Ladell Andersen, former Utah State and BYU basketball coach, dies at 90

(Tribune file photo) Ladell Andersen poses for a photograph the 1970s.

Ladell Andersen, who won nearly two-thirds of his basketball games as the coach of Utah State, BYU and the Utah Stars of the ABA, died Sunday in St. George. Andersen was 90.

He also spent 10 years as USU’s athletic director and was a Utah Jazz consultant after retiring from coaching at BYU in 1989 at the age of 60.

Andersen played basketball for USU after graduating from Malad (Idaho) High School and became a University of Utah assistant coach under Jack Gardner in 1956.

He took the USU coaching job in 1961 and posted a 173-96 (.643) record in 10 seasons, coaching star players Wayne Estes, Cornell Green, Shaler Halimon, Marvin Roberts and Nate Williams. Not since the Andersen era has USU produced a player who spent significant time in the NBA.

The Aggies made five NCAA Tournament appearances under Andersen, whose teams reached the Sweet 16 twice and the Elite Eight once.

Andersen then coached the Stars for two seasons, compiling a 115-43 (.684) record, before returning to Logan as USU's athletic director. Among his achievements in an 10-year stint were the expansion of then-Romney Stadium and national championships in women's volleyball and softball.

Andersen returned to coaching at BYU in 1983 and went 114-71 (.616) in six seasons, with three NCAA appearances. His 1987-88 team, led by Michael Smith and Marty Haws, was 17-0 and ranked No. 3 by AP in early February, before finishing 26-6.

He has been inducted into the Utah State Athletics Hall of Fame and the Utah Sports Hall of Fame.