he shared his thoughts with us about the coaching transition, including some advice for current and future players.

Johnson, who now calls the Treasure Valley home, says he is shocked but happy for the coach in his new opportunity.

"It makes sense, but it's a shocker," Johnson says. "Because he's such a piece of what Boise is."

What many may not realize is that he was here for the last head coaching change here at BSU as a player and he says it can be tough on young men who have a big decision to make.

He originally came to Boise to play under coach Dan Hawkins, who left just as Ian was getting here. He says it can be an emotional roller coaster for young players.

"It's going to split the locker room," he says. "That's what happened to our locker room. A lot of guys were like 'I don't know what to do. I don't know where to go.' Some guys left. Some guys stayed."

In fact, he almost left.

"So I was 17-years-old, Coach Hawk is leaving, I came here for Coach Hawk, and there is this guy named Coach Pete, who I have no relationship with, coming to take over the team. I was ready to go to Colorado. I was ready to make a decision, and it would have been the wrong one."

That's because Johnson not only got to know Coach Pete, but went on to become a star player for the Broncos from 2006 to 2008.

He scored the game winning two-point conversion on the famous Statue of Liberty play in the Fiesta Bowl in 2007.

Of course, Ian became even more well known around the country for proposing to his girlfriend Chrissy Popadics right afterwards on national television.

Johnson says his advice for players is not to doubt themselves on Petersen leaving, and to do what they've always done.

"The opportunity that is Boise is still the same opportunity," he says. "We are just going to have a different coach. You have to trust the people they are going to put in front of you they are going to do right by the players. So ride it out and see what this year looks like. If you need to make a change, make a change later, but don't make that decision now."

Watch the whole interview with Ian below:

(Mobile users use this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sV_ji7X0Qk&feature=youtu.be )