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Hook em’ Wolves: Bryan Harsin to replace Malzahn at Ark. St.

Major Applewhite, Bryan Harsin AP

After spending 10 of his first 11 seasons at the collegiate level as an assistant at Boise State, Bryan Harsin parlayed that résumé into the offensive coordinator gig at Texas in 2011.  The co-offensive coordinator gig, to be technically correct.

Less than two years later, Harsin has parlayed that into his first head-coaching gig.

Multiple media outlets reported late Tuesday night that Harsin has accepted the the head coaching job at Arkansas State.  The move is a rather rapid one as Harsin interviewed for the job the same day he reportedly was offered and accepted the position.

Harsin (pictured, right) would replace Gus Malzahn, who left ASU earlier this month after one year on the job for Auburn.

While the Red Wolves have yet to confirm Harsin’s hiring, the school did issue a release Wednesday morning which stated they will hold a press conference at 3 p.m. ET today to introduce the program’s new head football coach.

During his two seasons in Austin, which included the title of quarterbacks coach as well, Harsin was the primary play-caller even as he held the co-coordinator with Major Applewhite (pictured, left).  After finishing 2011 55th (28.1 points per game) and 86th (189.9 yards per game) in the nation in scoring and passing offense, respectively, UT has improved to 24th (36.1 ppg) and 40th (265 ypg) thus far this season.

Applewhite will take over Harsin’s play-calling duties as well as the title of QBs coach, meaning a new running backs coach will be hired as Applewhite had previously handled that position.  The Longhorns will continue with the two-coordinator approach as wide receivers coach Darrell Wyatt will be promoted to co-offensive coordinator.

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19 Responses to “Hook em’ Wolves: Bryan Harsin to replace Malzahn at Ark. St.”
  1. cubano76 says: Dec 12, 2012 10:25 AM

    Who, Where?

  2. apmn says: Dec 12, 2012 10:31 AM

    I wanna know what brand of sunscreen Major Applewhite uses. How can you stay that white in Texas?

  3. timh1955 says: Dec 12, 2012 10:45 AM

    So UT has improved from 55th (28.1 points per game) and 86th (189.9 yards per game) in the nation in 2011 in scoring and passing offense to 24th (36.1 ppg) and 40th (265 ypg) and that’s something to brag about??? At any good school both offensive coordinators would have been fired. But then Mack Brown should have also been canned two years ago. UT is terrible!

  4. olskool711 says: Dec 12, 2012 10:51 AM

    Good news for Boise State fans.

    If Chris Petersen was planning on taking the Wisconsin job, as has been rumored, there is a very good chance that Harsin would know about it and would be holding off.

    If Boise was going to be open most people think he would be the front-runner and that would be a job he would be very interested in.

  5. v2the4 says: Dec 12, 2012 10:52 AM

    Congrats to Bryan Harsin on his first head coaching job…he’s a good guy, but he made a bunch of questionable play calling decisions and roster decisions in his two years on the 4o acres, but good luck in Jonesboro Arkansas

    as for my man Major Applewhite, one of the most popular QB’s in UT history, who had his own starting issues with Chris Simms on campus at the same time..he will no be the primary play caller, starting with the Alamo Bowl vs Oregon St.

    he will have to decide who is going to be the starter, David Ash or Colt McCoy, and going into spring ball, which starts on Feb 23, the coaches will need to decide on the primary starter at QB, RB and WR and stick with those decisions….I think Connor Brewer will be the starter at QB in 2013, with Johnathon Grey as the starting RB…

    finally, rumors are swirling that Gene Chizik will become the co-defensive coordinator after the bowl game, unless Manny Diaz gets the FIU job…if its true, he needs to be the primary decision maker

  6. v2the4 says: Dec 12, 2012 10:53 AM

    I hate the fact you cant edit your post…..Major must decide btwn Ash or CASE McCoy, not colt…sorry

  7. deucez2 says: Dec 12, 2012 11:27 AM

    Peterson is not going to take a Wisconsin coaching job if he turned down Stanford, Cal, and UCLA. The only threat to him leaving Boise is Oregon (where he has a coaching past), USC and maybe Texas.

    Also, Harsin has been handcuffed by Mack Brown since he arrived on the 40 acres. Mack is determined to run an SEC-style offense which Harsin tried to adapt to. The problem with that? Well, good ol Mack doesn’t demand SEC-style toughness or SEC accountability. He’s a nice guy that doesnt want to anger players, recruits or their mothers (far different than Muschamp or Saban).

    This is a good move for Harsin. He gets to call the shots as a head coach so that when Peterson leaves Boise (and he will eventually) Harsin will have the experience necessary to take over.

  8. timh1955 says: Dec 12, 2012 11:34 AM


    Good post and right on target as far as Mack Brown.

  9. whitdog23 says: Dec 12, 2012 12:03 PM

    sure you can edit a post. it’s called proofreading before hitting send. no bonus points for posting so quickly. now you look like a fool…and there are numerous other mistakes too

  10. deucez2 says: Dec 12, 2012 12:14 PM


    I’m not sure where you’re getting your information from but fire that source. Chizik didn’t leave on the best of terms. He has the same issues with Mack that Muschamp did. You’re also forgetting that Brewer came to Texas for 2 reasons: His sister was on the swim team (she has since transferred) and because he had a previous relationship with Harsin. Look for him to transfer. Ash will start in 2013 and out of all the issues Texas has currently, he is the last of my worries. Ash proved he could flash talent and and make good decisions. The TCU game was a throw-away game since he came in with a separated rib. Ash showed that he has what it takes to keep up with other high-powered offenses if you let him work.

