Auburn hired Boise State’s Bryan Harsin as its next head coach on Tuesday night.
Harsin will succeed Gus Malzahn, who was fired earlier this month after leading the program for eight years. Malzahn led the Tigers to the national championship game in 2013 but struggled to maintain a powerhouse since then, and the Tigers finished 6-4 this season.
Harsin, 44, also replaced Malzahn at Arkansas State in 2013. He spent one season there, winning a share of the Sun Belt title, before moving on to Boise State and posting six consecutive seasons with 10-plus victories.
“I’m incredibly excited and humbled for the opportunity to be at a place like Auburn University,” Harsin said. “I knew it would take a special opportunity to get me out of Boise and Auburn is exactly that, the chance to compete at the highest level for one of the greatest programs in college football. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the coaches and players in the Southeastern Conference, but am ready to help build a foundation at Auburn where we can consistently compete for championships.”
Harsin won three Mountain West Conference titles and boasts a 69-19 record with the Broncos. Boise State lost to San Jose State in the MWC championship game this season and opted out of the bowl schedule because of COVID-19 concerns.
Auburn president Jay Gogue said a diligent search for Malzahn’s replacement led them to Boise.
“We started the search with two goals,” Gogue said. “We want a coach who will lead our team to consistently compete at the highest levels and to make Auburn proud on and off the field. We found both in Coach Harsin.”
Boise State president Marlene Tromp wished Harsin well in his next role and thanked him for his time with the Broncos.
“Boise State has been on a stunning trajectory for decades and has effectively built on our previous successes,” Tromp said. “Each of our head coaches has used his unique talents to enhance the excellence of this program — an excellence we have all come to expect — and we are confident our next coach will do the same.”
Hugh Freeze, Kevin Steele were candidates
Other candidates for Auburn’s top job included Hugh Freeze of Liberty and Kevin Steele, who served as the Tigers’ defensive coordinator this season and was named as interim coach after Malzahn’s exit.
Auburn is set to face No. 14 Northwestern in the Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day.
Boise State said it would begin an immediate search for Harsin’s replacement.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)