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National esports organization names Haskell coach of the year

Chris Haskell
Chris Haskell, left, with student Jesse Oliver. In addition to coaching eSports, Haskell is a clinical professor in the Department of Educational Technology.

Boise State’s esports program hasn’t been around for long. The program launched in 2017. But in that time, the team has carved out a place on the national stage – both in play and in leadership.

This month, the National Association of Esports Coaches and Directors (NAECAD) named Chris “Doc” Haskell, Boise State’s eSports head coach, coach of the year for 2019-20.

“In addition to overseeing and having winning records in five of the biggest collegiate esports titles, [Haskell] helps oversee the independent broadcasting of over 200 hours of original esports content on its twitch channel, which is by far the most of any collegiate esports program. Dr. Haskell has done a great deal to push forward positive recognition nationwide for esports,” read a NAECAD press release.

“Dr. Haskell’s success stems from a level of dedication and work ethic that is second-to-none. Dr. Haskell has created a model at Boise State that every collegiate program strives to resemble in some way. The culture of the program gives any student on their campus the ability to achieve their esports dreams, as well as their academic dreams, if they are willing to put in the work.”

Haskell said receiving the award was a surprise, albeit a welcome one.

“I’m convinced that an award like this is only possible if a coach has players, women and men, who are articulate, affable, talented, extraordinary people,” said Haskell. “And it’s only possible if they work in an environment where the work is supported and led from the president, to the deans, to the faculty, staff and student body. Of course it’s cliche, but this award was won by everyone who believes in these kids and this program, I’m just the guy who gets to go pick up the trophy.”

The NAECAD National Convention Awards Banquet will take place in Chicago in October.

Boise State’s esports team holds tryouts in July. For the first time this year, thanks to a grant from Idaho Central Credit Union, the program will offer $100,000 in scholarships for players and broadcasters.

Read more information on tryouts here.