Utah State was left looking for a new coach after Matt Wells departed for Texas Tech, and it decided to go back to the well with a friendly face. Gary Andersen has been named the new coach of the Aggies, a program he previously led from 2009-12.
"Stacey and I are thrilled to be back at Utah State University," said Andersen. "This is a special place and we are excited to meet these young men and play a part in seeing them succeed off and on the field academically, socially and athletically. We are grateful to reconnect with many great friends and supporters in Logan and want to thank [athletic director] John Hartwell and President [Noelle] Cockett for the opportunity."
Andersen was 26-24 during his previous four-year stint in Logan, going 11-2 (6-0 WAC) in 2012 to earn conference coach of the year honors.
"We welcome Gary and Stacey and their family back to the Utah State family," said Hartwell. "His care-factor for his players, coupled with his recruiting philosophy and plan to win, are keys to the continued success of Aggie football. His knowledge of the state of Utah and our program are unparalleled and we feel those attributes will greatly aid in the continued growth and success of Aggie football."
Andersen used his success with the program in 2012 to jump to Wisconsin to replace Bret Bielema. He went 20-7 in two years with the Badgers, posting an 11-3 record in 2014 and winning the Big Ten West. However, he made a surprising jump to Oregon State following the 2014 season, and it was all downhill from there.
In two-plus seasons with the Beavers, Anderson went 7-23. He left in the middle of the 2017 season, and text messages published by The Oregonian revealed his frustration with the program's lack of progress, his assistants and the future.
Andersen will take over a healthy Utah State program that went 10-2 in 2018 under Wells and missed out on the MWC Mountain division title by losing a heartbreaker on rivalry weekend to Boise State. Andersen will have a star to work with in Jordan Love, one of the best quarterbacks in the Group of Five last year. Love threw for 3,208 yards and 28 touchdowns as a sophomore.