Chris Petersen made the move to Seattle, Wash. to coach the Washington Huskies in the Pac-12 on Dec 6, 2013.
Just one week later, Boise State introduced their new head coach for the future, Bryan Harsin.
“I think I can make an argument that this is one of the most daunting assigments of any Division I football program in the country, to find a new coach,” said Boise State President Bob Kustra.
Harsin, who was the offensive coordinator under Petersen for four seasons at Boise State, returned to The Blue after two seasons as the offensive coordinator at the University of Texas and one season as the head coach at Arkansas State University.
“When I left, it was one of the hardest things me and my family ever had to do,” Harsin said. “I had a conversation with Dr. Kustra about how the primary motivation for me leaving was to go out and develop myself as coach, develop myself as a person, to hopefully someday have a chance to come back here as a head coach.”
Harsin has his roots in Boise. He played quarterback at Capitol High in Boise. Following high school, he played quarterback at Boise State from 1995-1999. He then served as a graduate assistant and was an assistant coach at Boise State from 2001-2010.
Harsin left Arkansas State after just one season; the third year in a row Arkansas State has had a one-and-done coach. Harsin couldn’t say no to Boise State when they came calling however, and Harsin jumped at the opportunity.
“When this job opened up, I had a tough decision to make,” Harsin said. “At Arkansas State they have been through some coaches that have been there one-and-done and by no means did I think that was going to happen or by no means was that the intention.”
Several candidates were at the forefront of the race to become the next coach at Boise State, two were interviewed in-house, while four others were interviewed outside the program, Harsin being one of those outside candidates.
Coming from the Chris Petersen web of coaching however, Boise State Athletic Director Mark Coyle knew Harsin was the man for the job after his interview.
“I wanted to find somebody who was an innovative football leader and coach, I wanted to find someone who was an incredible recruiter, and I wanted to find somebody with a commitment to compliance,” Coyle said. “And I am confident that we have found the best coach for Boise State football.”