It felt kind of strange. Same room, just about the same date and time and the same reason - ASU was naming a new head football coach.
A year ago, it was pure chaos. Hundreds of fans packed a small theater room to welcome a local coaching legend. ASU hit the coaching lottery and they were about to cash in. Gus Malzahn's master plan included conference championships, top 25 appearances, top rated recruiting classes and much more.
He urged fans to reserve a seat on the "Gus Bus;" It was going be the ride of a lifetime. ASU fans were allowed to dream of the possibility of becoming the Boise St. of the south.
It was fun while it lasted. Nine great wins but way too many unfulfilled promises.
Enter Bryan Harsin.
The 35-year-old stepped to the podium, took a deep breath and let out a loud "Howl, yes." It was just what the Red Wolf nation needed to hear.
It was clear early that this was a big moment in Bryan Harsin's life. He got choked up when he thanked his wife for sharing every big event of his adult life. He also acknowledged his parents for supporting him in every step of his athletic and coaching careers. This Boise native also made it clear that he's thankful to be part of the Chris Peterson coaching tree.
If anyone knows what it will take to make Arkansas State the Boise St. of the south, it's Bryan Harsin; but there were no big promises on this day. Harsin says he will do things the only way he knows -- "The Boise Way" -- and see what happens.
$1.75 million dollars. That's what any school will have to pay ASU if they make Harsin ASU's third straight one-and-done head coach. Harsin refused to utter the words "one and done." His message to a fan base that's been burned twice in two years: "Look at my resume." Two jobs in 13 years.
The new head coach lit up when talking about his approach to the game: fun!!!! Prior to meeting the media, Harsin addressed his 2012 Red Wolves. He had this question for the wide receivers: "How many of you can throw a football?" This is a coach who ran the "Statue of Liberty" and the "Hook and Lateral" in crucial times of the biggest game in Boise St. history.
Harsin was asked if he knew what was scheduled for September, 7th, 2013 (ASU at Auburn; "Auburn-geddon"). Howl, yes. He knows how much that game means to his Red Wolves.
I left this press conference feeling the same way I did after Gus' press event a year ago - another winning press conference. Bryan Harsin just found a different way to score a win.
He won the Boise way.
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