LOGAN, Utah – Utah State head football coach Gary Andersen announced Tuesday that over the next three Saturdays, a guest coach will be working with the Aggie team, one each Saturday. Legendary coaches Dave Kragthorpe, Frank Layden and LaVell Edwards will be watching practice, working with USU coaches and players, and speaking to the team over the next three respective Saturdays.”There’s a lot to be learned from these extremely successful, veteran coaches, both by our players and our coaching staff,” Andersen said. “They’re going to spend time with the kids, speak to our team, watch and evaluate practice, seeing how we practice and what we do. They have a message that they can get across to the kids.”Andersen is anxious to work with these three legends of the coaching profession and has aspirations of learning from their lessons to him, his staff, the players and everyone within the program.”They know and understand where this program has been, where its at now and where we can take this program. They’ve all been through everything that we are going through and anything we will be going through in the future. We will truly value their thoughts,” Andersen said.Kragthorpe was a two-time all-conference selection as a football lineman at Utah State in 1953 and 1954 and was named to the school’s All-Century team in 1993. After graduation he played one year with the New York Giants.Kragthorpe was an assistant football coach at Idaho Falls (Idaho) High School and head coach at Roosevelt (Mich.) High School. He then was an assistant at the college level at Montana, South Dakota State and Brigham Young, while also serving as head coach at South Dakota State and Idaho State.While at Idaho State, he coached the Bengals to the NCAA I-AA national championship in 1981. He then served as the athletics director at USU from 1983-84 before returning to the collegiate coaching ranks at Oregon State and earning PAC-10 Coach of the Year honors.In 2005 he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Utah State. Kragthorpe is in his fifth year as Special Assistant to the USU Athletics Director.Layden is a former coach and executive of the NBA’s Utah Jazz. Layden is also a former coach and player with Niagara University. He coached Niagara to its first NCAA tournament appearance in 1970. In 1976 Layden was hired to be an assistant coach with the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. In 1979, he was hired to be the General Manager of the then New Orleans Jazz, and became the head coach of the Jazz (now in Salt Lake City) in 1981, replacing Tom Nissalke.Layden went on to coach the Jazz for seven and a half years, with his career highlights including being instrumental in signing Karl Malone to the Jazz. Layden retired from coaching during the 1988-1989 season, moving into the team’s front office, and was replaced on the Jazz bench by current head coach Jerry Sloan. Layden retired from the Jazz in 1998.In 1984, Layden was named the NBA’s Coach of the Year. He also has won NBA Executive of the Year and the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (Layden and Joe O’Toole are the only non-players in NBA history to win the award).Edwards graduated from Utah State University in 1952. He was a three-year football letter-winner for the Aggies in 1949, ‘50 and ‘51 and was named to the school’s All-Century team as a linebacker in 1993. Edwards was also an all-Mountain States Conference selection as a halfback in 1950.Edwards coached Brigham Young University for 29 seasons from 1972-2000 and his 257 wins rank sixth all-time among Division I coaches. His accomplishments at BYU include winning the national championship in 1984, being named the national coach of the year in 1979 and 1984, earning seven WAC Coach of the Year honors, leading the Cougars to 21 bowl games, coaching a Heisman Trophy winner in Ty Detmer and two Outland Trophy winners in Jason Buck and Mohammed Elewonibi.He was inducted in the Utah Sports Hall of Fame in 1993 and named Utah’s Coach of the Century in 1996 by Utah Centennial Sports.Both Kragthorpe and Edwards were inducted into the Utah Chapter of the National Football Foundation, with Edwards being honored in 2001 and Kragthorpe in 2008.This Saturday’s practice at Romney Stadium is the first of the spring that is open to the public. USU will take to the turf for practice from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.The Aggies’ practices on Saturday, April 10 and 17 will also be open to the public and will feature scrimmages. Spring practice will culminate with the annual Blue-White Spring Game, which is also open to the public, on Saturday, April 24 at 2 p.m. at Romney Stadium.Utah State will return 45 letterwinners (21 offense, 22 defense, two special teams), including 19 starters (eight offense, nine defense, two special teams), from last season’s 4-8 mark, the Aggies’ most wins since 2002. Utah State was 3-5 in WAC action, matching the 2008 season for top conference record in USU’s five years in the league. The Aggies were tied for fifth in the final league standings, USU’s highest-ever finish in its time in the conference and the best league finish since tying for fourth in the Sun Belt Conference in 2004.The Aggies have six home games in 2010, including a nationally-televised game on the ESPN network for the second-straight season, as the USU-BYU game on Friday, Oct. 1 will be televised by either ESPN or ESPN2.Utah State football season ticket renewal applications have been mailed out. Fans can also renew online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the “buy/renew tickets” under the “tickets” drop down menu.For more ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.-USU-
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