LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Coming off the greatest season in Utah State history, head coach Blake Anderson has signed a 2-year contract extension that will keep him with the Aggies through the 2027 season.
After a chaotic 2020 season, in which the Aggies went through two head coaches and a Covid-shortened 1-5 season, Anderson completely turned the Utah State program around in his first season.
The Aggies won 11 games for just the third time in school history, as well as the program’s first Mountain West Conference Championship, beating San Diego State in the title game, 46-13. Utah State capped its incredible turnaround with a 24-13 win over Oregon State in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl on December 18th.
“In just one year at the helm, Blake Anderson has transformed a one-win team into a Mountain West Championship team,” said Utah State athletic director John Hartwell. “The positive and team-centered culture he and his staff have created and fostered permeates throughout Aggie Nation. As remarkable as the on-the field success has been, the academic achievements and personal development of our football student-athletes under his leadership are even more impressive. Blake’s character, integrity and passion for the academic, personal, and athletic growth of our student-athletes have fueled the success of this team. Under coach Anderson’s leadership, the future of Aggie football is very bright.”
“Under head coach Blake Anderson, this year’s football team captured the hearts of all of Aggie nation and we are fortunate to have him at the helm of our program,” said USU President Noelle E. Cockett.”
Utah State (11-3) began the year with a 26-23 road win at Washington State for its first Power-5 road win since 1971 as it is also the first-time ever that USU notched a pair of Power 5 wins in the same season.
Utah State went 8-0 away from home during the 2021 season, which is a school record, as it became the first FBS program to go 7-0 in true road games since 2013.
The Aggies became the first FBS team ever to go from zero or one win the previous season to 11 or more wins, a conference championship and a bowl win the following season. All of this from a team that was picked in the preseason to finish fifth in the Mountain Division of the MWC.
That 10-game improvement from 2020 to 2021 is currently tied with Michigan for the best turnaround in the nation.
Anderson, who came to Utah State from Arkansas State and brought 15 transfer players with him, was named the American Football Coaches Association Region 5 Coach of the Year. He was also a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year and a semifinalist for the George Munger Coach of the Year Awards.
The extension comes one week after Anderson publicly apologized for comments he made about victims of sexual assault to his team during training camp.
“I appreciate having an opportunity to address comments I made during a conversation with our team during our Fall camp, because my message to the team to always do the right thing warrants repeating whenever the opportunity presents itself,” Anderson said last week. “In the course of that conversation, I used a phrase regarding victims of wrongdoing to magnify that message to our team, but after reading my comments in the transcript that was released, I realize my choice of words was hurtful. I regret the words I used, and I apologize to anyone who has bravely come forward with allegations of wrongdoing. We have to do everything we can to encourage and protect anybody who has been the victim of a wrong, or whose personal rights have been violated. Anyone who knows me knows how strongly I feel about this. Giving victims a safe platform to address wrongs they’ve suffered is always the right thing to do, and something I’ll always stand for.”