Andersen’s Return To USU Invokes Mixed Feelings

Dec 10, 2018, 8:24 PM | Updated: 8:43 pm
Utah State Aggies head coach Gary Andersen hugs Utah State Aggies linebacker Bobby Wagner (9) in Lo...
Utah State Aggies head coach Gary Andersen hugs Utah State Aggies linebacker Bobby Wagner (9) in Logan Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011. USU beat Nevada and is now bowl eligible. (Deseret News)
(Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It’s a coming home party in some ways as Utah State announced Sunday the return of Utah assistant head football coach Gary Andersen as head coach of the Aggies.

“Stacey and I are thrilled to be back at Utah State University,” said Andersen in a press release. “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.

“We are grateful to reconnect with many great friends and supporters in Logan and want to thank John Hartwell and President (Noelle) Cockett for the opportunity. Go Aggies!”

Andersen served as the head coach for the Aggies from 2009-2012. He had a 26-24 record in four seasons originally with Utah State including an 11-2 record and a WAC championship in 2012.

Mitchell Feels Andersen ‘Is Going Backwards’

KSL’s Unrivaled host Scott Mitchell believed this is a step back for Andersen.

“There’s kind of a cycle in a coach’s life and you work your way up,” Mitchell said. “It just seems to me that Gary Andersen is going backwards.”

Mitchell wondered if Utah State thought since its new head coach did it once, he should be able to recreate it. He said it’s not that simple.

“I would be nervous,” Mitchell said. “You go to Wisconsin, a great job…it’s one of the top jobs in the country and it’s like ‘Well I didn’t really get along with the AD’. If it was so bad why did you go in the first place?”

Then Mitchell talked about how Andersen went to Oregon State, but then left over $12 million on the table.

“It just feels like, is this guy ever going to be happy somewhere,” Mitchell asked.

Kirry Thinks It’s A Good Move For Andersen, USU

Co-host Alex Kirry didn’t see it that way. He said Andersen may have gone backwards, but this is him going forward again.

“Going to Oregon State, struggling there, leaving there, and leaving money on the table,” Kirry said. “That’s as low as he’s going to go in his coaching profession.”

Kirry said the biggest thing the boosters and the school were worried about is being able to keep up the momentum the program has recently built. They won’t have to with Andersen at the helm.

“They have a sophomore quarterback…who got so much better from his freshman to sophomore year,” Kirry said. “Their going to a bowl that is under their capability against an opponent that is not on par with them.”

Kirry said the future is bright for the program with Andersen.

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Andersen’s Return To USU Invokes Mixed Feelings