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Boise State Hires Former OC Harsin

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Bryan Harsin, who coached Arkansas State to the GoDaddy.com Bowl this year, is headed back to Boise State, this time as head coach. Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images.
Bryan Harsin, who coached Arkansas State to the GoDaddy.com Bowl this year, is headed back to Boise State, this time as head coach. Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images.

The dominoes from the USC hiring continue to fall, having made their way to the Sun Belt Conference. And Arkansas State is becoming a one-year launching pad for major coaching jobs.

Boise State has hired Red Wolves coach Bryan Harsin, the school announced Wednesday.

Harsin led Arkansas State (7-5, 5-2) to the GoDaddy.com Bowl and a share of the Sun Belt Conference title this season after taking over for Gus Malzahn, who also spent one year as the team's coach before moving on to Auburn. (Hugh Freeze coached Arkansas State for one season, 2011, before becoming the head coach at Ole Miss.)

Harsin, who served as the co-offensive coordinator at Texas (2011-12), graduated high school in Boise, Idaho, played for Boise State in college and spent five seasons as offensive coordinator for the Broncos. Harsin spearheaded the offense for the 13-0 team in 2006, which knocked off Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, and the 14-0 team in 2009.

“We’re coming home,” Harsin said in a statement. “(My wife) Kes and I are thrilled about returning to Boise State, it’s a special place built by special people. One of the hardest decisions we ever made was leaving Boise. 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,” Harsin continued. “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 fills the job vacated by Chris Petersen, who coached the Broncos for eight seasons before accepting the same position at Washington this month. Former Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian, of course, accepted the USC job vacated by Lane Kiffin and temporarily occupied by Ed Orgeron.

Now we just need Orgeron to take over at Arkansas State to complete the circle, right?

The Red Wolves have named defensive coordinator John Thompson as interim coach for the bowl game against Ball State, USA Today reported.

Meanwhile, Harsin takes over a Boise State team that went just 8-4 this season and needs to beat Oregon State in the Hawaii Bowl (Dec. 24) to avoid its worst winning percentage since 1998.