Former Boise State assistant coach Bryan Harsin will leave Arkansas State to return to the Broncos, according to Coaching Search's Pete Roussel and others, confirming a report that Harsin was on the way out. He'll take over for Chris Petersen, who left for the Washington job.
This continues both ASU's run of having its coached poached elsewhere and Boise State's tradition of hiring from within (even if "within" means former assistants). Harsin's 7-5 in one year as a head coach.
Sun Belt sources told SB Nation's Steven Godfrey Tuesday that Harsin would remain at ASU, but evidently circumstances changed.
Re: Boise / Arkansas State, was told this morning Koetter had hesitations and a formal offer was made to Harsin last night.— Steven Godfrey (@38Godfrey) December 11, 2013
Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, Washington defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, and former Cal head coach Jeff Tedford were also considered candidates.
Harsin spent his college days at Boise State, playing quarterback at the school from 1995 to 1999. After one year as a positional coach at Eastern Washington, he returned to Boise as a graduate assistant and was promoted to tight ends coach after a year.
In 2006, Chris Petersen was promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach of the Broncos and Harsin took over as offensive coordinator. In their first year running the show, Boise State had a perfect season culminating in a Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma. Ian Johnson ran for 1,713 yards and led the country in rushing touchdowns and just a few years later the Kellen Moore era began with the Broncos.
During Harsin's five years as offensive coordinator, Boise State went 61-5 and routinely blew their opponents out of the water. He was hired as co-offensive coordinator at Texas in 2011, taking over a Longhorn offense that ranked 100th in the nation in F/+ and improving them to 81st in 2011 and 18th in 2012.
In 2013, Harsin was hired by Arkansas State, taking over for Gus Malzahn (who took over for Hugh Freeze, who replaced Steve Roberts). The Red Wolves went 7-5 on the season, with a 5-2 conference record good for a co-championship in the Sun Belt.
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