Utah State’s coaching staff under new head coach Blake Anderson is coming together.
On Friday, the Aggies made official news that was leaked weeks ago, that Central Florida co-offensive coordinator Anthony Tucker will be USU’s offensive coordinator. He will also serve as quarterbacks coach.
Utah State also announced that UMass co-offensive line coach Micah James will be the offensive line coach and South Carolina’s Paul Jackson has been hired as strength and conditioning coach.
Tucker has 11 years of collegiate coaching experience, the past three years of which were at UCF. He started as running backs coach in 2018, added the title of passing game coordinator in 2019 and was co-offensive coordinator in 2020.
This season, UCF was second in the nation in total offense, third in passing offense ninth in scoring offense and 25th in rushing offense. UCF finished in the top 10 in the country in the first three categories and the top 25 in the fourth in 2019 as well.
Prior to UCF, Tucker was the running backs coach at Maryland for two seasons and an assistant in multiple roles for three years at Arkansas State under Anderson. He’s also had stops at Idaho State and Colorado.
He played collegiately at Fresno State as a wide receiver and briefly in the NFL and NFL Europe.
James comes to Utah State after spending the past two years as the co-offensive line coach at Massachusetts. Previous to that, he was a graduate assistant at UCF in 2018 and at Maryland in 2017. He was the run game coordinator and offensive line coach at Faulkner in 2016 and was a graduate assistant under Anderson at Arkansas State in 2014 and 2015.
As for Jackson, he was the strength and conditioning coach at Ole Miss prior to going to South Carolina. Prior to that, he had stops at Southern Miss, Miami (Ohio), LSU and the NFL’s New York Giants.
Here are all the coaches who’ve joined the Aggies under Anderson:
Mike Zuckerman: Inside linebackers coach
Zuckerman goes to Utah State with Banda after seven seasons at Miami, where he held numerous positions on the staff. Prior to his time with the Hurricanes, he spent one season coaching at Rutgers.
Ephraim Banda: Defensive coordinator
Banda will serve as USU’s defensive coordinator and safeties coach and arrives in Logan with 10 years of collegiate coaching experience, with stops at Texas and Mississippi State. He has a reputation of being an especially strong recruiter after helping Miami land the No. 1 safety in the country back-to-back years.
Kyle Cefalo: Passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach
Cefalo has eight years of collegiate coaching experience. He spent the past four seasons as the wide receivers coach at Arkansas State and the last two years as the special teams co-coordinator.
Nick Paremski: Special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach
Paremski brings 17 years of collegiate coaching experience with him to Logan, including four seasons as a defensive coordinator and another two years as a special teams coordinator. He has been a part of five conference championship teams and spent the last five seasons at Arkansas State.
Chuckie Keeton: Running backs coach
The former USU star quarterback has five years of collegiate coaching experience working with quarterbacks, tight ends and wide receivers, most recently under former USU head coach Matt Well at Texas Tech.
DJ Tialavea: Tight ends coach
Tialavea is entering his second season with Utah State. He spent the 2020 campaign as an offensive graduate assistant coaching the tight ends. Tialavea was a four-year letter winner and three-year captain as a player for the Aggies.
Al Lapuaho: Defensive line coach
Lapuaho is set to begin his fourth year with USU after spending the 2020 season as a strength and conditioning graduate assistant, and the 2018 and 2019 seasons as a defensive graduate assistant working with the defensive line. Lapuaho started all 26 games during his playing career with the Aggies and earned first-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors as a senior.