Our View: Harsin’s a Boise State Man

December 17, 2013 

Bo Schembechler, the late great Michigan football coach and later the school’s athletic director, made a point of looking for a certain pedigree among candidates when Wolverine jobs came open.

All things considered, Schembechler demanded a “Michigan Man” in Ann Arbor to head the key programs in football and men’s basketball.

In Bryan Harsin, Boise State University President Bob Kustra and Athletic Director Mark Coyle have landed themselves a Boise State Man to lead the Broncos into the future.

We think it was a coaching search that went well and ended well. We congratulate BSU officials for being prepared with a Chris Petersen succession plan.

Not only did they land a coach who knows his way around the gridiron, they found a man who knows the community and who can, if he decides to, create connections and contribute to the Treasure Valley in the offseason. We sincerely hope he does.

Though five of the six candidates Coyle and Kustra considered have some Bronco blood in one way or the other, Coach Harsin arguably has the most, and the most storied, Bronco Nation juice. He was around for the undefeated season, the top-five season and two Bowl Championship Series games.

Capital High School player, BSU quarterback and BSU graduate in business management, Harsin has the requisite BSU DNA to allow fans to transition from Coach Pete’s path to the new Harsin highway.

Coyle and Kustra said last week Harsin wasn’t hired because he’s a hometown boy or because he has ties to the program. It was because the 37-year-old Harsin demonstrated he wanted it more.

That Kellen “wanting it” Moore factor is the fuel that BSU burns late in the game and in overtime when it plays David against the Goliaths of college football.

Coach Pete recognized it and bottled it, but he doesn’t own the patent. It can happen again.

Harsin won’t lead the Broncos next week in Hawaii against Oregon State. Next year he’ll have a hard time leading them into the new, challenging College Football Playoff era that does no favors for his program or any of the other smaller conferences.

Perhaps undefeated seasons and top-five finishes are back to being dreams instead of expectations for the Broncos. But that’s OK. Bronco Nation dreams big.

The good news is the program will be moving forward with a Boise State Man.

And that means everything. “Our View” is the editorial position of the Idaho Statesman. It is an unsigned opinion expressing the consensus of the Statesman’s editorial board. To comment on an editorial or suggest a topic, email editorial@idahostatesman.com.

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