Boise State coordinators Bryan Harsin and Justin Wilcox are hot coaching commodities, which is both good and bad for Bronco fans. Will either coach be moving on to a bigger job? How will Boise State replace them?
After the jump, find out which school is rumored to be after Wilcox, discuss how Boise State would move on after losing either, and weigh in on which one you would pick to start a team.
It wouldn't be early-to-mid-January without coaching rumors from unnamed sources
Boise State defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox turned in one of bowl season's best coaching performances with his tour de force defensive mastery against TCU. Apparently, Texas A&M gets the FOX channel because they are now interested.
A source with close ties to the Aggies’ football staff said today it appears Air Force’s Tim DeRuyter and Boise State’s Justin Wilcox are Mike Sherman’s top candidates to become A&M’s defensive coordinator, and that DeRuyter might have an edge because he prefers the 3-4 defense that Sherman favors.
Randy Riggs of the Austin Statesman reported the "news." The story goes on to explain how a big-time A&M defensive player is hinging his decision to return or go pro based on whom the Aggies hire as defensive coordinator. Early entry draft deadline is Friday. A&M will most likely decide by then.
Which one could Boise State less afford to lose?
Losing either coordinator would be a big blow to the team. But would the loss of one be tougher to overcome than the other?
It might help to take a look at how the Broncos would replace each coach. Assuming the team hires from within, here is a list of possible candidates:
If Harsin leaves ...
- Brent Pease, assistant head coach, wide receivers
- Chris Strausser, tight ends coach, run game coordinator
If Wilcox leaves ...
- Pete Kwiatkowski, defensive line
- Jeff Choate, special teams, linebackers
- Marcel Yates, defensive secondary
At first glance, it appears that the Broncos are better suited to replace Bryan Harsin if he left for another coaching gig. Boise State has Pease, who was tied to Arizona State's offensive coordinator position and Montana's head coaching job, and the Broncos also have Chris Petersen who was a pretty good coordinator before he was a pretty great head coach.
Defensively, Boise State has some very good position coaches, but how would they do when thrust into the coordinator role? Wilcox jumped from LB coach at Cal to Boise State's defensive coordinator. Might the Broncos go outside the staff to hire a replacement for Wilcox when the time comes?
Some other factors to consider include recruiting (FYI: Wilcox found Kellen Moore in case you haven't read a Sports Illustrated in the past five years), personnel (which side of the ball has the better playmakers?), and consistency (how long has each excelled at his job?).
The decision is a tough one. But based on the offensive expertise on the current staff, I would feel more comfortable with the loss of Harsin than with the loss of Wilcox.
Which one would you choose to start a team?
If you had the choice between Harsin and Wilcox to be the head coach of your team, which one would you choose?
Both are young, brilliant coaches who have been associated with a successful program for at least five years. They know how to win, and they know how to gameplan. The choice might come down to whether you prefer a coach with an offensive focus or a defensive focus.
Despite Wilcox's success over the past couple years, I think I would lean toward Harsin as my head coach. The tipping point for me is how well Coach Pete has transitioned from offensive coordinator to head coach. I see Harsin being very similar to Petersen both in offensive philosophy and in career arc.
Would you take Harsin or Wilcox to start your team? How do you feel about replacing each coach? Do the Texas A&M rumors make you nervous? Share your thoughts in the comments.