Chris Petersen: 'You guys are more Boise State than we are'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Thursday February 14, 2013

Posted by: Chris Vannini on February 14, 2013

In recent years, Arkansas State has wanted to become known as the Boise State of the South.

The Red Wolves have won 10 games in each of the last two seasons, but those seasons have resulted in the head coach leaving for a bigger job.

So the school turned to a man with Boise State ties in Bryan Harsin to be the next head coach. Current Broncos head coach Chris Petersen joined 103.9 in Arkansas and talked about the hire of Harsin.

"You're getting a great one,' Petersen said. "I've known Bryan for a long time, and from the second that I met him, and just had a chance to observe him, you've been through the highs, the lows, the goods, the bads, so you get a feel for a person. There's no doubt that I've known for a long, long time that he was going to rise very rapidly in this profession and do some awesome, awesome things."

Harsin comes to Arkansas State after two years as the co-offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach at Texas. Harsin spent the 10 previous years in Boise as a graduate assistant, tight ends coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He also played at Boise State in the late 1990s.

There also are a number of new staff members at Arkansas State with Boise State ties. Cornerbacks coach Julius Brown, tight ends / special teams coordinator / assistant head coach Kent Riddle and director of strength and conditioning Jeff Pittman all previously worked in Boise, while quarterbacks coach Bush Hamdan and assistant strength coach Lee Marks both played at the school.

"You've got some great guys there, there's no doubt about it,' Petersen said. 'Let me just say this, if you guys were wanting to be Boise State in the south, you guys are more Boise State now than we're Boise State. You have more Boise State guys on your staff than I have Boise State on my staff. I chuckled when it all shook down and I saw all the Boise guys.

"Again, I think it's a really smart move by Bryan. He's going with guys that he knows, that he can trust, that know how we've done things here, and certainly Bryan will put his own spin on them. But I really think it helps get everybody pointed in the right direction right out of the game. That's going to make things easier for everybody on the staff."

You can listen to Petersen's interview by clicking here.



Chris Vannini is the lead writer for and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to

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