JONESBORO, Ark. Bryan Harsin hopes to bring stability to Arkansas State.
Harsin was introduced as the new coach of the Red Wolves on Wednesday one day after he agreed to leave the Longhorns and replace Gus Malzahn.
The former Boise State quarterback and assistant coach becomes the third head coach in as many years for the two-time Sun Belt champions. Malzahn left after one season to take over Auburn last week, while current Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze did the same two years ago.
It was the right time, Harsin said at a press conference in Jonesboro. I had a purpose, and this was the opportunity and the chance that Ive been looking for and wanting to be a part of and to be a part of this family and this team and this community. Im excited to be here.
Harsin will begin work immediately with the Red Wolves and wont coach Texas during the Alamo Bowl against Oregon State.
Arkansas State will continue preparations for the GoDaddy.com Bowl on Jan. 6 against Kent State. Defensive coordinator John Thompson will serve as Arkansas States interim head coach for that game.
Harsin signed a five-year contract for $700,000 annually, including a $1.75 million buyout if he leaves during the first year. That buyout lowers to $1 million in the second year, $500,000 in the third, $300,000 in the fourth and $100,000 in the fifth.
Harsin made $675,000 at Texas.
HARSINS HIRE MAKES HISTORY
Bryan Harsins hiring at Arkansas State is believed to be the first time a Boise-area high school product has received a head coaching job in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Capital High graduate told then-Capital coach Steve Vogel about his career aspirations when he was preparing to walk on at Boise State in 1995.
He said then his goal was to be a head college football coach by the time he was 40, Vogel said, and he beat that.
Harsin, 36, was a reserve quarterback for the Broncos from 1995 to 1999. He was an offensive graduate assistant in 2001 and tight ends coach from 2002 to 2005 under Dan Hawkins and the offensive coordinator under Chris Petersen from 2006 to 2010 before leaving for Texas.