Utah State announces change in head football coaching position

Utah State head coach Gary Andersen in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State University Vice President and Director of Athletics John Hartwell announced Saturday that Gary Andersen is no longer the head football coach, effective immediately. With this announcement, assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator Frank Maile will serve as the interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

Hartwell and Maile will both be available to speak with the media during Utah State’s weekly Zoom press conference, which will be held this Monday, Nov. 9, at noon.

“After a thorough analysis on the current state of our football team, we believe a change at head coach is in the best interest of our program moving forward,” said Hartwell. “The continued success and development of Aggie football is a priority and we want to make sure we are regular contenders for the Mountain West Championship.

“On behalf of Utah State Athletics, I want to express my appreciation to Gary Andersen for all he has done for our football program. We wish him, Stacey and their family all the best going forward, and they will always be part of our Aggie family.”

Hartwell met with both the staff and student-athletes to inform them of the change early Saturday afternoon.

“We will start an immediate national search to find the best candidate to lead Utah State football going forward,” added Hartwell.

Utah State head coach Gary Andersen watches the Aggies during the first half of an NCAA college football game as they play San Diego State, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, in Logan, Utah. (Eli Lucero/Pool Photo via AP)

Andersen was in his sixth season as Utah State’s head coach as he initially led the program for four years from 2009-12 and returned for his second stint prior to the 2019 campaign as he was hired on Dec. 9, 2018. Andersen was the first of 27 coaches in USU history to serve as head coach multiple times.

When initially hired by Utah State on Dec. 4, 2008, Andersen inherited a football program that had suffered through 11 straight losing seasons and only had two winning campaigns in 28 years, while playing in just four bowl games. Fast forward seven-plus years and Andersen leaves a program that has now appeared in eight bowl games in the past nine years after playing in just four bowl games prior to his arrival.

In just his third year at Utah State, Andersen’s 2011 club became the first Aggie team to win seven games since 1993 and the first to play in a bowl game in 14 years. The following season, Andersen led USU to its best season ever with a school-record 11 wins, going undefeated in the Western Athletic Conference and capturing its first outright league title since 1936. USU also won just its second-ever bowl game that season with a 41-15 victory against Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. USU finished the 2012 campaign with an 11-2 record and was one of just two teams in school history at the time, along with the 1961 club, to finish the season nationally ranked as it was 16th in the final Associated Press poll, 17th in the final Coaches poll and 23rd in the final BCS standings.

During his four years with the Aggies from 2009-12, Andersen posted a 26-24 record, including the school’s first back-to-back winning seasons (7-6 in 2011 and 11-2 in 2012) since 1979-80. He was also the first coach since Phil Krueger (1973-75) to notch an overall winning record. During the 2011-12 seasons, Andersen led the Aggies to an 18-8 record, including an 11-2 conference mark.

In the first year of his second stint as the Aggies head coach in 2019, Andersen led Utah State to a 6-2 Mountain West record, finishing third in the Mountain Division. USU also played in its 14th bowl game in school history, including its third under Andersen, which is the second-most under any head coach in Aggie history. Overall, Andersen’s 33 wins are the fifth-most in school history.

In all, Andersen was in his 11th season as a Division I head coach and his 31st year of coaching. He coached in 13 bowl games, including three with the Aggies, and four New Year’s Day bowls. He also coached 18 NFL Draft picks during his career, including eight at USU.

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1 Comment

  • Brandon Houmand November 8, 2020 at 6:56 am Reply

    I appreciate Gary turning the program around and I witnessed while being a student at USU. I wish Gary the best and I appreciate him as a person and for all the great things he has done for Aggie nation!

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