Gary Andersen returning to USU as head football coach

USU Head Coach Gary Andersen. Photo Courtesy: USU

LOGAN, Utah, Dec. 9, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) —¬†Utah State University officials announced Sunday that Gary Andersen is returning to be the Aggies’ head football coach.

Vice President and Director of Athletics John Hartwell said by way of a news release that¬†Andersen, who was also USU’s head coach for four seasons from 2009-12, will be the first of 27 coaches in school history to serve in that capacity multiple times. Andersen was named the Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2012.

“We welcome Gary and Stacey and their family back to the Utah State family,” said Hartwell. “His care factor for his players, coupled with his recruiting philosophy and plan to win, are keys to the continued success of Aggie football. His knowledge of the state of Utah and our program are unparalleled and we feel those attributes will greatly aid in the continued growth and success of Aggie football.”

In all, Andersen has been a Division I head coach for 10 years and brings 30 years of coaching experience with him back to Utah State, the news release said. He has been involved in 12 bowl games, including four New Year’s Day bowls.

“Stacey and I are thrilled to be back at Utah State University,” said Andersen. “This is a special place and we are excited to meet these young men and play a part in seeing them succeed off and on the field academically, socially and athletically.”

During his tenure with the Aggies from 2009-12, Andersen posted a 26-24 overall record, including the school’s first back-to-back winning seasons (7-6 in 2011 and 11-2 in 2012) since 1979-80. He was also the first head coach since Phil Krueger (1973-75) to notch an overall winning record.

During his final two seasons at Utah State, Andersen led the Aggies to an 18-8 record, including an 11-2 conference mark.

Andersen comes back to Utah State after spending the 2018 season as the associate head coach and defensive line coach at the University of Utah, where the Utes posted a 9-4 record and advanced to the Pac-12 Championship game after winning the Pac-12 South. At Utah this year, Andersen helped coach 10 defensive starters to all-conference honors, including all three of his starters on the defensive line.

Following his four years as Utah State’s head coach, Andersen spent two seasons as the head coach at the University of Wisconsin (2013-14) and three years as the head coach at Oregon State University (2015-17). At Wisconsin, he led the Badgers to a 19-7 record, a Big Ten divisional championship in 2014 and appearances in the Capital One Bowl and Outback Bowl.

Andersen’s coaching career began in 1988 as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Southeastern Louisiana, where he coached for one season before going to Ricks College from 1989-92 as the offensive line coach. His other coaching stints include Idaho State (1992-94, defensive line), Park City High School (1994-95, head coach) and Northern Arizona (1995-96, assistant head coach/defensive line/special teams). Andersen also spent the 2003 season as the head coach at Southern Utah.

A 1986 graduate of Utah, Andersen earned his bachelor’s degree in political science. He played center for Utah from 1985-86 after garnering first-team juco All-America honors in 1984 at Ricks College.

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