Alpine native and El Capitan High School alumnus Ryan Lindley has assumed duties as the offensive coordinator for San Diego State University’s football team. SDSU head coach Brady Hoke announced the move on Jan. 17. Lindley, San Diego State’s all-time leading passer, joined the staff in early October as the team’s quarterbacks coach and was instrumental in the Aztecs’ offensive improvement down the stretch of the 2022 season, particularly in the development of Jalen Mayden. Mayden, who played safety the first five games of the season, moved back to quarterback, helping the Aztecs go 5-3 and boosting almost every offensive category, including points (23.0 from 19.0), total offense (366.6 from 258.2) and passing yards (254.0 from 65.6).
Mayden became SDSU’s first quarterback to win the team’s John Simcox Memorial Trophy (team MVP) since current Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell in 2007. Mayden was also the recipient for the Byron H. Chase Memorial Trophy (outstanding player) for the offense and became San Diego State’s first quarterback to make an all-Mountain West team since Lindley in 2010. Besides his new duties as offensive coordinator, Lindley will continue to coach the SDSU quarterbacks.
“I am honored for coach Hoke to give me this opportunity,” Lindley said. “I came back home because of the respect I have for coach Hoke and this program. I look forward to continuing to build on the success that has been had here on The Mesa. I know we need to continue to move forward, develop and improve on this side of the ball, and I am excited to collaborate with this staff to make it happen.”
“We’re excited to name Ryan Lindley our offensive coordinator,” Hoke said. “Ryan helped us tremendously upon joining our staff mid-season. I was impressed with his growth as a football coach throughout the year, his intellect and football IQ, and his quarterback development. Ryan is someone that has a bright future in this profession, and we look forward to watching him progress in his new role.”
The former Vaqueros standout was a four year starter at SDSU from 2008-11, where he set program passing records in yards (12,690), touchdowns (90), completions (961), attempts (1,732), starts (49), consecutive starts (44) and victories (23, which has been broken).
Lindley was a second-team all-MW selection in 2010, a three-time MW Offensive Player of the Week and a four-time Byron H. Chase Memorial Trophy honoree (SDSU’s outstanding offensive player).
Lindley was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
For his NFL career, he played in nine games at Arizona and started six times, and later played in one game for Indianapolis during the 2015 season. Lindley finished his professional career with the Ottawa Redblacks in the Canadian Football League in 2017, throwing for 391 yards and a touchdown, and scoring five touchdowns on the ground.
Following his first stint at San Diego State as a graduate assistant in 2018, Lindley worked in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns as the running backs coach for the rest of the 2018 campaign and the quarterbacks coach in 2019. He then returned to the college ranks, becoming an offensive analyst at Utah for 2020, working with former Aztec offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, before spending the past two seasons at Mississippi State as a defensive analyst with former SDSU defensive coordinator Zach Arnett.
After graduating in 2011, Lindley helped coach numerous players leading up to the NFL Draft, including quarterbacks Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Mitch Trubisky, CJ Beathard and Luke Falk. Lindley and his wife, Lindsay, have a son, Caden, and a daughter, Sloane.
Lindley replaces Jeff Horton, who retired after spending the last 12 seasons with the Aztecs. SDSU finished the 2022 college football season with a 7-6 record and appearance in the Hawaii Bowl, placing runner-up to Middle Tennessee (8-5) by a 25-23 score. The Aztecs kick off the 2023 season on Aug. 26 with a non-conference game against Ohio at Snapdragon Stadium.
SDSU will host Idaho State on Sept. 2 and UCLA on Sept. 9 before embarking on their first road game of 2023 at Oregon State on Sept. 16 to close out non-conference play. The Aztecs will host Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada and Utah State in their upcoming Mountain West schedule and will play at Air Force, Colorado State, Hawaii and San Jose State.