Bryan Harsin is different. Coach Harsin is one of the few folks born here who have played in high school in Boise, then at Boise State, served as an assistant, and finally became the head coach in 2014. Other BSU Coaches, like a lot of us, moved here and found success.


Then like Harsin, they all left for bigger jobs. Many believed that Coach Harsin would be the one coach who would break the move on to bigger teams. You can find members of his family at Firebird Raceway and throughout our community. Why did Coach leave one of the most popular places in America to move to the obscure 'Plains' of Auburn, Alabama, where the closest 'big city' is Montgomery?

Getty Photo
Getty Photo

Auburn University expects its football team to compete for national titles year in and out. They fired their last coach, Gus Malzahn, who guided them to the title game because he didn't win enough games. Auburn fans are unforgiving when it comes to losses, especially to their rival and current national champion, the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Boise State v BYU
Getty Images

Bryan Harsin could've lived in his native Treasure Valley comfortable for years guiding the Boise State Broncos' continued domination of the Mountain West Conference. He decided that the easy route was not for him. Harsin, we'll learn in a minute, is all about winning and challenges.


Sports Illustrated answers that question in a released profile called the 'House of Boise.' Harsin tells SI that he left BSU because despite being 12-1 in 2019, BSU didn't go to the Cotton Bowl. The Memphis Tigers were chosen as the Group of 5 School that eventually lost to Penn State. Memphis plays in the AAC, which features five powers: UCF, Cincinnati, and other quality teams. The Tigers also had to beat Cincinnati two weeks in a row to get to Dallas. Boise State's one loss against BYU that year eliminated them from consideration.

Harsin's most challenging task was telling his Dad that he was leaving for Auburn. He shares that his Father eventually understood why he had to move on to the SEC. The coach has immersed himself in his new surroundings while hiring new staff and some friends from Boise.

He now faces the most challenging job in college football. In the West, geography is a challenge. There are few bus rides for fans and players in the Mountain West Conference. Fewer stadiums are filled with crazed fans. Auburn lives in a world of the SEC West where every game is a sellout. Unlike in Boise, he will not get away with taping his coach's show. He'll answer to those fans in person.

The SEC West has three coaches have won the national title and Georgia with Kirby Smart is just down the road. Harsin's cupcakes in the Mountain West, New Mexico, Utah State, etc., are replaced with red meat teams like Georgia, LSU, and other powers. The world will get their first look at his Auburn Tigers during their spring game, streamed on the SEC Network. Alabama's spring game will be on ESPN.

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