  11. olskool711 says: Dec 12, 2012 1:00 PM

    Turning down Cal, Stanford, and UCLA, all places where his assistants could not afford housing (something that has been repeated many times as being the most important issue in those instances) contrasts sharply with taking a job in Madison.

    Petersen probably will not take the job, but turning down those three jobs doesn’t relate to why he wont. The fact that he may have interviewed for it, or came close to doing so, says that the job may be considered a very good one.

    Do you think that UCLA, Cal, or Stanford are considered really good jobs to someone who is content in their current position? Maybe 10-15 years ago, but not now. Before the recent PAC 12 TV deal you could argue they weren’t even good ones.

    Interesting point about Mac Brown handcuffing the Texas offense. Watching them the past few years it looks like the game has passed him by.

  12. bluestar4ever says: Dec 12, 2012 1:02 PM


    You seem to forget that the switch to a running offense was responsible for the improved offensive rankings the article mentioned. If anything, that means Mack Brown is responsible for the offense’s improvement in 2012, not Harsin. Not to mention that the offense fit the personnel (multiple great running backs, no good QB, middling receivers). Mack has always adapted his scheme to the players he has. When Vince Young was in Austin, they started running everything out of the shotgun. When Colt McCoy took over, they turned to a spread offense. Now he is utilizing a power running style because that fits the talent on hand. That’s what good coaches do. The change in philosophy obviously worked, the proof is in the improved numbers. Also, Harsin has been the QB coach the last 2 years when UT’s biggest problem has been quarterback play. He has failed to develop Gilbert, Ash, or McCoy into viable starters. I can’t believe he got a head coaching offer. He must be great in the interview process, because he certainly hasn’t gotten results on the field

  13. tgaustin says: Dec 12, 2012 1:07 PM

    TIM H = Idiot!!! Who’s bragging??? Not UT fan…you read some stats stated by JT, not Mack Brown. Neither David Ash or Case McCoy were ever supposed to see the field in coming to Texas. The demise of Garret Gilbert is what led to all this. Conner Brewer isn’t the five start QB he was labled to be…or he would have won the job. He has to get stronger. Ash was set to be a career backup and McCoy, well we know why he is at Texas. He should be a starter at a DII school. Look, all of Austin and most Longhorn fans are ready to pull the plug on Mack…myself included. That being said, lets not forget what he has done in the last 8 years. 2004=Rose Bowl winner over Michigan. 2005= Nation Title!! 2006=Alamo Bowl winner against Iowa. 2007=Holiday Bowl winner over Arizona St. 2008=Fiesta Bowl winner over Ohio St(SHOULD HAVE PLAYED FOR NATIONAL TITLE GAME IF NOT FOR COMPUTERS), 2009=National Title games loss(Colt McCoy goes out early in first quater…Texas still has more yds than Bama in that game…with a Freshman QB). Now, that past three years have been off…but let me ask you this, who is your team and what are they doing??? I also forgot to mention 9 straight 10 win seasons. Harsin is a finesse coordinator with a lot of trickery. Major Applewhite is being groomed as the next head coach at UT.

  14. timh1955 says: Dec 12, 2012 1:20 PM


    My team is Alabama as I graduated from there. My team is playing in the NC for the third time in four years and will win their third NC on January 7th. My team also beat your team in the 2009 NC and McCoy saw the writing on the wall in that game so he faked his arm injury. I forgot…which bowl game are you guys going to this year?

  15. thefiesty1 says: Dec 12, 2012 1:43 PM

    Maybe NOW Applewhite will get his rightful due after getting the stick multiple times at UT. From the Simms fiasco to being OC at Bama and Rice, he comes to Texas as just the RB coach. Then Mack makes him Co-OC by bringing in Harsin. It’s about time.

  16. tgaustin says: Dec 12, 2012 3:34 PM

    Hook, line and sinker Timmy! I know you are a Bama guy. Here’s a few more for ya: 2004 MUSIC CITY BOWL–LOSS to Minnesota!!!(OUCH), 2006 INDEPENDENCE BOWL–LOSS to Okie. St.(TOUGH ONE). 2008 SUGAR BOWL–LOSS to Utah!!(STINGER).

  17. timh1955 says: Dec 12, 2012 4:03 PM


    That’s the best you got?? You have to go back to 2008 to find a bowl game Bama lost?? The last time UT was even in a BCS game was 2009 when Bama cleaned your clock and it could have been a lot worse if we hadn’t put the second and third string in. Also, congratulations on losing four games this season and going to the Alamo Bowl (is that still televised) to play Oregon State on 12/29 with Oregon State being a 1-2 point favorite!

  18. gorilladunk says: Dec 12, 2012 4:49 PM

    Guess the Greg Davis era will now be referred to as “the Golden Years” for UT football. Harsin was overhyped from the beginning. Not much in his bag except trick plays, and when good teams snuffed them out, there wasn’t much left.

  19. sallust99 says: Dec 12, 2012 6:25 PM

    New o coordinator, 2 sub-par qbs, and an over-rated past his prime head coach, i see half a hundred coming again in October! And I love it!

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