UTAH STATE AGGIES

Utah State OC Mike Sanford Jr. Leaving For Minnesota Gophers Job

Jan 3, 2020, 9:45 AM | Updated: 12:25 pm
Mike Sanford Jr. - Utah State Aggies...
Head coach Mike Sanford Jr. of the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers coaches against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the first half at Vanderbilt Stadium on November 4, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State offensive coordinator Mike Sanford Jr. has accepted the same position with the Minnesota Golden Gophers football program.

Sanford leaves Logan after serving as the Aggies’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the 2019 season. He will take over the same positions with the Gophers.

“I am thrilled to welcome Mike, his wife Anne-Marie and kids Peyton, Gunnar and Griffin to Minnesota,” said Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck. “I have known Mike for many years, and he will be an elite addition to our staff. Mike is one of the brightest young minds in the game and brings a wealth of experience to our offensive staff room and our offensive system.”

Sanford replaces former Gophers OC Kirk Ciarrocca who left Minnesota for Penn State in December 2019.

The departure of Sanford leaves the Aggies searching for a new offensive coordinator in consecutive seasons.

Under Sanford, Utah State finished the 2019 season with a 7-6 record, a third-place finish in the Mountain West Conference Mountain Divison, and a 51-41 loss to Kent State in the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl.

Sanford led the Aggies’ offense to the No. 44 ranked total offense in college football. Utah State’s offense averaged 431.3 yards per game and scored 40 touchdowns in 2019.

After head coach Mike Wells left for Texas Tech in 2018, Utah State hired Gary Andersen as the team’s head coach for the second time. Andersen chose Sanford as his offensive coordinator on November 25, 2018.

Before joining the Aggies, Sanford was the head coach at Western Kentucky. He was fired after two seasons with the Hilltoppers.

Sanford’s coaching resume includes time with UNLV, Stanford, Yale, Western Kentucky, Boise State, Notre Dame, and Utah State.

Sanford will face one team from the Aggies’ 2019 schedule next season with the Gophers. BYU plays against Minnesota at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Saturday, September 26.

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