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Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Utah State announced a new deal to extend head coach Gary Andersen's contract through 2018 and pay him up to $765,000 a year.

LOGAN — Utah State University director of athletics Scott Barnes announced Thursday that a contract extension has been made to head football coach Gary Andersen that will keep Andersen at USU through the 2018 season. The new deal also includes 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.

The 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."

During his four years leading the Aggies, Andersen has built 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.

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Moreover, 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.