LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Gary Andersen’s second tenure at Utah State is officially over over.
Utah State athletic director John Hartwell made the announcement in a press release Saturday afternoon.
“After a thorough analysis on the current state of our football team, we believe a change at head coach is in the best interest of our program moving forward,” said Hartwell. “The continued success and development of Aggie football is a priority and we want to make sure we are regular contenders for the Mountain West Championship.
“On behalf of Utah State Athletics, I want to express my appreciation to Gary Andersen for all he has done for our football program,” Hartwell said. “We wish him, Stacey and their family all the best going forward, and they will always be part of our Aggie family.”
Co-defensive coordinator Frank Maile will take over as interim head coach the rest of the season.
Hartwell met with both the staff and student-athletes to inform them of the change early Saturday afternoon.
“We will start an immediate national search to find the best candidate to lead Utah State football going forward,” added Hartwell.
Andersen had three years left on his contract, worth $900,000 per year.
Utah State suffered its third straight blowout on Thursday, falling to Nevada, 34-9. The Aggies have been outscored by Boise State, San Diego State and Nevada this season by a combined score of 114-29.
Andersen took over a decimated Utah State program in 2009 that had suffered 11 straight losing season. But just three years later, Utah State went 11-2 and finished 16th in the final AP rankings.
He then left in 2012 to become the head coach at Wisconsin, where went 19-7, but left after two years, citing personal fit issues.
Andersen then became head coach at Oregon State, but resigned midway through his third season with the Beavers after a 7-23 record.
Andersen also spent time as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator under Kyle Whittingham at Utah from 2004-2008 and in 2018.
Andersen returned to take over the head coaching job at Utah State in 2019 after Matt Wells left to take the head coaching job at Texas Tech, and inherited a team coming off an 11-2 season.
In his first season back in Logan, Andersen led the Aggies to a 7-6 record, and produced a first round NFL draft pick in quarterback Jordan Love.
But this season has been brutal, with the offense and defense struggling in all three games. The Aggies have been out-gained in total yardage by an average of 528 to 209. The Aggies have yet to gain over 215 yards in offense in any game this season, and quarterback Jason Shelley has yet to throw for over 100 yards in a single game.
Following Utah State’s 38-7 loss to San Diego State, Andersen was especially critical of his team.
“You look at the stat line, and it was complete domination,” he said after giving up 407 yards rushing to the Aztecs. “We battled in the first half and couldn’t do anything in the second half at all on offense or defense. I don’t know what to say. We just physically got beat up on both sides of the football. We missed tackles again on defense. We had opportunities to make them. That’s not all on the kids, that’s on coaches too. They need to be in position to be able to make the plays and do what you’ve got to do. That was a team that did not win the physical battle on either side, again.”
In five plus years with the Aggies, Andersen has a career record of 33-33.
Utah State’s next game is this Saturday at home against Fresno State.