Harsin: You Do It


Jeff Caves

We all may be witnessing one of the greatest coaching accomplishments in the history of Boise State football. How to win football games with the smartest generation of player ever.

Imagine you are Bryan Harsin.

Raised by a baby boomer to work hard, shut up and do as you are told. But, as a 42-year-old Gen X and near Millennial, Harsin is independent, resourceful, fights cynicism and gets the whole social media thing but had to be drug into it to see its application. Now, let’s mix in several of his coaches. Most of which are older millennials coaching players who are too young to be millennials. They are Gen Z or as I prefer ‘iGen’.  They grew up on iPhones.

Got it?

The bottom line here is you can’t just tell the smartest generation of all time to just do what I say and don’t ask questions. They live with all the answers they need to know right in their pocket. They HAVE to know why they should do ANYTHING. Mission Impossible to me. So, Harsin has shifted to a coaching system most want in college football. Self-directed. Self-managed. Player-Driven. You want answers, go ahead ask your teammates.

I think he told them to coach themselves.

Players talked this last offseason about holding each other accountable. Avery Williams, John Molchon and Kekoa Nawahine agreed they wouldn’t accept slackers and they would hold each other more accountable. They wanted a team to play for each other not coaches, fans or parents. After the win over Air Force, it was easy to see that the self-directed coaches on this team are producing clutch play, resilient attitudes, and wins. After the game, Robert Mahone said they were going to continue to give their best for each other and get even closer as a group. Harsin said he is just “proud to be a part of the team.”

You read that?

A PART of the team. The shift has happened and the iGen has the whistle.