New Utah State Coach Blake Anderson Wants To Build On Program’s Strengths

Dec 14, 2020, 2:38 PM | Updated: Feb 26, 2021, 2:22 pm

Utah State Football...

Utah State head coach Blake Anderson (Photo courtesy of Wade Denniston/USU Athletics)

(Photo courtesy of Wade Denniston/USU Athletics)

LOGAN, Utah – A new era has begun in Logan with the football program turning to Blake Anderson.

Anderson takes over the Utah State football program after spending the last seven seasons at the helm of Arkansas State.

Utah State formally introduced coach Anderson on Monday morning and the new coach talked about his plans and goals for the Aggies.

“What’s my plan? What’s our goal? Our plan, and our goal is to come in here and roll our sleeves up day one, find out what we’ve inherited,” Anderson told the media. What level of adversity are we dealing with, where our strength, where our weaknesses are. We want to build on the strengths. It’s not all broken, this place has been good for a long time, there’s been some bumps in the road, no telling what COVID did to this particular team. So we want to find out what our strengths and our weaknesses are, we want to build on the strengths. We don’t want to just come in and change everything. Build on the strengths. Then we want to obviously affect the weaknesses as quickly and effectively as we possibly can and be efficient as we go about doing it.

“So we’re going to build on the success and the tradition of the past,” Anderson added. “We’re gonna make you proud, we’re gonna work hard to make you proud, we got to recruit well, we got to teach well, we got to get involved in the community, and be part of this place.”

Friends With Matt Wells

Anderson mentioned that he is good friends with former Utah State head coach Matt Wells. Through the years, Anderson heard Wells talking about Utah State and what the Logan community meant to him.

“Familiar with the program, familiar with just the tradition and history here. Luckily, one of my closest friends Matt Wells was head coach here, successful head coach here, player here and so I have listened to him talk about this place and what it meant to his family. Just how much they enjoyed living here. I’ve watched the program. Actually got my tail kicked right out there in that stadium not too long ago as the head coach at Arkansas State so I feel like I’m pretty familiar with it.”

Wells was the head coach at Utah State from 2013-18 before accepting the job as the next head coach of Texas Tech.

Anderson’s traits on offense are similar to when Coach Wells was at the helm in Logan.

“Well, I love Matt Wells to death, but no offense, we’re gonna play faster and we’re gonna be physical,” stated Anderson. “He did a great job. He does still. I know  he’s got some challenges going on in Lubbock right now. But y’all know he’s a great coach. It’s a little different. There are some of the air raid principles in our offense. But we have continued to progress and move in a little bit further and take it a little bit further and you’ll see some similarities, but the tempo, the run game, and especially the spacing, and splits that we’ll use will look a little bit unique.”

Bringing Back Chuckie Keeton

On Sunday night, Anderson tweeted out a picture of he and his staff at dinner. A recognizable face to Aggie fans in the photo was former quarterback Chuckie Keeton.

During the press conference, Anderson introduced some of his staff members and explained what role Keeton will have on his staff.

“The last guy really needs no introduction because everybody knows what he looks like and knows what he did,” said Anderson. “It makes me absolutely fired up to bring home one of your very own. One of the best players ever play out in that stadium. We went to eat the other night and everybody recognized him and all wanted to take a picture with him. Mr. Chuckie Keeton will come back, be coaching with us on offense at either the running back or tight end position. When I called Matt Wells about potentially hiring him, he could not stop talking about what kind of coach he is going to be in his career and his future is just unbelievable. When I called him (Keeton) the excitement that I heard from his voice, just made me even more excited. This is perfect.”

Keeton spent the last two seasons as an offensive graduate assistant for coach Wells at Texas Tech.

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New Utah State Coach Blake Anderson Wants To Build On Program’s Strengths