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Blake Anderson is now the 2nd longest tenured head football coach in the Mountain West

Utah State head coach Blake Anderson is 2nd among conference coaches in seniority, despite having coached the Aggies for only 3 seasons

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Utah State head coach Blake Anderson looks up a the videoboard in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl game against Georgia State on Dec. 23, 2023.

Utah State head coach Blake Anderson looks up a the videoboard late in second half of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl game against Georgia State on Dec. 23, 2023, in Boise, Idaho.

Steve Conner, Associated Press

Another day, another head coach of a Mountain West football program moving out of the conference.

The offseason has been one of upheaval when it comes to head coaches and their programs in the MW.

Including Brent Brennan, the former head coach at San Jose State who was announced Tuesday as the new head coach at Arizona, the MW has lost six head coaches this winter.

Here’s the list:

  • Boise State — Andy Avalos (fired).
  • Nevada — Ken Wilson (fired).
  • New Mexico — Danny Gonzalez (fired).
  • San Diego State — Brady Hoke (retirement).
  • San Jose State — Brent Brennan (hired by Arizona).
  • Wyoming – Craig Bohl (retirement).

And questions remain about the status of Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford, who missed the Bulldogs’ bowl game with health concerns. Linebackers coach Tim Skipper coached in Tedford’s stead.

All but San Jose State have filled those vacancies, with Boise State elevating Spencer Danielson from his defensive coordinator role; New Mexico hiring former BYU and Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall; San Diego State hiring former Colorado offensive coordinator Sean Lewis; Nevada hiring former Texas co-defensive coordinator Jeff Choate; and Wyoming elevating Jay Sawvel from his defensive coordinator role.

To say that the MW will look different next season is an understatement.

Combined, the coaches no longer in the conference spent 32 years leading MW programs, during which time SDSU, SJSU, Boise State and Wyoming all played for at least a conference championship, with the Spartans winning the league in 2020.

All of the change means that entering next season, Utah State head coach Blake Anderson will be one of the longest tenured coaches in the league.

Yes, you read that right.

After Troy Calhoun, who has been at Air Force for 17 seasons, Anderson is now the longest tenured coach — at their current school — in the MW.

Tedford (Fresno State), Timmy Chang (Hawaii) and Jay Norvell (Colorado State) have all led their programs for two seasons (in their current stints), while Barry Odom (UNLV) just finished his first year as a MW head coach.

Anderson just completed his third season with the Aggies, finishing 6-7 for the second consecutive year, after winning the conference championship in his first season in Logan in 2021.

Half of the recent head coaching changes came about because of poor performance, though even the retirements of Hoke and Bohl can been viewed through that same lens.

The Aztecs just had their worst season since 2009, finishing 4-8 overall, and have been in decline each of the last two years, following a program-best 12-win season in 2021.

The Cowboys, meanwhile, had seemingly plateaued under Bohl, failing to win more than eight games in a season his entire tenure and finishing fourth or worse in the conference in each of the last five seasons.

Even at the Group of Five level, that is the reality of coaching college football. It is all about wins and losses, which Anderson affirmed earlier this winter, when talking about the addition of Utah to the Aggies’ 2024 nonconference schedule, which already had USC and, in a way, Washington State.

“Love it for the fans,” Anderson said. “Like it way more for them than I do for me. That’s a tough win and wins are really what matters.”