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Sources: Auburn finalizing deal to hire Boise State's Bryan Harsin as next football coach

Pete Thamel
·2-min read

Auburn is finalizing deal to hire Boise State’s Bryan Harsin as its next head coach, according to multiple sources.

Harsin has a record of 69-19 during his time at Boise State, compiling a winning percentage of more than 78% during his seven seasons. Harsin is a noted offensive coach and developer of quarterbacks, long regarded as one of the West Coast’s top offensive minds.

The hiring is the result of a search that narrowed to three different candidates that the school seriously considered — Harsin, Louisiana’s Billy Napier and Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables. The timing of the hiring was impacted because all three of those coaches were scheduled to play championship weekend.

Once Auburn fired coach Gus Malzahn last week, a spree of rumors and backchannels around the university began. Auburn officials point to Harsin’s hiring as the culmination of a thorough search run by athletic director Allen Greene, which included the use of Parker Executive Search.

“There’s been lots of speculation out there, but it’s been a professional search,” said a source familiar with the search. “The process was managed in a way that’s consistent with industry standards.”

One of things that appealed to Auburn officials was Harsin’s competitiveness, as the school acknowledges the challenge of competing in the SEC West. Harsin comes from the Chris Petersen tree at Boise State, which is known for high integrity and the ability to connect with players.

Along with high-flying offenses, it was attractive to Auburn officials that Boise State traditionally values dominating both lines of scrimmage.

Harsin leaves Boise State at a time of unrest. The school has gone through a president change in the last 18 months, is without a full-time athletic director and recent documents have surfaced that show the school’s interest in changing leagues.

Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin in the second half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, in Fort Collins, Colo. Boise State won 31-24. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin in the second half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, in Fort Collins, Colo. Boise State won 31-24. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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