FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas has hired one coach from Boise State since joining the SEC.
Frank Broyles hired Houston Nutt and in 10 years at Arkansas he went 75-49 with eight bowl games in 10 years. Some still blast Nutt, but the truth is his record was better at Arkansas than anyone else since they joined the SEC. He and Bobby Petrino combined to go to 11 bowl games in 14 years.
But all that aside, Boise State has another outstanding coach in Bryan Harsin who also has ties to the state. He was the head coach at Arkansas State in 2013 leading them to a 7-5 mark.
He then chose to go home to Boise State. Arkansas State played in the bowl game with an interim head coach. John Thompson, who was Harsin’s defensive coordinator was the interim head coach for the GoDaddy Bowl. Thompson has also coached at Arkansas as well as many other places and is a talented defensive coordinator who may be looking to get back into the college game.
At Boise State, Harsin has a record of 60-16 and a bowl game each season. Harsin is 3-1 in bowl games with last year’s game canceled soon after it had started due to excessive lightning and bad weather in the Dallas area.
They have beaten Arizona 38-30 in 2014 Fiesta Bowl, blasted Boston College 55-7 in the 2015 Poinsetta Bowl, fell to Baylor 31-12 in the 2016 Cactus Bowl and then downed Oregon 38-28 in the 2017 Las Vegas Bowl.
They are 8-1 this season and nationally ranked again. In his first five years there his worst record is 9-4 in 2015. He was 12-2 in 2014, 10-3 in 2016, 11-3 in 2017 and then 10-3 last fall. Three of Harsin’s first five teams have finished in the Top 25 and likely are gonna make it four this season.
The lone loss this season was a 28-25 setback to BYU. The wins are over Florida State, San Jose State, Wyoming, Marshall, UNLV, Portland State, Air Force and Hawaii.
They close out their home schedule tonight against New Mexico before heading to Utah State and Colorado State to close out the regular season. According to the Football Power Index at EPSN, Boise State should end the season 11-1. They are given a 96.2-percent chance to beat New Mexico, 67.2 to top Utah State and then 84.2 of getting a victory at Colorado State.
Harsin was an assistant coach at Texas in 2011-12 prior to taking the job at Arkansas State. There he was co-offensive coordinator and coached the quarterbacks. He has also served as an assistant at Eastern Oregon and Boise State.
He turned 43 on Nov. 1. Boise State is his alma mater so why would he possibly consider a move to Arkansas? First, he is only making $1.35 million at Boise State. Moving to Arkansas would be not only more money but a chance to coach in a Power 5 conference.
Harsin, who was a Broyles Award finalist in 2009 is one of the brighest up-and-coming coaches in college football. Having a year at Arkansas State and two years at Texas means he has lived in this area before.
Boise State has 11 Texans on the roster this season so it’s obvious that Harsin has maintained recruiting ties in the Lone Star State.
Whether it’s Arkansas or someone else Harsin will get offers that may be hard to refuse considering his record and coaching reputation.