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TOM SMART
Coach Gary Andersen and Coach Ron McBride celebrate winning after Utah beat USC 10-7 in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 25, 2001.

A look at third-time University of Utah football coach Gary Andersen's career:

• Feb. 19, 1964: Born in Salt Lake City.

• Ricks College (1984): Andersen began his collegiate career out in Rexburg, Idaho, when the school now known as BYU-Idaho had a football team. He earned first-team junior college All-American honors as a center.

• Utah (1985-86): The offensive lineman lettered twice for the Utes before completing his bachelor’s degree in political science after two seasons.

• Southeastern Louisiana (1988): Andersen’s coaching career began three decades ago as an assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at the small school in Hammond, Louisiana.

• Ricks College (1989-92): Andersen returned to Rexburg for three seasons to coach the offensive line at his former junior college.

• Park City High School (1994-95): His first head coaching experience came in the prep ranks as he came back home to Utah.

• Northern Arizona (1995-96): As a Lumberjack — we’re not sure if he slept all night and worked all day, and that’s OK — Andersen’s responsibilities included that as an assistant head coach, defensive line coach and special teams coach.

• Utah (1997-2002): Hired by his alma mater by Ron McBride, Andersen was in charge of defensive tackles and strong side ends from 1997-00. He was given more duties in 2001 after being promoted to assistant head coach, keeping his defensive assignment while adding that of special teams.

• SUU (2003): Andersen jumped at the chance to become a head coach for the first time in college, leaving the Utes the same year Urban Meyer arrived.

• Utah (2004-08): Meyer re-hired Andersen to help defensive coordinator Kyle Whittingham, and then he was promoted to the DC position when Meyer left for Florida and Whitt was named head coach in 2005. His coaching stock elevated during this tenure, culminating in him being named a finalist for the Broyles Award (top college assistant coach) in 2008.

• Utah State (2009-12): Andersen got off to a slow start as the Aggies head coach, leading USU to 5-8 records in his first two seasons. Having established a solid foundation, things took off in 2011 when Utah State went 7-6 and earned an invitation to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. USU continued its ascension in 2012, winning 11 games (losing by a combined five points to Wisconsin and BYU), claiming the WAC championship and ending the season ranked 16th after beating Toledo 41-15 in the Potato Bowl. Robert Turbin, Bobby Wagner and Michael Smith were drafted by NFL teams after Andersen’s final season in Logan. To his credit, Andersen called every single member of the USU football team after deciding to take another job.

• Wisconsin (2013-14): Andersen had success on the field with the Badgers, going 9-4 in 2013 and then taking first place in the Big Ten West Division with a 10-2 record. Less than a week after a 59-0 loss to Ohio State in the conference championship game, Andersen left Wisconsin to take over at Oregon State. After saying the move was for his family, the coach later admitted to CBS.com that reports about him being frustrated by the school’s high academic standards for athletes were true and contributed to his job change.

• Oregon State (2015-17): Andersen had another short stay with a controversial and mysterious exit. Partway through his third season with the Beavers, he called it quits after a 1-5 start to the 2017 season. OSU went 4-8 in 2016 after going 2-10 in his first year in Corvallis. Andersen, reportedly frustrated with some assistant coaches, walked away from a guaranteed $12.6 million on his contract (through 2021) because he didn’t want to hurt the program. It’s been rumored since his departure that he might end up with Whittingham again in Utah.

• Utah (2017-): Hired by Whittingham to rejoin the Utes as their 10th assistant coach, being named an associate head coach and defensive assistant. This will mark his 12th season at Utah. Whittingham lauded the "wealth of high-level coaching experience" that Andersen brings back to The Hill. "During his previous time on our staff," Utah's coach added, "he developed some of the best defensive linemen in Utah history. In addition, he is an excellent recruiter and motivator and understands what it takes to win at this level."

• Andersen and wife Stacey have three children: Keegan, who played for his dad at USU, and twins Chasen and Hagen. His brother, Mark Andersen, was the Aggies' director of football operations while he was at the Logan university.

• Four of Andersen’s previous assistants have gone on to become Division I head coaches: Kalani Sitake (BYU), Matt Wells (Utah State), Brent Brennan (San Jose State) and Mike Sanford (Indiana State).

• Six players coached by Andersen at Utah are on current NFL rosters: Eric Weddle, Sean Smith, Bryce McCain, Koa Misi, Silver Siliga and Derrick Shelby.

• Forty players who played for Andersen when he as a head coach or assistant went on to become NFL draft picks.

• Baltimore Ravens safety Eric Weddle (via UtahStateAggies.com) on Andersen: “He's one of the best coaches I've ever been around. He's an intense, passionate coach. He cares not only for the player inside the program but when they're outside the world of football as well. I look up to him immensely and wouldn't have gotten as far as I have without his coaching and his guidance. ... He's a great motivator, he's passionate and he loves coaching kids.”

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