Harsin returning to Boise State

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Updated: 12/11/2013 12:12 pm

Boise, ID (SportsNetwork.com) - Boise State has named Bryan Harsin as its new head football coach.

Harsin spent the 2013 season as the head coach at Arkansas State and was an assistant at Boise State from 2001-10. He'll take over for Chris Petersen, who left to become the head coach at Washington last week.

"We are extremely excited in our selection of Bryan Harsin as the next head football coach at Boise State," said athletic director Mark Coyle in a statement on Wednesday. "Bryan is one of the top young head coaches in college football and we are thrilled to bring him back to Boise to lead the Bronco program. Bryan played a key role in the development of the football program as an assistant for 10 years at Boise State and we look forward to his leadership as we continue the ascension of Bronco football."

Harsin, a graduate of Capital High School in Boise, was the offensive coordinator under Petersen from 2006-10 and helped the Broncos to a record of 61-5 in that role. He left to become the co-offensive coordinator at Texas in 2011 and '12 before taking his first head coaching position at Arkansas State.

"One of the hardest decisions we ever made was leaving Boise," said Harsin on Wednesday. "We did that so I could become a better coach, so I could one day have the opportunity to return as head coach -- that day has arrived.

"I appreciate the history and tradition of the Boise State program. I embrace that success but won't rest on it. We will build this program every day with a sense of urgency. I can't wait to get to work. Go Broncos!"

Harsin was a walk-on at Boise State and was the backup quarterback for the Broncos from 1995-99, then spent one season as an assistant at Eastern Oregon. He rejoined the Boise State program as offensive graduate assistant in 2001 under Dan Hawkins before taking over as tight ends coach from 2002-05.

In his lone season at Arkansas State, Harsin guided the Red Wolves to a record of 7-5 with a berth in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.

The Red Wolves will have to begin a search for their fifth head coach in five seasons.

After Steve Roberts' nine-year tenure came to a close in 2010, Hugh Freeze took over in 2011. Freeze left after one season for Ole Miss and Gus Malzahn lasted just one year before moving on to Auburn.

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