USU football: Kevin McGiven looking to fine-tune Aggie offense in first year as offensive coordinator

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, April 2 2013 11:50 a.m. MDT

After three seasons away, Kevin McGiven returns to the Utah State football program as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He spent the 2009 season on Gary Andersen’s staff as an assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach.

McGiven comes to Logan after spending the 2011 season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Montana State. Prior to that, McGiven spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons at Memphis overseeing the quarterbacks, while serving as the assistant head coach of offense.

A Utah native, McGiven played one season at Eastern Arizona Junior College and later played wide receiver at Louisiana Tech. He finished his bachelor's degree in business from Utah Valley University in 2001.

With spring practice in full swing, McGiven discussed his plans and goals for the offensive side of the football as the Aggies prepare for the first year of Mountain West Conference competition.

Talk about how things have gone during your first few months on the job and what you have been focusing on thus far?

“It’s gone really well. Right now we’re focused on spring ball. When I got here it was all about recruiting and trying to get a good class signed. Our focus has really shifted to our players, their development and trying to identify the areas that needed addressing from last year and the areas that we can improve. That’s pretty much the focus right now. Spring ball is about the development of our young guys and getting our veterans a little more experience. We’re just getting the offense situated.”

Was there one reason why you decided to come back to Utah State?

“Utah is home for me. That’s a big part of it. It’s somewhere where my family and I feel comfortable. The first time I was here, I really got to see what Utah State could be. It had great facilities in place and you could sense the commitment from the administration and the fan base. You could tell it had the potential to really take off. When I was gone they were able to establish that and establish a winning culture and turn things around. It got me more and more excited to be a part of it.”

What changes jump out at you as far as the team and players go, compared to when you were here in 2009?

“With the players, there are things that have been instilled in them. A lot of that process started when I was here the first time. You can see those philosophies taking hold with the players in their work ethic and understanding what it takes to win football games. There’s been a cultural change in terms of that work ethic and the expectations. You can see where the players were before, questioning themselves and having a little bit of doubt because they hadn’t experienced success. They’ve experienced it now and it makes them hungrier and hungrier to achieve more and to get better. That was a big difference that I noticed. Facilities keep improving and you continue to see the support from the fan base and administration get better and better every year. It’s exciting.”

On the offensive side of the ball, do you see a drastic improvement in talent from 2009?

“Definitely in some areas. The system offensively has kind of been in place since I’ve been here. You have guys that understand the offense more and more because it’s been in place. That system has been able to grow and that’s been one aspect of it. Talent-wise, you come in and in my case see the quarterback situation and the talent there. We’re really talented on the offensive line. That’s much more stable than when I was here the first time, both in terms of the first group and then the depth that we have. We have some really talented players in some other spots that still need some development. That’s going to be the case a lot of times when you have young players and have to replace some really good ones from the previous year. They’ve done a good job recruiting here over the last couple of years.”

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