We began this annual odyssey all the way back on May 26th with true freshman Chase Hatada. We were all so young back then. Now, we wrap up another 100% complete countdown less than 24 hours before the 2016 Broncos take the field against Louisiana-Lafayette. As usual, it's been fun but also a grind. It's been a frind? Hopefully, you've gotten to know the 2016 Boise State roster a little better now...maybe even developed an encyclopedic knowledge of roster numbers, heights, weights, and stupid nicknames. Thanks for sticking with us. Now, since the true #1 on the Bronco roster—WR Cedrick Wilson—was highlighted way back on day 80...and we've gone through most all other key players on the 2016 squad, let's finish this thing up in style, with the founder of the feast—Coach Bryan Harsin
#1, Bryan Harsin, You don't want to know, Head Coach
Weight: let's say 210 lbs.
High School: Capital High School, Boise, ID
How'd he get to The Blue™?
Harsin originally came to The Blue as a walk-on out of Capital High, where he'd largely been a back-up to Jake Plummer, who went on to star at Arizona State and in the NFL. From 1995 to 1999 Harsin played for the Broncos under Pokey Allen, Houston Nutt, and Dirk Koetter. After graduation, Harsin became running backs and receivers coach at Eastern Oregon before returning to Boise as a graduate assistant in 2001. From 2002 to 2005, Harsin was Boise State's primary tight ends coach and when Chris Petersen took over head coaching duties in 2006, Harsin became offensive coordinator. After the 2010 season, Harsin left Boise to become the offensive coordinator at Texas, but only stayed two years before becoming the head coach at Arkansas State. At ASU, Harsin's squad claimed the Sun Belt conference co-championship and the following year he was back at his alma mater to take the reins of the Bronco program. That about has us caught up, right?
We had "Pete's Poison" when Petersen was calling the shots...and now opponents get a heaping helping of Harsinic.
Bears a startling resemblance to this guy.
2009 Broyles Award Finalist. While Offensive coordinator at Boise State, team went 60-5. 3 Fiesta Bowl victories as coordinator or head coach. Nine conference championships at Boise State as an assistant or head coach.
Expectations are high in Harsin's 3rd year at the helm of the good ship Bronco, but I think the natives are getting a bit restless after a 2015 season that saw them left out of a conference championship game. Harsin has been a great recruiter and has made some excellent hires, but he's lost two offensive coordinators and a DC in his short time back in Boise and that too has caused some to raise the alarm. Personally, I think that Harsin has hired so many up-and-coming alums that they were bound to get fast-tracked for big time positions and given that the ambitions of most assistants is to be a head coach themselves...it's hardly surprising they'd choose a career-ladder-ascension over their alma mater.
Harsin seems to be unafraid to make the kind of coaching shakeups that Chris Petersen was sometimes criticized for and removed alum Julius Brown as secondary coach in the offseason. Again Harsin seemed to have found an excellent replacement in NFL vet Ashley Ambrose, and I think once again, the Bronco staff is the pride of the conference. However, given that the Broncos have lost 4 conference games (unheard of in Pete era) and (gasp) two of them at home in his tenure, still has some wondering if Harsin is the guy that will continue the Bronco rise to prominence. To those wonderers, I'd say: Harsin's sample size is still too small to make any determination there. He's 21-6 as head coach so far, and 3 of last year's 4 losses were eminently winnable games. Whether those losses were on head coaching, assistant coaching, or players simply remains to be seen. I'll say this...another 3 conference losses would not go over well in Bronco Nation, especially given the talent this team has from top to bottom.
That said, Bronco fans should temper expectations this year a bit—we are breaking in a boatload of new defenders and are sure to have some growing pains. My hope is that Brett Rypien and company can keep the team afloat during a possible slow defensive start. Two to three losses shouldn't have fans heading for the exits, but a perceived lack of progress could. Losing 3 in a row to Air Force or 2 in a row to New Mexico would have people talking, right or wrong. If Harsin can keep the team focused this year with all the outside chatter, I'll give him a lot of credit.
Is he on Twitter?
GAME WEEK! #ALLIN— Coach Bryan Harsin (@bryanharsin) August 29, 2016
Yes, but I don't know who this "Game Week Allin" is.
Completely NOT made up fact
If Harsin hadn't become a coach, he'd likely be a professional race car driver. His father, Dale was a Funny Car pioneer and Bryan raced in his younger days. He even told ABC News last year that his "goal was to get a sponsor, go be a driver on the NHRA circuit in the Top Fuel Funny Car division" before coaching became his passion.