BOISE – The hometown boy who walked on at Boise State and years later engineered the offense that sparked the team’s emergence as a BCS contender is home again, this time as the Broncos’ head coach.
Bryan Harsin’s homecoming officially began Friday when the university introduced him as the team’s 11th head coach and successor to Chris Petersen, who left for Washington last week after eight seasons.
The 37-year-old Harsin admitted it didn’t take long after learning about his mentor’s departure to Seattle for him to begin dreaming of his return to Boise.
“A millisecond,” joked Harsin, who spent this season as head coach at Arkansas State.
“This program personally has changed my life. It’s made me who I am today. It’s made my family and our relationships where they are today. So as far as the dream of this … all I wanted to do is get back here and do for this program what it’s done for me.”
Harsin was among a handful of candidates interviewed to take over for Petersen, who won 92 games, two BCS bowls and helped turn a program from a small Western conference into a national brand. Harsin had a role in Boise State’s rise, serving as offensive coordinator from 2006 to 2010, a period when the Boise State offense was among the nation’s leaders and led by Kellen Moore, the winningest quarterback in college football history.
At Capital High School in Boise, Harsin played backup to starting quarterback Jake Plummer, who went on to star at Arizona State and played 10 seasons in the NFL. Initially a walk-on at Boise State, Harsin played behind Bart Hendricks, one of the nation’s most prolific passers.
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