LOGAN – The Blake Anderson era has begun at Utah State.
Athletic director John Hartwell introduced his new head football coach Monday, and had high praise for the man who led Arkansas State to six bowl games and two Sun Belt Conference championships in seven years.
“At the end of the day, when we looked at all the qualities that we want in our next head football coach here at Utah State,” Hartwell said. “Coach Blake Anderson checks off all of those boxes.”
“The excitement of starting fresh, in an unbelievable place with tremendous tradition and history, in one of the prettiest places on the planet to do your job, I could not be more blessed,” said Anderson, who was 51-37 at Arkansas State.
Anderson takes over an Aggies program that was 1-5 this season. Gary Andersen was fired as head coach after three games, the starting quarterback Jason Shelley was dismissed from the team, and a the players boycotted the final game of the year because of alleged disparaging comments against interim head coach Frank Maile’s faith and cultural background.
But all Anderson knows is his job is to win in Logan.
“The standard is very very clear,” he said. “It’s to win championships, it’s that simple. The standard is high. I don’t know how long that will take, I don’t know exactly what the roster looks like, but I understand that the goal and the standard is to win championships.”
To that end, Anderson said his teams will play fast, physical and be fun to watch.
“We’re going to be fun to watch and fun to be around,” he said. “The systems that we run, what we do offensively and defensively is fun to watch, fun to be a part of, recruits are going to enjoy what we do. But the fans in the stands are going to enjoy it as well. I’m going to tell you right now, don’t go get something to drink in the middle of a series or you’re going to miss the whole thing. You better go in a media timeout, because we’re going to play faster than anybody else in the country.”
Anderson is aware of the recent problems at Utah State concerning the comments allegedly made by USU president Noelle Cockett. He plans to address it head on with the team, and wants to lead a diverse football program.
“We may be the only team in the country that has minority leadership as the head strength coach, as the offensive coordinator, the defensive coordinator positions,” Anderson said with pride. “All three positions will be held by minority coaches. Basically every cultural background, every ethnic and racial background will be seen on our staff when you look from top to bottom. We’re a small town. We’re going to be out and about, we’re going to shake hands, we’re going to be at games, we’re going to be at restaurants in the community, you’re going to see us and know us by face and name.”