BOISE -- Bronco fans and folks in the athletic department are getting excited about the new football coach, Bryan Harsin. However, no one is more excited than his family.
Dale Harsin, Bryan's dad, moved to Boise in the 1970s and has been a Bronco Football fan ever since. He has an entire room in his house dedicated to the Broncos and Boise State memorabilia. One of the most special items in the room is a photo from the 2007 Fiesta Bowl signed by the coaching staff, which included his son, the offensive coordinator.
Bryan's football story started year ago when his dad coached his Optimist football team. Harsin went on to play fullback at Hillside Junior High, and then followed in the footsteps of Jake Plummer as quarterback at Capitol High School. After high school, Bryan went on to play for Pokey Allen at Boise State.
"He didn't get to play a lot but he learned a lot, just learned as he went, from every different coach that was there," said Dale.
Dale said his son loved sports and football, but never thought he would make a career of it.
"He was very competitive at everything he did," said Dale. "He liked to learn what he could about everything, ask questions and did that, but to know it was going to turn into a career? I had no idea."
Dale promised he would make it to Bryan's first game as head coach at Arkansas State, and he did. He is already looking forward to watching his son coach his first game in Bronco Stadium.
"It just really hasn't hit me all yet that he's going to be walking out there onto the blue and stuff, so that's going to be a great time," Dale Harsin said.
He joked that his son might be able to find a place for him on the staff, like getting coffee for the coaches.
Dale said he only got to see his son about once a year while he was at Texas and Arkansas State, and he is looking forward to seeing more of Bryan and the grandchildren.
He knows his son has big shoes to fill, and wishes Coach Petersen the best of luck at the University of Washington. Dale says coaches like Chris Petersen and Mack Brown at Texas helped mold Bryan into the coach he is today, both on and off the field.
"I think Bryan will take time in his life and visit with people and meet with people," said Dale Harsin. "That's what made Coach Petersen a great coach; he took time with people. That's why he became a celebrity, is because not just football but the person he was, and hopefully Bryan can do the same."