Boise State football fans have split opinions on Bryan Harsin

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After losing to Washington State on Sept. 9, some Boise State fans were left disappointed with the Bronco’s performance. This was seen mostly through social media, where some tweets from Broncos fans singled out Coach Harsin in particular.

Mike Perigen tweeted after the game “31-10… really #BoiseState @CoachHarsin let’s maybe next time run the ball!” In his time at Boise State, Harsin has a record of 33-11, and won a Fiesta Bowl his first year as Head Coach. And while many Boise State fans still support Harsin, there is a very vocal group that would prefer to see Boise State find another head coach.

Among this group of fans is senior communication major Ty Zacharisen, who was originally thrilled when Harsin was hired on.

“As a fan, I loved the hiring of Harsin,” Zacharisen said. “He was young, familiar with the program and had helped lead Boise State to success in the past. My problem with Harsin lies in the fact that the offense in the last three years has been at times boring, stagnant and predictable.”

Zacharisen went on to say with players like Brett Rypien, Jermey McNicholls and Cedrick Wilson, it’s hard to fault the talent of the team as all of these players have shown massive potential.

In eight years at Boise State Chris Petersen amassed a 92-12 overall record and put Boise State in the national spotlight, winning two Fiesta Bowls—one in 2007 and another in 2010. Since then, the expectations of Boise State from fans has changed dramatically.

“Boise State isn’t your average school where eight wins a season is good enough. We set a precedent that we are better than that,” said senior communication student Robert Glasson. “With how the current system is set up, there is no reason why we shouldn’t be competing for a spot in the New Year’s six bowls every year.”

However, not all fans are against Harsin. Many fans still believe that he has done a good job as coach, and is still the best option moving forward.

“I think you would be hard-pressed to find a better group of five coaches or program since coach Harsin took over at Boise State,” said Boise State alum Raja Prabhala. “He is the best coach Boise State could ask for.”

Nick Carannante, who is another Harsin fan, believes he’s done a good job. “He showed what he was capable of in his first year by winning a Fiesta Bowl,” Carannante said. “If you look at his losses, they largely come from close games that hinge on one or two plays going wrong.”

After being up 31-10 in the Washington State game only to end up losing, some fans questioned his ability to close out games. Fans came out loud again on both sides in the Harsin argument.

“I do think there are too many fourth quarters that we underperform in, and when late mistakes are a theme, that blame is on the coach,” said senior political science major Trevor Kamena. “(But Boise State had) double-digit wins two out of the last three years.”

Sports Illustrated had an article titled “The 30 Hottest Names on This Year’s Coaching Carousel.” Bryan Harsin was number nine on the list, receiving high praise from the website that said he would be a “solid candidate” for any Pac-12 jobs that may open up at the end of the year.

Last year Harsin interviewed for the head coaching position at Oregon University and his name was mentioned multiple times for the University of Minnesota job before it was filled.  

While the critics will always be loud, the demand for his coaching from other powerhouse programs seems to indicate that Harsin will be here for as long as he chooses to be.


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I am a Media Arts major from Colorado, who is a sports enthusiast. My favorite sports are college football and basketball, and MMA. I believe that student media is important because it gives a recognizable voice from the media that is specifically made for students. I can't wait to contribute to the sports section of the arbiter. Go Broncos!

1 Comment

  1. I think Harsin is doing a good job and I think he knows there is room for improvement. I think recruits and fans alike want Boise State to maintain it’s exciting style of football. I also think they want intelligent and creative football.
    Personally I saw the decline begin while Coach Pete was still here and it began with the Nevada game in Reno when Coach Pete decided to run the clock out in the first half with BSU up by 17 points….only 17 points. Nevada was a great team that year and with well over a minute remaining in that half BSU needed to try for more points. We all know the result.
    I liked how Harsin continued to try hard during the debacle at Utah State a couple of years ago. True the effort just lead to continued mishaps, but at least we tried and the players only had their own efforts to blame.
    The loss to Washington State this year was a tough one. When you have a 21 point lead in the 4th quarter the total focus should be on burning the clock. Move the ball safely and burn the clock. I’d like to hope that Harsin explained this to all of the players at that time. “Men it’s time to run this game out. No turnovers. No heroics. No running out of bounds. No incomplete passes. Safely handle that ball and run this clock out.” But what happened on the field with Cozart’s INT and the punted ball hitting our own player didn’t make it look as though those instructions were given.
    We live, we learn and we move forward. I think Harsin is doing just that. The next couple of seasons will tell this tale and I think Harsin deserves all of the support fans and players can give him. To drive him out now is foolish when all I see is continued improvement over where things where when Pete left and Harsin arrived.

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