After just three seasons away from Boise State University (two at Texas as the offensive coordinator, and one at Arkansas State as the head coach), Bryan Harsin is heading back to Idaho to lead the Bronco program.
Harsin played quarterback for Boise State from 1995-1999, and got his coaching start at Eastern Oregon (NAIA) where he coached the running backs and receivers. The next season he took a grad assistant job at his alma mater that eventually earned him a full time job coaching the tight ends (2002-2005), and eventually leading to his roles as offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach (2006-2010) before leaving for the Texas co-offensive coordinator / quarterbacks job for two seasons (2011-2012).
In his one year at Arkansas State, Harsin led the program to a 7-5 record and an appearance in the GoDaddy.com Bowl. Arkansas State will now look to hire their 4th head coach in 4 seasons.
Just yesterday multiple outlets (including Boise's Rivals site) reported that Harsin had apparently withdrawn his name from consideration and Atlanta offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter was rumored to be the top candidate in the administration's crosshairs.
In this profession, a lot of rumors swirl at this time of year, and a lot can change in a matter of hours. Throughout the search process, we heard that the President of the university favored Harsin, while the AD wanted to talk to others. In the hierarchy of search processes, it doesn't get much higher than the president.
With Harsin, Boise gets a coach familiar with the unique culture and expectations, a familiar face, and someone that has proven himself in his first year as a head coach taking over a program that has seen a ton of success over the past few seasons.
Harsin will not coach the team in the bowl game, and defensive coordinator John Thompson will lead the team in their bowl game for the second time in as many seasons. Thompson led the team to a 17-13 victory over Kent State in the last GoDaddy.com bowl game.
Harsin is the sixth FBS head coach to be hired this season following Steve Sarkisian (USC), Chris Petersen (Washington), Chuck Martin (Miami, Ohio), Craig Bohl (Wyoming) and Dave Clawson (Wake Forest). Five FBS head coaching jobs remain open: Connecticut, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Florida Atlantic, and now Arkansas State..
We'll update as more information becomes available.