Utah State football: Aggies hire Joe Lorig as new linebackers coach

Published: Thursday, Feb. 6 2014 2:42 p.m. MST

Utah State Aggies head coach Matt Wells calls a play against Weber St. during NCAA football in Logan Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. Wells added to his coaching staff Thursday, bringing in Joe Lorig as the team's new linebackers coach to replace Kevin Clune.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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One day after 27 players signed with the program on National Letter of Intent Day, the Utah State football team filled another key position Thursday, bringing in a new linebackers coach.

Joe Lorig joins the Utah State staff, pending approval from the school's board of trustees, after spending the past two years as Arizona State's special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach. He will replace Kevin Clune, who recently was named the defensive coordinator at Hawaii.

"Joe brings a lot of football knowledge, passion, energy, experience and a recruiting prowess to our program that our players and staff will greatly benefit from as we continue to strive toward our goal of being Mountain West champions on the field and in the classroom," Utah State head coach Matt Wells said in a press release. "We welcome Joe, Becky and their children with excitement and open arms into our Aggie football family."

Lorig has coached on the collegiate level since 1997 and has also coached at UTEP, Central Washington, Idaho State and Western Oregon, his alma mater. He's spent eight years as a defensive coordinator and two as a special teams coordinator.

"I'm really excited to work with Matt Wells, defensive coordinator Todd Orlando and the rest of the USU staff," Lorig said in the press release. "From what coach Wells has told me, the linebackers group is a smart group with a lot of character and I am very excited to meet those guys and get to work."

Next season at Utah State, Lorig will work with a talented group of linebackers with plenty of starting experience. While All-MWC first teamer Jake Doughty was a senior last year, the Aggies will return Kyler Fackrell, who will be a junior in 2014, as well as brothers Zach Vigil and Nick Vigil. Fackrell and Zach Vigil, who will be a senior, both made the conference second team in 2013, and Nick Vigil finished his freshman year with 57 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.

Last season at Arizona State, Lorig coached two cornerbacks who earned Pac-12 honors: Robert Nelson (first-team honors) and Osahon Irabor (second team). The Sun Devils' defense ranked third in the country with 21 interceptions, and Arizona State finished the season ranked No. 21 after going 10-4 and winning the Pac-12 South Division.

Email: bjudd@deseretnews.com; Twitter: @brandonljudd

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