In the midst of incredible turmoil, the Utah State Aggies formally announced on Saturday evening that former Arkansas State head coach Blake Anderson has been hired to fill the head coach position at Utah State.
Multiple outlets initially reported the news on Thursday.
“On behalf of Aggie nation, I am thrilled to announce Blake Anderson as our new head football coach,” Utah State athletic director John Hartwell said in a statement. “I have watched his Arkansas State teams over the past seven years, first when I was at Troy and then here at USU, and I am excited for our fans to witness first-hand his high-octane offense and championship brand of football.
“Blake is an outstanding football coach and an even better person. His emphasis on total development of his student-athletes in the classroom, on the field and in preparation for life after football, will be a great asset for Utah State University.”
The 51-year-old Anderson, who has been the head coach at Arkansas State since December of 2013, said in a statement, ”I am beyond excited and grateful for the opportunity to lead the Utah State football program. This is an unbelievable place with a great tradition and history of success, both on and off the field, that we look forward to building upon.
“I can’t wait to get started with the guys and I look forward to a packed Maverik Stadium next fall. GO AGGIES!!!”
Anderson becomes the 29th head coach in program history. He replaces Gary Andersen, who was fired last month. Frank Maile has been serving as interim head coach.
“Blake is in the process of assembling an all-star staff and I have full confidence that Aggie football will return to the upper echelon of the Mountain West in the near future,” Hartwell said.
Under Anderson, Arkansas State had six winning seasons and six straight bowl appearances from 2014-2019, and the team won at least seven games each year. He went 51-37 overall with two Sun Belt Conference titles.
Along the way, Arkansas State regularly had one of the best offenses in the country, something Hartwell said he wants to have in Logan. In 2017, Arkansas State was 10th in the country in total offense, 17th in 2018 and 20th in 2014.
Anderson arrives at Utah State as the program not only deals with fallout from Andersen’s dismissal last month, but on Friday, players chose not to play Saturday’s game against Colorado State after USU president Noelle Cockett allegedly made discriminatory comments about Maile earlier this week during a meeting with the team.
The school’s board of trustees announced Saturday that it is opening up an independent investigation into the allegations.
Anderson’s wife, Wendy, died in 2019 from breast cancer. They are the parents of three children, Callie, Coleton and Cason.
Anderson will be formally introduced at a press conference on Monday morning.