Boise State Football: Coach Harsin's Holiday Wish List
When Bryan Harsin was announced as the new head football coach at Boise State on December 11, many in Bronco Nation celebrated.
Harsin is, after all, a hometown guy who spent his college career as a Boise State quarterback. He would then return to the Broncos as a graduate assistant in 2001, become a tight ends coach in 2002 and eventually would rise to become the offensive coordinator from 2006-2010.
It was while he was the OC that he began to make a real name for himself.
In those years, he helped command an offense that was a big part in winning two Fiesta Bowls and compiling a 61-5 overall record.
Becoming head coach for the Broncos has been Harsin's dream, and that is one of the biggest reasons fans have embraced him. Harsin's passion and loyalty to the program are obvious, and his willingness to attack the future, rather than rely on the past, has many Boise State fans excited.
However, as the reality of the new job begins for Harsin, there are probably some things he would like to see happen. Let's look at some of the items that might be on his wish list this holiday season.
A Bowl Victory for His New Team
Even though Harsin isn't coaching the bowl game, a victory for the Broncos could be helpful for him and his new staff.
One of the things a win would do is generate a bit more momentum for a team desperately in need of some right now. That momentum can help in the area of recruiting, and it can also bring a level of credibility to the program.
All of that helps Harsin down the road.
Another area it helps in is the fanbase and booster support. If people are excited about the Broncos, they are more likely to participate in various ways. That all points to a program on the rise.
A bowl loss wouldn't be devastating for Harsin, but a win could be a help for him as he enters his first season leading the Boise State football team.
Additions to His 2014 Recruiting Class
Speaking of recruiting, the Boise State 2014 recruiting class looks to be on some kind of diet.
In the past few weeks, the class has shrank a bit.
Among some of the losses were a tight end and a highly recruited quarterback. With the coaching change, some loss was expected, and Bryan Harsin certainly isn't panicking.
According to 247Sports.com, the Broncos currently have seven recruits still committed. The class will need at least another nine recruits before it's all said and done. However, that number could change depending on what transpires in the coming weeks.
Harsin is a very good recruiter, as are his newly hired defensive coordinator Marcel Yates and offensive coordinator Mike Sanford Jr. With these three along with some other very talented assistant coaches coming on board, the Broncos should be able to put together a decent class.
It is definitely something on Harsin's wish list.
Boise State Basketball to Continue Its Success
What does basketball have to do with football?
Well, technically nothing. However, with the recent rise of the basketball program at Boise State, the school is beginning to build a reputation beyond football.
For those who don't think that is a benefit for Boise State football, they should think again. Anything Boise State basketball can do to raise the bar is a good thing.
It means more respect, more exposure, more opportunity and expanded resources for the school in general.
The basketball program has certainly benefited from the success of the football program, and the rise of hoops in Boise could make people realize this is no one-trick pony.
If the school wants to continue to gain ground on a national level, it will need more than just football to carry it.
A Completed Coaching Staff
As mentioned previously, coach Harsin has hired some talented coaches thus far.
Leading the offense will be Mike Sanford Jr., who will join the Broncos from Stanford. The new defensive coordinator, Marcel Yates, comes from Texas A&M. Both of these coaches have a long history with the Broncos.
Harsin will also retain a couple of current assistants. Andy Avalos and Scott Huff will remain with the Broncos. Huff will be the offensive line coach, and Avalos will be a defensive assistant.
Kent Riddle will join the staff from Arkansas State coaching special teams and running backs, and former Boise State player Gerald Alexander will join the staff in a capacity not yet named.
Others coming on board from the current Arkansas State staff are former Boise State player Julius Brown, strength coach Jeff Pitman, director of football operations Brian Wilkinson and defensive line coach Steve Caldwell.
Harsin has done a great job so far putting together a very talented staff. He has a few more spots to fill, but as fast as he has moved so far, it shouldn't take long.
A Plan to Take It to the Next Level
Bryan Harsin has not indicated that he plans to keep the Boise State football team locked in the past. In fact, he has quite the catch phrase.
Great day to be a Bronco! Attack the future! #BleedBlue
— @coach Bryan Harsin (@bryanharsin) December 19, 2013
Attacking the future is what Boise State has always been about.
However, some of that fire had diminished in 2013, but with Harsin coming on board, the flames have been fanned. His passion, his charisma and his energy is just what the Broncos needed.
In the short term, Harsin will need to get his coaching staff in place, a recruiting class locked up and then install his offense, defense and special teams.
He will certainly be looking to prepare his team for the goal of a conference championship in 2014 and continue the academic success, integrity and character of the football program.
In the long term, however, Harsin may be thinking bigger.
If Boise State truly want to take this program even higher, the next steps are big. Not only will success on the field need to continue, but facilities will need to continue to grow, and the fanbase will need to step up in a big way.
One of the things Boise State football needs to do as soon as possible is expand the stadium. However, it can't do that unless there is fan support to do it.
If the fans don't show, the stadium won't grow, and the chances of ever getting an invitation to a larger conference and taking the program to an even higher level will be nearly impossible.
You have to think Harsin, a hometown guy, has thought about what Boise State football could become. To elevate the program even higher, he will need a plan and lots of help.
The real question is: will Bronco Nation attack the future with him?