Utah hires former Oregon State coach Gary Andersen

FILE - In this Sept. 15, 2012, file photo, Utah State head coach Gary Andersen rallies his players before an NCAA college football game against Wisconsin in Madison, Wis. Andersen was officially hired as Wisconsin's new coach Thursday, Dec. 20, and will be formally introduced at a news conference Friday morning. He replaces Bret Bielema, who left for Arkansas this month. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah hired former Oregon State coach Gary Andersen on Tuesday as an associate head coach and defensive assistant.

Andersen was the defensive coordinator at Utah under coach Kyle Whittingham from 2005-08 before leaving to take lead jobs at Utah State, Wisconsin and Oregon State. He surprisingly stepped down in early October after a 1-5 start during his third season with the Beavers. Oregon State went 7-23 under Andersen overall.

“Gary brings a wealth of high-level coaching experience to the program, including serving as the head coach at two Power Five schools,” Whittingham said in a statement. “During his previous time on our staff, he developed some of the best defensive linemen in Utah history. In addition, he is an excellent recruiter and motivator and understands what it takes to win at this level.”

This will be the third stint at Utah for the Salt Lake City native who played center for the Utes from 1985-86. Andersen was the defensive line coach from 1997-2002 before taking the head coaching position at Southern Utah in 2003. He returned as defensive line coach under Urban Meyer in 2004 before being promoted to defensive coordinator in 2005.

The Utes bring him on now as the 10th assistant under a new NCAA rule.

“Having an opportunity to coach at your alma mater is somewhat unusual and having the opportunity to do it again is certainly special,” Andersen said. “I am fired up to meet the players and go to work.”

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