Utah State Introduces Gary Andersen As Head Coach… Again

Dec 11, 2018, 5:24 PM | Updated: Dec 13, 2018, 7:39 pm
(Utah State Athletics)...
(Utah State Athletics)
(Utah State Athletics)

LOGAN, Utah – For the second time in nine years, Utah State has introduced Gary Andersen as head football coach of the Aggies. During his press conference in Logan, Andersen said he was grateful to be back in Aggie blue again.

“As soon as it happened, Stacey and I were extremely excited – and the boys were jumping at the opportunity to be able to get involved with this process. I just want to say thank you, it means a lot,” Andersen said.

Andersen left the University of Utah, where he was the associate head coach and worked with the defensive linemen. He returned to the Utes coaching staff for the first time since 2008, when he took the head coaching position at Utah State.

“The staff, Kyle (Whittingham) and the players at Utah were fantastic to me as we went through this transition. It’s never an easy thing when you’re out there coaching and all these rumors are going around. You’re sitting in the defensive line room with those kids I love and they’re just fantastic. They gave me a big hug and said, ‘Coach, go get it.’ I appreciate those guys and the staff at Utah,” he added.

Involvement In Bowl Game

Utah State will play North Texas in the New Mexico Bowl on Saturday. Andersen talked about his involvement in the upcoming bowl game.

“I will not be at the bowl game. I don’t believe that’s my place. I’ve done that in the past, and it wasn’t great for the coaches that were there, for the players that were there. They are the 2018 Aggies, and they need to go win, take care of themselves in the bowl game and enjoy that bowl game together for the last time,” he said.

Andersen planned to take over after the bowl game, but would begin filling out his coaching staff and recruiting as soon as that window opens.

“My job right now is to make sure that we go out and communicate with the young men that have committed to come here. It’s imperative that we hire the right people. These young men need to know who their position coach is. They need to know who I am, more about me as we continue through this process and that we have quite a large class to be able to sign,” Andersen added.

Final Stop For Andersen?

Andersen returns to Logan after making stops as a head coach with Wisconsin and Oregon State before Kyle Whittingham hired him as an assistant.

“This is an awesome opportunity for myself and my family. We’re blessed to be here. There is nowhere else in the world we would rather be, and we’re going to do all we can to get ourselves to where we need to be an elite program, competing for championships, playing meaningful games in the month of November, but also making sure that these young men leave here in a position to take care of themselves and whatever they create as they move forward in life, whether that’s a wife, family or whatever they do,” Andersen said.

He said his family never sold their home in Cache Valley when he left for Wisconsin, and that they planned to move back into that house.

“A little side note for you, we never sold our house here when we left because the boys were still in college. We will move back into that home now, and they graduated last January. They moved on in life and are being productive with those degrees they got from Utah State. That house is no longer a frat house. It’s my house again, just so all of you know that,” he said.

The Game That Changed Utah State Football

During his press conference, Andersen talked about the game he believed changed Utah State football, and made it relevant in the college landscape.

It was the November 2011 game at Hawai’i. The Aggies were 2-5 going into that game, but what happened sparked not only the second half of the season, but football in Logan for years to come.

READ: How One Game Forever Changed Utah State Football

What’s Next For Utah State

Andersen’s Aggies have plenty of opportunities to prove the program has advanced to the next level of college football. Over the next four seasons, Utah State will play at LSU, at Washington, home-and-home games with Washington State – and will play at Alabama, who has played in three of the last four National Championship games, winning twice.

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Utah State Introduces Gary Andersen As Head Coach… Again