So, it’s true. Boise native, former player, and former offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin returns to become the head football coach at Boise State. Here’s my take (FWIW).
When Coach Petersen was lured away to the University of Washington, my initial assumption was that former BSU coach Dirk Koetter, former BSU defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, and former BSU offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin would be considered – pretty much in that order.
I assumed that Dirk would be pursued the hardest, simply because of his name recognition and his NFL cache. After Pete, we simply needed a “big name” to make a big splash as the new hire. The fact that he had many years of head coaching experience, and would be well-known, made it a no-brainer in my opinion. Even if the kids didn’t know his name, it’s likely that at least many parents in California and perhaps Texas would remember the name from his days at Arizona State.
Next in line would be Wilcox, mainly because of his SEC and PAC12 coaching experience. It’s true, he could not list head coaching experience on his resume, but his reputation as a defensive genius and recruiting specialist made up for that in my opinion. The only other knock against him would be the perceived lack of “staying power” at any given locale. Yes, he’s jumped around a bit.
Finally, Harsin. The major reason I had him last is because he was only one year into his head coaching gig at Arkansas State. I knew he had stated in the past a desire to be the head coach at Boise State “some day”, but I figured he would want a few years of head coach experience under his belt.
Well, I guess I was wrong. As the days crept by during the search, it became apparent from rumors that the top candidates were Koetter and Harsin. I’m not even sure if Wilcox ever actually interviewed. Sure, several other names (Tedford? You kidding me?) came up, but they were just that – names.
At one point I thought Koetter was it. Social media reported that Harsin had withdrawn his name, so that pretty much left Koetter. It turned out to either be an intentional smokescreen, or perhaps Koetter turned down an offer. I don’t know, and I’m not sure I will ever know what really occurred.
In the end, it was Harsin. I’m not going to say I’m disappointed, because I think Harsin will seriously try to perform like he always does – with intensity and focus. But, I admit was a bit disappointed that the “big splash” didn’t occur. Boise State is a big-name program now, and should have a big-name coach. Perhaps Harsin will get to that point. Who knows?
On the other hand, I do feel good about the fact that the guy who called the three most amazing plays in college football – Circus, Vinny, and Statue Left (during the BSU/Oklahoma Fiesta Bowl) – will be at the helm. It’s something to think about.
- It’s official: Bryan Harsin named BSU’s new head coach(ktvb.com)
- A-State’s Bryan Harsin Leaving for Alma Mater Boise State(fox16.com)
- Those who watched Harsin grow up eager to see him lead the Broncos(ktvb.com)