Utah LB Coach Justin Ena To Join Gary Andersen As Utah State Defensive Coordinator
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah head football coach told the media after practice that linebacker coach Justin Ena will leave the team to join Gary Andersen at Utah State as the defensive coordinator.
Coach Whittingham announced after practice today that LB Coach Justin Ena has left Utah to join Gary Andersen at Utah State as the Aggies’ Defensive Coordinator.
— Zak Hicken (@zakhicken) December 13, 2018
Ena joined the Utes in 2015 as the linebackers coach when he left Weber State where he was the defensive coordinator for the 2014 season. He started at Southern Utah in 2008 and was on staff until the 2013 season.
“It’s a great opportunity for Justin. It gives him a chance to run his own defense,” said Whittingham after practice. “Most position coaches aspire to be coordinators and coordinators aspire to be head coaches.”
He graduated from BYU in 2001 where he was a three-year starter and a Mountain West all-conference linebacker. Ena spent four seasons in the NFL, three with the Philadelphia Eagles and one with the Tennessee Titans, playing 47 games in the NFL.
He worked closely with two All-Pac-12 linebackers in Cody Barton and Chase Hansen this past season and has been a critical piece to Utah’s success at linebacker.
The All-American Hansen was among the tops in the country in tackles-for-loss and was a candidate for Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.
Ena will join Gary Andersen who was just hired back as the head coach of Utah State. This will be Ena’s second time being the defensive coordinator.
This guy is a great coach and I was blessed to learn from him for the four years that he was with us. So happy for him and the opportunity he has to call the defense again! Utah State is getting the real deal in Justin! https://t.co/aBhSSd7UgO
— Morgan Scalley (@SafetyPride) December 14, 2018
Andersen said at his introductory press conference that he would like to hire his coaching staff by January 7.
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