NCAA FB

Arkansas St. hires Harsin as coach

Image: Bryan Harsin
Bryan Harsin will take over at Arkansas State for Gus Malzahn.
Share This Story

   
 

AUSTIN, Texas (AP)

Former Texas co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin hopes to bring some stability to Arkansas State as its new coach.

FBS coaches fired in 2012

COACHING CAROUSEL

Pink slips have been handed out while other coaches have traded up. See who's been canned and who's stepping in

Harsin was introduced as the new coach of the Red Wolves on Wednesday - one day after he agreed to leave the Longhorns and replace former Arkansas State coach Gus Malzahn.

The former Boise State assistant coach becomes the third head coach in as many years for the two-time Sun Belt Conference champion Red Wolves. 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 news conference in Jonesboro. ''I had a purpose, and this was the opportunity and the chance that I've been looking for and wanting to be a part of and to be a part of this family and this team and this community. I'm excited to be here.''

The 35-year-old spent the last two seasons with the Longhorns, but he'll begin work immediately with the Red Wolves and won't coach Texas during the Alamo Bowl against Oregon State.

The Longhorns, who were 16-9 the last two seasons, will turn over play-calling duties to co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite.

''Brian has done a tremendous job for us, and we appreciate all the energy he's poured into our program the past two seasons,'' Texas coach Mack Brown said. ''He's a bright young coach with great enthusiasm and passion for the kids and the game. He'll do a tremendous job at Arkansas State.''

Arkansas State will continue preparations for the GoDaddy.com Bowl on Jan. 6 against Kent State. The Red Wolves, who are 19-6 the last two seasons, will also begin to prepare for life under another new coach.

COMPLETE BOWL SCHEDULE

From the New Mexico Bowl to the BCS Championship Game, we've got all the matchups here.

Since Malzahn left for Auburn last week, Arkansas State athletic director Terry Mohajir said he conducted a nationwide search for a replacement. He said the search included former NFL and BCS championship head coaches, but it was Harsin's sincere interest in the job - and his family - that ''made it very easy when we started zeroing in.''

''When we find who we want, we go get them,'' Arkansas State president Chuck Welch said. ''We've identified the best and brightest around the country, and we've made it happen.''

Mohajir flew to Austin on Tuesday to meet with Harsin, who spent the bulk of his coaching career at Boise State before being hired by Texas two years ago. The athletic director said it was important to hire someone who would remain with the program for more than one season, a thought that's reflected in Harsin's contract.

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.

''His reps tried to beat me up a little bit, but it was just like `non-negotiable,''' Mohajir joked about the buyout.

Harsin will also receive a $50,000 bonus for winning a conference championship and $25,000 for reaching a bowl game without winning a conference title.

Harsin replaces Gus Malzahn, who left after one season to become the coach at Auburn. Malzahn was 9-3 this season with the Red Wolves, his first as a college head coach, and he guided the team to its second straight Sun Belt championship.

AP ALL-AMERICA TEAMS

Second-ranked Alabama puts four players on the Associated Press first team. See the full squads here.

The Red Wolves went 7-1 in conference play, with their only loss coming to Western Kentucky on Sept. 29. Arkansas State has won seven straight games since that loss, including a season-ending 45-0 win over Middle Tennessee, behind the play of quarterback Ryan Aplin - the two-time Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year.

Malzahn was the second straight Arkansas State coach to leave for a job in the Southeastern Conference. He followed Freeze, who also left the school after one season as head coach when he became coach at Mississippi last year.

Before putting together its stellar two-season run, Arkansas State was a school that had enjoyed little success since becoming an FBS school in 1992. The Red Wolves had finished above .500 only once during that span before last season, when they won in double digits for the first time since they were a member of the I-AA Southland Conference in 1986.

Malzahn said during his brief time in Jonesboro that he wanted to turn Arkansas State into the ''Boise State of the south.'' Harsin, who played for the Broncos, hopes to continue with that

''This is an opportunity that I've felt I've prepared myself for for a long time,'' Harsin said. ''I didn't know it was going to feel this good.''

Tagged: Boise State, Arkansas State, Auburn, Arkansas, Texas

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Mark Emmert against unionization Posted: Apr 06, 2014
NCAA president Mark Emmert comments on unionization for student-athletes.

Northwestern athletes win unionization case Posted: Mar 26, 2014
FOX Football debates the implications of student-athletes being able to unionize...

Saban lectures media on Kouandjio's injury Posted: Mar 12, 2014
Nick Saban has some words for the media after the way Cyrus Kouandjio's knee inj...

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash