JONESBORO, Ark. (KTHV) - Arkansas State University officially announced and welcomed Bryan Harsin as the head football coach Wednesday afternoon.
Chancellor Tim Hudson opened the 2 p.m. welcoming Harsin to the Red Wolves, saying this hire is a momentum-changing hire. Harsin comes to the Red Wolves following a two year gig as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Texas Longhorns. Prior to his job with the Longhorns, he was offensive coordinator for Boise State. Harsin says he felt his family would stay in Boise permanently, but job opportunities were too good to pass up over the years.
"This is an opportunity I felt I've prepared myself for a long time," Harsin said, upon taking the podium Wednesday. "I didn't know it was going to feel this good."
The new coach said he met with the football team prior to press conference, and is looking forward to joining players as they begin practice for the GoDaddy.com bowl game. Harsin stressed the importance of recruiting, saying, "We want these players to become a family, and we want to be part of their lives and growth." He also says it's very important for the team, players and coaches, to have a close relationship with the community in Jonesboro.
Harsin also announced that he will not join the Longhorns at the Alamo Bowl. He said his focus on the Red Wolves and starting his career at ASU. Major Applewhite is expected to take over offensive duties for Texas in their bowl game.
It wasn't all football talk for the new head coach, Harsin became a bit emotional while recognizing and thanking his family, including his parents and wife. He said his family is "all in" with him on this new journey.
Harsin wrapped up his opening statement by saying that he's "excited, fired up, and looking forward to getting to work as head coach at Arkansas State University."
He ended his first press conference as head coach of the Red Wolves with an enthusiastic "Howl Yes!"
Harsin will reportedly make $700,000 annually over a 5 year contract as the head football coach. The first-year buyout is $1.75 million. His contract also includes incentive bonuses. Harsin will also receive housing and two automobiles under the contract.