Bryan Harsin will leave his position as head coach at Arkansas State to take over the same role at Boise State, where he previously worked as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, the Broncos confirmed.
Regarding the hire, Boise's Director of Athletics, Mark Coyle, said:
We are extremely excited in our selection of Bryan Harsin as the next head football coach at Boise State. Bryan is one of the top young head coaches in college football and we are thrilled to bring him back to Boise to lead the Bronco program. Bryan played a key role in the development of the football program as an assistant for 10 years at Boise State and we look forward to his leadership as we continue the ascension of Bronco football.
The Broncos also provided a statement from Harsin:
We're coming home. Kes and I are thrilled about returning to Boise State, it's a special place built by special people. One of the hardest decisions we ever made was leaving Boise. We did that so I could become a better coach, so I could one day have the opportunity to return as head coach - that day has arrived.
I appreciate the history and tradition of the Boise State program. I embrace that success but won't rest on it. We will build this program every day with a sense of urgency. I can't wait to get to work. Go Broncos!
Idaho Statesman reporter Chad Crippe has more:
New Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin agreed to a five-year, $6.5 million contract, according to a material term sheet signed by Harsin and Athletic Director Mark Coyle on Wednesday.
Harsin’s salary starts low — at $1 million each for the first two years. It climbs to $1.3 million in 2016, $1.55 million in 2017 and $1.65 million in 2018.
He has a $2 million buyout for the first two years of the contract. That drops to $1.75 million in the third year and $500,000 in the fourth year.
Joe Schad of ESPN first reported Harsin's decision to make the move:
Bryan Harsin will be the next Boise State head coach— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) December 11, 2013
Jim Dunaway of CBS Birmingham points out the recent Arkansas State coaches to exit for higher-profile jobs elsewhere in the nation:
For the record: Hugh Freeze: ArkSt to Ole Miss Gus Malzahn: Ark St to Auburn Bryan Harsin: Ark St to Boise St Those are good jobs.— Jim Dunaway (@jimdunaway) December 11, 2013
Harsin led the Red Wolves to a 7-5 record this season, enough to earn them a spot in the GoDaddy Bowl opposite Ball State. He talked about the program's excitement level after working its way to a postseason berth, via the athletic department's official site.
We are excited about the opportunity to play in the GoDaddy Bowl. Playing in a bowl game was one of the goals we set prior to the season, and our players, coaches, support staff and administration have all worked extremely hard to make this a reality. We look forward to another chance to take the field and finish our season strong.
Now, it turns out he isn't likely to take part in the bowl game for Arkansas State. Schad states the 37-year-old coach is not expected to coach after accepting the Boise State job:
Bryan Harsin not expected to coach Arkansas State in bowl— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) December 11, 2013
Harsin is a Boise native who played quarterback at the university in the 1990s. He went on to start his coaching career at Eastern Oregon before moving to the Broncos as a graduate assistant and then climbing the ladder to tight ends coach and eventually offensive coordinator.
His experience at the school should bode well in terms of convincing potential recruits to join the program and dealing with the rising expectations. The potential downside is his lack of head coaching experience, with his one season at Arkansas State being his only run as the head of a program.