Utah State football: Aggies name Dave Aranda as new defensive coordinator
"I think our schemes fit well with each other as far as where we have been in the past and what we have done defensively. He is extremely organized and a quality leader. Anytime you look for a new coach, the number one priority is to put the kids first and Dave does a tremendous job of that," Andersen said. "Spending four years in Hawaii, he has developed lots a ties there that will be a great asset to us in continuing to recruit in Hawaii and recruit Polynesian kids. He has a great track record as a great recruiter and we'll get him on the road right away and help us sign some players for the upcoming signing period."
Andersen noted that Aranda's familiarity with the WAC during his time at Hawai'i will also be beneficial.
"The dynamic of the WAC has changed, but the fact that he is familiar with the conference and he understands the level and quality of play within the WAC is a very valuable resource. He knows the types of players to recruit to play in this conference which is a big advantage for us and puts us even more so on the same page," Andersen said.
Aranda takes over the reins of a USU defense that led the WAC and ranked 50th in FBS in total defense (366.2 ypg) in 2011, as well as ranking second in the league and 31st in the nation in rushing defense (127.8 ypg) as well as third in the conference and 76th in the country in passing defense (238.5 ypg).
Prior to being defensive coordinator, Aranda, a native of Redlands, Calif., coached the UH defensive line, helping put together game plans throughout the season, including the Warriors' 24-17 win over Navy, in which Hawai'i held the Midshipmen's vaunted rushing attack to 248 yards and scoreless in the second half.
In 2008, Aranda coached a unit that included David Veikune, Joshua Leonard, and all-WAC second team pick Keala Watson. Veikune was taken in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns with the 52nd overall pick, while Leonard signed as a free agent with the Houston Texans.
Prior to UH, Aranda coached at Delta State University in 2007, where he served as co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach in 2007. Following the season, he signed on to become Southern Utah's defensive coordinator for new head coach Ed Lamb and was on the job for one month before head coach Greg McMackin called and asked Aranda to join the UH staff. In one year at Delta State, Aranda helped the school win the Gulf South Conference and lead the NCAA Division II in pass efficiency defense, was second in total and scoring defense, and third in run defense.
Before DSU, Aranda spent two years as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at his alma mater, California Lutheran, where the Kingsmen led the conference in scoring defense and total defense. It was his second go-around with CLU after serving as an assistant from 1996-99, while finishing his degree.
From 2002-03, Aranda was the linebackers coach at the University of Houston. Prior to that, he was a graduate assistant at Texas Tech and was mentored by then-defensive coordinator McMackin. The Red Raiders competed in three bowls during his tenure (2000 GalleryFurniture.com Bowl, 2001 Alamo Bowl and 2002 Tangerine Bowl). At TTU, Aranda coached Aaron Hunt, who finished as the Big 12's all-time sack leader.
After he graduated from Redlands High School in 1994, numerous surgeries followed and ended his playing career. In 1995, he started his coaching resume at Redlands as an assistant coach. Aranda graduated from Cal Lutheran in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy. In 2002, he earned his master's degree in interdisciplinary studies at Texas Tech.
Aranda and his wife, Dione, have two daughters, Jaelyn and Jordyn, and a son, Ronin.
Utah State posted a historic season with a 7-6 record, its first seven-win season since 1993, capping its season with the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, losing to Ohio in a 24-23 thriller. Five of USU's losses were by one score or less, and 10 of the Aggies' games were decided by one score this season which are the most in the nation.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on the USU football blog at usufootball.wordpress.com. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
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