Utah State Intends To Terminate Blake Anderson As Head Football Coach

Jul 2, 2024, 11:55 AM | Updated: 12:07 pm

Blake Anderson, Utah State, Intent to Terminate...

Utah State University announced they intend to terminate head football coach Blake Anderson. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

(Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY— Utah State University made it official on Tuesday: They have informed head football coach Blake Anderson of their “intent to terminate his employment.”

On Tuesday, ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported that Anderson had been placed on “administrative leave.”

In its statement, Utah State noted that the termination stemmed from “actions taken in spring 2023.” They continued stating that Anderson’s “actions violated both his employment agreement and university policy.”

Blake Anderson has 14 days to respond to the university’s intent to terminate notice.

Defensive coordinator and defensive ends coach Nate Dreiling will be Utah State’s interim head football coach for the 2024 season.

Utah State completed an external review of disclosures of sexual misconduct

Utah State added, “This decision comes after a thorough external review of alleged noncompliance with university policies that implement Title IX, which require full and timely reporting of disclosures of sexual misconduct — including domestic violence — and prohibit employees from investigating disclosures of sexual misconduct themselves.”

The university also announced that Associate Vice President & Deputy Athletic Director of External Affairs Jerry Bovee and Utah State Football Director of Player Development & Community Austin Albrecht have also been dismissed for violations of university policies related to the reporting of sexual and domestic violence and failures of professional responsibilities.

Blake Anderson at Utah State

In 2021, Blake Anderson issued a public apology after he was caught on a recording by former player Patrick Maddox giving degrading remarks about sexual assault victims. Anderson said in the recording, “It has never been more glamorized to be a victim.”

The conversation included a former Utah State police chief, Earl Morris, who said to the football players that they needed to be careful having sexual relationships with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as they may say there wasn’t consent.

Maddox sued Utah State University, but the case was dropped after a settlement was reached.

Last year, a Utah State football player, Kingsley Holliday, was arrested on suspicion of rape, kidnapping, and drug charges. He never played in a game for the Aggies.

USU President, AD sent an email to faculty and staff

USU President Elizabeth R. Cantwell and athletic director Diana Sabu emailed faculty and staff this morning about the changes.

“As leaders, we are responsible for ensuring allegations of USU policy violations are investigated. Today’s actions are the result of a thorough external investigation, and we believe the evidence demands immediate action. Our job is to fearlessly hold ourselves and others accountable for their conduct and to make sure that, for the sake of our students and our community, we are living the values of our university. While recognizing the impact of these decisions on our student athletes and football program, we will continue to take the steps necessary to deliver a respectful, transparent and winning culture at Utah State University.”

During his tenure in Logan, Anderson guided Utah State to three bowl appearances with a record of 23-17, including one Mountain West Conference title in 2021. His championship in 2021 is the only Mountain West Conference championship the Aggies have won in football since joining the league in 2013.

Before being hired at Utah State, he was the head coach at Arkansas State from 2014 to 2020.

Mountain West Conference media days are next week in Las Vegas. The Aggies open the 2024 season against Robert Morris at home at Maverik Stadium on Saturday, August 31.

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Utah State Intends To Terminate Blake Anderson As Head Football Coach