USU football: Utah State athletics announces contract extension for head football coach Gary Andersen

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Oct. 4 2012 2:00 p.m. MDT

Utah State Aggies head coach Gary Andersen celebrates the win over UNLV in Logan Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

For the second time in as many years, Utah State University Director of Athletics Scott Barnes has announced a contract extension for head football coach Gary Andersen. The revised contract will keep Andersen at USU through the 2018 season.

Along with Andersen’s revised contract, the new deal also calls for continued salary increases for all of his assistant coaches.

“It is extremely important to me that we keep Gary and his staff in Logan long-term, and I know in my conversations with him this is exactly what he wants,” Barnes said. “We know what we have in coach Andersen. We didn’t need to wait around until the end of the season to get this deal done.

“When we hired Gary, we set out to rebuild Utah State football into a program Aggies everywhere would be proud of. He continues to do just that in every aspect of our football program,” Barnes added.

Barnes said Andersen's new deal could pay up to $765,000 annually with incentives.

“Gary has led our program with great integrity and passion. It is a gross understatement to say our student-athletes like playing for him. They love him, and he cares deeply for them. It is important to Gary that they succeed beyond football, and he works toward this end goal with them every day,” Barnes said.

Andersen expressed his gratitude for the extension.

“First of all, I cannot say anything without expressing my appreciation to President Stan Albrecht and Mr. Barnes for their leadership, vision, and commitment to this University,” Andersen said. “I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead quality young men for many years to come. Logan, Cache Valley and Utah State University have become home for me and my family. This extension continues to show how dedicated we all are at building a football program academically, socially and athletically that will be a quality representation of Utah State University.

“This contract will also help us retain quality assistant coaches, which is a very important step as we move forward and into the Mountain West Conference. I have learned over the past three and a half years that this is a very special University and community. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be the head football coach at Utah State University.”

In his four years at Utah State, Andersen has rebuilt the football program into one that has won nine of its last 11 games, dating back to the 2011 season marking USU’s best 11-game stretch since the 1972-73 seasons. Furthermore, USU is 5-3 against in-state opponents under Andersen including home wins against BYU (2010) and Utah (2012), snapping a 10-game losing streak to the Cougars that dated back to 1993 and a 12-game losing streak to the Utes that dated back to 1997. With its win against BYU in 2010, USU gained possession of the historic Beehive Boot trophy (the symbol of gridiron supremacy in the state of Utah) and The Old Wagon Wheel (the traveling trophy between USU and BYU) for the first time since 1993.

Five games into the 2012 season, Utah State has a 4-1 record and is off to its best start since the 1978 team won its first five games of the year. Following its 27-20 overtime win against Utah during the second week of the season, USU garnered its first top 25 vote in the Associated Press poll since 1966 and first top 25 vote in any poll since being ranked 18th in the United Press Poll (UPI) in 1978.

During the 2011 season, Andersen led Utah State to a 7-6 record (5-2 Western Athletic Conference) and an appearance in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the school's first bowl game since 1997. In 2011, USU’s seven overall wins and five league victories were its most since 1993, while its second-place conference finish was its best since the 2000 team ended the year second in the Big West. Furthermore, those five league wins in 2011 were tied with five other teams (1953, 1960, 1990,1991, 1993) for the most in school history, while its seven overall wins are tied for the 10th most all-time at Utah State.

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