Boise State finds new coach; Much still up in the air for Broncos

ccripe@idahostatesman.comDecember 12, 2013 

Bryan Harsin became one of the youngest offensive coordinators in the country at age 29 when he coached at Boise State, above. Harsin backed up standout BSU quarterback Bart Hendricks in the late 1990s and began coaching at BSU in 2001 as a graduate assistant.

JOE JASZEWSKI — Statesman file

The hiring of Bryan Harsin as the Boise State football team’s next head coach provided some welcome good news to Bronco Nation on Wednesday.

But the turmoil is far from over.

There’s still a coaching staff to rebuild.

And a recruiting class to save.

Both will have a huge impact on the 2014 Broncos — a team that, based on players projected to return, could be loaded for a run at the Mountain West championship.

Harsin’s first order of business will be to select his nine full-time assistants — and with the money he’ll have at his disposal at Boise State, he should have many quality options.

He hired seven people with Boise State ties at Arkansas State — Bush Hamdan (co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach), Kent Riddle (special teams/tight ends coach), Julius Brown (cornerbacks coach/recruiting coordinator), Gerald Alexander (graduate assistant), Thomas Byrd (graduate assistant), Jeff Pitman (strength coach) and Lee Marks (assistant strength coach).

It’s unclear how many of Boise State’s assistants will consider staying.

Linebackers coach Bob Gregory, the interim coach for the Hawaii Bowl, could be a defensive coordinator candidate. But most are expected to follow Chris Petersen to Washington. Sources have told the Idaho Statesman that running backs coach Keith Bhonapha, defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski, offensive line coach Chris Strausser and defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake have accepted positions on Petersen’s staff.

On the recruiting front, the Broncos had 13 commits when Petersen left. Several already have shown a willingness to look elsewhere. Quarterback Jalen Greene has posted a photo of himself on Instagram posing with Petersen and Bhonapha — with Bhonapha in a Huskies shirt. That would be a tough loss for the Broncos.

Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat

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