frank maile

Utah State interim head coach Frank Maile runs off the field after Aggies lost to Air Force on Dec. 3, 2020.

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When Utah State’s football team hosts Boise State this upcoming fall, a very familiar face will be on the opposing sideline at Maverik Stadium.

Former USU interim head coach Frank Maile has been hired as BSU’s associate head coach/defensive line coach.

Maile was thrust into the center of a controversy late last year after filling in for fired head coach Gary Andersen but losing a bid to become the Aggies’ new permanent head coach. An independent investigation into the hiring decision was launched after players accused the university administration of making discriminatory statements about Maile’s “religious and cultural background.”

Before Wednesday’s official announcement was made, Maile informed The Herald Journal of his new job via email.

"Heather and I are happy to confirm that I will be joining new Head Football Coach Andy Avalos at Boise State University as Associate Head Coach & Defensive Line Coach," Maile wrote in a revised email to The Herald Journal.

"This announcement is somewhat bittersweet, in that as much as we’re looking forward to this new opportunity, we will miss our friends and colleagues at Utah State University. Our time in Logan has brought some of the most rewarding experiences of our lives. From years as a student, football player, and coach, I’ve gained lifetime friendships and created memories in a community that is like family. I thank Aggie Nation and Cache Valley for all the love and support you’ve shown me and I’ll never forget it.

"Thank you again and God Bless!"

Avalos was officially named the Broncos’ new head coach last Saturday after spending the previous two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Oregon. It didn’t take long for Avalos, a former Boise State player, assistant coach and defensive coordinator, to find his DL coach.

“Frank Maile is a high-character individual, and someone that cares deeply about everyone affiliated with our program — especially the young men we bring into it,” Avalos stated in a release. “He is someone that Bronco Nation will be drawn to because of his passion and enthusiasm, not only for our student-athletes, but also our community. On top of being an outstanding person, father and husband, he is also a phenomenal football coach.”

Maile coached at USU from 2009-13 and, after spending a two-year stint as the defensive line coach at Vanderbilt, returned to USU from 2016-20. The West Valley City native is also a former Aggie defensive lineman who started 21 games from 2004-07, where he recorded 71 tackles, including 19.0 for a loss.

The former Alta High School star primarily mentored the defensive linemen during his time in Logan but also served as a co-defensive coordinator for four seasons, an assistant head coach for four seasons and a tight ends coach for one. Maile was also USU’s interim head coach for the 2018 New Mexico Bowl and for games against Fresno State, New Mexico and Air Force this past fall.

Maile was a candidate to become USU’s permanent head coach — a job that ultimately went to former Arkansas State head coach Blake Anderson last month. Prior to that, Utah State’s players lobbied for Maile to get the job and even decided to boycott their final game of the season, claiming discriminatory statements about Maile were made by USU President Noelle Cockett in a Zoom call with players. Maile is Polynesian and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Utah State’s Board of Trustees launched an independent investigation to review allegations made by the players. The findings of this investigation are expected to be released this Friday.

When asked Wednesday by The Herald Journal via email about the events at the end of the 2020 campaign, Maile respectfully declined to comment.

Jason Turner is a sports reporter for The Herald Journal. He can be reached at jturner@hjnews.com or 435-792-7237.

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