Blake Anderson Announces Changes On USU Football Coaching Staff

Feb 10, 2023, 5:35 PM | Updated: Feb 12, 2023, 4:25 pm

Blake Anderson - Utah State Aggies Football...

Utah State head football coach Blake Anderson (Courtesy of Utah State Athletics)

(Courtesy of Utah State Athletics)

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State announced Ephraim Banda has been elevated to assistant head coach after serving two seasons as defensive coordinator.

Banda’s promotion came amongst a series of coaching staff changes ahead of the 2023 season. Utah State announced the finalized football coaching staff on Thursday, February 9.

Anderson also announced the hiring of 37-year-old Tevita Finau (pronounced Teh-vee-tuh Fee-now) as the Aggies’ defensive tackles coach.

After playing two seasons and 21 games for the University of Utah, Finau made NFL stops with the Arizona, Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys before catching on for three seasons with the New York Jets. Finau’s professional playing career ended after spending 2015 with the Houston Texans.

After his playing days ended, Finau helped coach the Orem Tigers to four state championships in five seasons with the program. He has spent the past three seasons working as a graduate assistant/administrative assistant for the Utes.

RELATED: Utah State Football Completes 2023 Schedule

Additionally, Anderson announced Mitch Hardy, in his third season with the program, will transition into the role of Director of Football Management. In his second year with USU, Monay Swafford takes over as Director of Player Personnel. Austin Albrecht with serve as the Director of Development and Community Engagement.

About Ephraim Banda

Banda joined Utah State prior to the 2021 season as the defensive coordinator. In his first season leading the defense, USU finished the season tied for second in the country with 114 tackles for a loss. Aggie opponents scored touchdowns on just 43.1 percent of red zone drives, good for tenth nationally.

Prior to joining the Aggies, Banda coached in 10 consecutive bowl games with the Miami Hurricane and Mississippi St. Bulldogs.

Beginning his career as the safeties coach at Miami, Banda worked with five future NFL defensive backs. After spending three seasons as the safeties coach, Banda was promoted to co-defensive coordinator prior to the 2019 season.

Utah State Aggies 2023 Football Schedule

The Aggies non-conference slate includes at Iowa (9/2), where USU will open the 2023 campaign. That game is followed by home games against Idaho State (9/9) and JMU (9/23), and play at UConn (9/30).

RELATED: Utah State Football Finalizes 2023 Signing Class

In Mountain West play, USU will host Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State and Nevada. They will have road games at Air Force, New Mexico, San Diego State and San José State.

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Blake Anderson Announces Changes On USU Football Coaching Staff