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Ryan Talbot, Utah State Athletics
Utah State football vs. Nevada

LOGAN — Utah State director of athletics Scott Barnes announced Thursday that football coach Gary Andersen has signed a contract extension to remain at USU through 2017. It is an additional year to the extension that Andersen signed in September 2010.

"Gary has built a foundation that gives our football program an opportunity to sustain success. Our student-athletes are achieving in the classroom and earning conference and national academic honors. On the football field, they're representing our university community very well," Barnes said. "It takes time to build a football program and, after three years, Gary's leadership has put us ahead of schedule in many aspects."

Barnes said that Andersen's new deal can pay him up to $565,000 annually with incentives.

"We are delighted that he has committed to Utah State long term. Gary has tremendous passion for this place and cares deeply for our student-athletes," Barnes said.

In just his third season, Andersen has guided USU to its first bowl appearance since 1997, leading the Aggies to a 7-5 mark in 2011 and a berth in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday in Boise, Idaho. Only John Ralston and Charlie Weatherbie took Utah State teams to a bowl game in fewer years than Andersen did, as Ralston took the Aggies to the 1960 Sun Bowl and Weatherbie took the 1993 Aggies to the Las Vegas Bowl, both doing so in their second year.

"First of all, it is an honor to get an extension and a new six-year contract. As a football coach, I have always wanted to have some stability for myself and my family. The commitment from Utah State University is outstanding. My commitment to this university, this community and Aggie Nation is very strong and very important to myself and to my family. I think that in this case, both parties are showing a commitment to all Aggies, past, present and future," Andersen said.

Andersen joins John L. Smith, who took the 1997 Aggies to the same bowl as USU is playing in, then known as the Humanitarian Bowl, as Aggie coaches who led USU to a bowl game in their third season.