Utah State is soon to have a new head football coach.

According to a multiple reports Thursday, the Aggies are finalizing a deal with Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson to become the permanent replacement for Gary Andersen.

College AD was first to report the news, followed by Football Scoop, Banner Society’s Steven N. Godfrey and AStateNation.

In a Thursday press release, Terry Mohajir, Arkansas State vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics, announced that Anderson had resigned as head coach in order to accept the same position at another, unnamed, FBS program.

“We appreciate Coach Anderson’s contributions to our program,” said Mohajir. ”He is the only head coach in our FBS history to win two conference championships, and he played for a third while also leading us to six bowl games. We wish him the best moving forward.”

The 51-year old Anderson will become the 29th head coach in program history at USU.

Anderson has been known for his explosive offenses with Red Wolves, whom he has coached since the 2014 season.

He is a 19-year coaching veteran at the FBS level — he also coached in an NJCAA national championship game — and led Arkansas State to six consecutive winning seasons, six straight bowl game appearances and back-to-back Sun Belt Conference championships in 2015 and 2016. 

During that six-year stretch, the Red Wolves broke 12 school records, including yards of total offense per game (494.8 ypg in 2017) and total passing yards (4,106 in 2017), passing touchdowns (38 in 2017), points scored (520 in 2015), total touchdowns (69 in 2015), total offense (6,174 yards in 2014) and total plays (1,024 in 2014) accrued in a single season.

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Anderson was the first head coach in Red Wolves history to win at least 47 games his first six seasons at the school and was only the third head coach to lead the program to 47 wins in 76 or fewer games.

Up until this season, the Red Wolves won at least seven games every year under Anderson, including a nine-win campaign in 2015 and eight win seasons in 2016, 2018 and 2019. This year, Arkansas State is 4-7 overall, 2-6 in the Sun Belt.

Anderson also has had considerable success on the recruiting trail with the Red Wolves. All seven of his recruiting classes have ranked among the top three in the Sun Belt by at least two of the major recruiting services 247 Sports, Rivals and ESPN.

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Prior to his time at Arkansas State, he worked on Larry Fedora’s staff as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at both North Carolina and Southern Miss.

Prior to that, he coached at Louisiana-Lafayette, Middle Tennessee, New Mexico, Trinity Valley Community College, where he helped win the 1997 NJCAA national championship, Eastern New Mexico and Howard Payne University.

Anderson was a two-year letter-winner at wide receiver for Sam Houston State from 1989-91. He also played for two years as a quarterback and receiver at Baylor (1987-89).  

Anderson graduated with his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Sam Houston State in 1992. He also earned his master’s degree in sports administration from Eastern New Mexico in 1994.

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