It looks like Arkansas State is wasting no time replacing Gus Malzahn. A little more than a week after Malzahn left the Red Wolves to coach Auburn on Dec. 4, the school has hired Texas co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin to take over the program, according to Jim Vertuno of the Associated Press:
A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that Texas co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin will become the head coach at Arkansas State. Harsin is expected to be introduced at Arkansas State on Wednesday.
UPDATE: Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 12:51 p.m. ET
Texas is also wasting no time in replacing Harsin. According to ESPN's Joe Schad, Major Applewhite and Darrell Wyatt will be taking over as co-offensive coordinators for the Longhorns with the former calling the plays:
Major Applewhite and Darrell Wyatt will be co-offensive coordinators at Texas following the departure of Bryan Harsin, with Applewhite taking over play calling, according to a source. Applewhite, who has coached running backs, will also now coach quarterbacks.
---End of Update---
Harsin has spent the past two seasons under Mack Brown at Texas as the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He is considered largely responsible for the development of David Ash, who excelled early in the season before a late-season swoon sent the sophomore quarterback to the bench.
Developing quarterbacks is nothing new for Harsin. A signal-caller during his playing career at Boise State, the young coach joined the team's staff as a graduate assistant in 2001 and was influential on Chris Petersen's Broncos after taking over as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2006.
Though this will be his first attempt at a head coaching job, Harsin joins a program on the rise at Arkansas State. In his first season with the Red Wolves, Malzahn went 9-3 (7-1 in the Sun Belt Conference) en route to the team receiving a GoDaddy.com Bowl berth.
That is the school's second consecutive bowl berth and third invite to a postseason game since joining the FBS in 2005.
With the talent cupboard pretty full, Harsin should have no trouble continuing to build the program going forward. Still, Arkansas State faithful will be hoping Harsin isn't using this job as a stepping stone
Both Malzahn and Hugh Freeze left the school after one season to pursue opportunities in the SEC. By hiring Harsin, the Red Wolves hope they've found a guy who will not only continue the program's ascent, but also be there for years to come.
Whether that happens remains to be seen, but Wednesday should be a day for rejoicing, as Arkansas State has brought in one of the top young offensive minds in college football.
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