Texas Lures Boise State Offensive Coordinator in Radical Staff Remake
His boldest may have come Friday when the Texas announced it had hired offensive wonder-kid Bryan Harsin away from Boise State to replace long-time offensive coordinator Greg Davis.
Brown announced the hire Friday, saying Harsin and running backs coach Major Applewhite would be co-offensive coordinators with Harsin set to handle the play-calling duties.
The 34-year-old Harsin joins the Longhorns after 10 seasons as a member of the Broncos coaching staff, including the last five as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
"Everyone knows of the appreciation I've had for (Boise State coach) Chris (Petersen), Bryan and the Boise State offense for quite some time," Brown said. "They have had an unbelievable amount of success over the last several years and their offense has played a huge part in that. In my opinion, they've been one of the most innovative offenses in the country, and I enjoy watching them every chance I get."
The hope is Harsin will bring some of the creativity to the Longhorns' offense , which lacked an identity this past season with first-year starter Garrett Gilbert at quarterback. Harsin has been largely credited with transforming the Broncos into one of the top offenses in the nation while Kellen Moore has blossomed into of the premiere quarterbacks in the country under his guidance.
The hiring of Harsin is somewhat a coup considering that most assistants at Boise State have preferred remaining with Petersen and there had also been rumors that Indiana may have been close to landing Harsin.
This will certainly be a much bigger challenge for Harsin.
"When I heard from coach Brown, I was flattered and excited," Harsin said. "What a great opportunity to come to a place like Texas with its rich history and tradition. We've had success at Boise State over the years, but you look at a Texas and it has been a championship program for a long, long time and it's just one of those places you want to be a part of. At Boise State, we always talked about and paid attention to the successful programs around the country, and Texas was a model. The Longhorns set the standard for what you want to be, so it was quite an honor to get that call from coach Brown."
In addition to adding Harsin, Brown has also brought in Manny Diaz to replace defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, who is now the head coach at Florida. Darrell Wyatt has taken over as the receivers coach, Bo Davis will coach defensive tackles and Bennie Wylie will now handle the strength and conditioning program for the Longhorns. Texas is still in the market for an offensive line coach and all indications are that position will be filled by the end of the week.
In other Big 12 coaching moves, Baylor announced Friday that Pitt defensive coordinator and former SMU coach Phil Bennett has been hired as the Bears' defensive coordinator. Bennett brings 32 years of coaching experience to Baylor, with defensive coordinator stops in the Big 12, Big East, SEC, Big Ten and the old Big Eight.
"I am extremely honored and excited that Phil is ready to begin his journey and continue ours at Baylor University," said Baylor coach Art Briles. "He brings a proven track record to Baylor, and enjoys tremendous respect nationally for his work on the defensive side of the ball. But aside from that, Phil is a great man, a great professional and is very loyal to the people and the profession."