USA Today first reported that Gary Andersen is out as Utah State University head football coach, and the university confirmed the fact hours later with a press release.
The newspaper quoted a source who asked not to be identified. The Herald Journal confirmed this report before the official announcement came from USU Vice President and Director of Athletics John Hartwell Saturday afternoon, which stated Andersen was "no longer the head football coach, effective immediately."
“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,” Hartwell said in a press release. “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. We wish him, Stacey and their family all the best going forward, and they will always be part of our Aggie family.”
Assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator Frank Maile will serve as the interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Hartwell and Maile will both be available to speak with the media during USU’s weekly Zoom press conference on Monday at noon.
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,” Hartwell said.
When Andersen was hired for the second time back in December of 2018, he was given a five-year contract with a base salary of $900,000.
Andersen's second stint at the Aggie helm came to an end just two days after USU lost to Nevada 34-9 on the road. It's the first time since 2008 the Aggies have gotten off to a 0-3 start, which is the season before Andersen first arrived in Logan.
The 56-year-old was first hired as USU's head coach prior to the 2009 campaign and went 33-33 in his five-plus seasons in charge of the program. Andersen took the head coaching job at Big 10 Conference power Wisconsin after helping lead USU to a 11-2 record and a Western Athletic Conference championship in 2012.
Andersen spent two seasons with the Badgers, who went 19-7 during that timespan. Andersen was then hired as Oregon State's head coach in 2015 and ultimately stepped down from that post midway through his third season. The Beavers went 7-23 during Andersen's time in Corvallis.
Andersen was rehired as the Aggies' head coach in December of 2018 after Matt Wells, the man who replaced Andersen at Utah State, accepted the same job at Texas Tech. He was the first of 27 head coaches in school history to be in charge multiple times. The Aggies went 7-6 last season under Andersen and his coaching staff.
The 2012 WAC Coach of the Year was also the former head coach at Southern Utah for one season (2003). Andersen first started coaching at the collegiate level in 1988 at Southeastern Louisiana.
Andersen played at Ricks College (1983-84) and the University of Utah (1985-86), and graduated from Utah in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in political science.