The Family Behind the Football

A unique insight into new Bronco Head Coach Bryan Harsin’s family and lifestyle.

Story and photography by Nicole Pettinger

Who are the Harsins? This is a question that piques and intrigues many, and as I set out to do this article on long-time friends of over 20 years, Kes and Bryan Harsin, she and I both agreed it was important for a true and real reflection of them. Yes, Bryan Harsin is the new head football coach for Boise State University, however that is not the basis of who they are as individuals or as a family.

Meeting in Junior High, at the ripe ages of 15 (Kes) and 14 (Bryan), the Harsins have been through a lot. Graduating Capital High School, Boise State University, the births of three beautiful children, moves, teams, all to create a life together; they are a team in the finest definition of the term.

Encountering Kes and Bryan, one could be intimidated quite easily initially. Kes is absolutely striking, standing 5′ 7″ with long cascading blonde hair, doe eyes, upon an elegant yet athletic frame. Bryan is lean and fit with a confidence that greets you across the field before he ever is close enough to shake your hand firmly, and the ever present eye contact of a good coach. This simply is the gift wrap of down-home, native Idahoans with hearts of gold.

One of the things I respect the most about Kes and Bryan is that they are the same now as they were then. Success and money hasn’t changed them; they have been true to who they are, worked hard, sacrificed, and been humbled along the way. “Everything we have gone for and worked for, has made it so that we appreciate so much more from all of these experiences. They have made us who we are and no amount of money will change us, due to the way we were brought up. I love a good bargain, and I still cut coupons. To me, a 50 cent coupon is 50 free cents, and I cut them out. That is just me,” says Kes. and I can firmly attest to that. “I am humble. All of it has made us who we are.”

“I believe Bryan and I balance each other out. Where do I begin on that? We support one another in what we do and our dreams and goals. I think if you don’t do that, it isn’t worth holding onto. We have learned that we have to work as a team or it simply will not work. Bryan loves to have the kids be around him, and he has made a point that we always feel welcome down at BSU. Our son loves to race up and down the halls. We all are very accepted at his workplace. I appreciate that.”

I asked Kes what 5 qualities she most admires of Bryan. These are her responses: “1. A strong individual in every sense. 2. Humor: We have had to laugh through a lot of trials, and that is a huge thing. 3. Kind: He is so good with people. He cares what they think, and about their feelings, which is huge. 4. Intelligent: He is smart, and is always wanting to learn more and more. He loves to read. 5. Ambitious: Extremely, whether he was making $200 a month as a graduate assistant, or now, he works just as hard.”

“As a husband, he is very giving to me. It is not always material things. He makes me laugh and humor is huge. I love him so much for that. Yes he knows how to push my buttons, but it is usually to motivate me. I have often been the push for him too. When he is home, he is home. He leaves work at work. We love to go camping, boating, taking vacations as a family, and by ourselves. I live for vacations, and love tropical islands and the beach.”

“As a Dad, there are so many of the same qualities he gives them, as to me. When they are having a hard day at school, or are frustrated, he can make them laugh. He takes time to teach them; surfing, fishing to name a few. When we have the time, it really is family time. We are homebodies. We love a good Redbox, and Idaho Pizza. I am so happy they just opened up one here in Eagle, and soon will have a gluten free pizza. A family that plays together, stays together.”

“I have been so focused on my children that I have set some of my goals and dreams to the side. I enjoy serving the community, and going to the gym. I have always been health conscious, and love working out, hiking and rollerblading. Strong is the new skinny. I could listen to my girls sing and play the guitar all day, it brings me much joy. I play catch a lot with my son and he wants me to try to tackle and guard him. He loves to make me laugh. I love music too, dubstep and hiphop. When I do get the chance to read, I enjoy reading autobiographies or any book that is uplifting to the soul.”

“With Bryan gone so much, and I think many women can relate, we are often in our homes a lot with our kids, and it is important to still search for what we want and work on our dreams. I am the coach’s wife, but my name is Kes. I am very proud to be the coach’s wife, but I am still me. I was asked to start a clothing line here at a local boutique to support them and also BSU. I would like to clarify that I don’t get one penny. It is a way for me to give back to a local Eagle boutique, and to be willing to support a local store, is my way of giving. When you put yourself out there, often it becomes a test of ‘can you handle this?’ This is a good thing I am doing. The clothing can be found at by Villa Lifestyles. I am designing some of them and I approve of the designs and colors. I won’t approve of something I wouldn’t wear personally. The styles are for everybody; doesn’t matter the shape or size. I wanted to create fun, feminine, confident apparel. The store always gives back 10% to the school, non-department specific.

“My family is first before me. When they are happy, I am happy. I am selfish for that reason, so I am selfish in that sense, but that is my heart. Sometimes we put a lot of pressure on being the perfect wife, talents, having the perfect house. That is not the real world. I am a good mom. This lifestyle is crazy and hard, but you do what you got to do, work together, it all works out. My advice to anyone would be…Be of Good Cheer. This was passed down from my beautiful grandmother, Olive. No matter what trials or tribulations are thrown at you in this life, always remember to focus on the positive and fill your heart with gratitude and Be of Good Cheer.”








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