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USU football: Coach Andersen says he's staying in Logan

Published December 1, 2012 1:17 pm

College football • He talked to Cal, Colorado about openings, but decided Logan was best fit.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah State football coach Gary Andersen officially ended any speculation that he'll be leaving Logan this year.

The fourth-year leader of the Aggies announced via news release late Friday afternoon that he will remain at Utah State, putting to bed a host of rumors that he was a contender for higher-profile jobs.

"You get to the point where you know what you want to do, and you have to do it," he said of his announcement. "Now I don't have to answer questions any more, and everyone has a pretty good idea of what's going to happen at Utah State."

Media reports had surfaced in recent days linking Andersen — who has engineered the program's best-ever regular season with a 10-2 record — to job openings at Kentucky, Colorado and California.

Utah State has strived to keep Andersen with the program, signing him to a contract extension at midseason that could pay him up to $765,000 annually and keep him in Logan through 2018.

The Tribune learned that Andersen had talks with California but the discussions never reached the stage where an offer was made. Andersen also spoke once with Colorado about the Buffs' opening.

Ultimately, Andersen decided to stay where he had turned around a perennial loser and built it into a competitive team.

"At the end of the day, Logan is where we need to to be," Andersen said. "The kids, the administration — we had too much momentum going for me to leave."

The Aggies had success this year that was nearly unparalleled in school history, winning an outright conference title for the first time since 1936. In each of the past two seasons, Utah State has been invited to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Andersen said he released the announcement to put his players at ease as they prepare for the bowl game and a possible 11-win season. A recruiting event scheduled for the weekend also affected his timing.

The affirmation should solidfy expectations for potential Aggie recruits, including two of Andersen's sons. With many starters returning in 2013, Utah State could be successful once again in its first season in the Mountain West.

"We are going to have a good team next season," Andersen said. "I'm excited to be here with the kids. ... I want to see this thing through."