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Gary Andersen’s coaching staff is now complete for the 2020 season.

Utah State’s football program officially announced the hiring of its 10th full-time assistant coach on Thursday. Veteran assistant Roc Bellantoni is the Aggies’ new special teams coordinator and tight ends coach.

A few different outlets broke the news of the impending hiring of Bellantoni on Wednesday.

Bellantoni comes to USU from Washington State, where he was the Cougars’ interim defensive coordinator and linebackers coach during the 2019 campaign. The native of Port Chester, New York, has 27 years of coaching experience and has been an assistant at the Division I level every season since 1998.

In his lone season at Washington State, Bellantoni mentored two players who garnered all-Pac 12 honors in linebackers Travion Brown (second team as a special teams player) and Jahad Woods (honorable mention). Woods racked up 121 tackles, which was the most by a WSU player since 1996, and added 10 tackles for a loss, 3.0 sacks and two forced fumbles.

This will be Bellantoni’s first time coaching tight ends as he has extensive experience on the other side of the ball. However, the 50-year-old is a seasoned coordinator. The former defensive tackle was a special teams coordinator at Buffalo (2018) and Villanova (2012-13) and, in addition to Washington State, a defensive coordinator at Florida Atlantic (2014-16), Eastern Illinois (2002-06) and Drake (2000).

Utah State will be the seventh different D-I coaching stop for Bellantoni, who graduated from Iona (New York) College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1993. Bellantoni was a defensive tackle for the University of Massachusetts (1988) and Iona College (1990-92) before serving as an assistant coach at Mamaroneck (New York) High School from 1993-94.

In addition to Washington State, Buffalo, Villanova, Florida Atlantic, Eastern Illinois and Drake, Bellantoni has coached at Buena Vista — his first collegiate stop.

Bellantoni spent his longest coaching stint at Eastern Illinois, where he helped the Panthers capture five Ohio Valley Conference championships from 2001-2011.

The Panthers made six FCS Playoff appearances during that timespan, to boot.

Bellantoni also coached Villanova in the FCS Playoffs in 2012. Additionally, Bellantoni has coached in two bowls games — for WSU last winter (Cheez-It Bowl) and Buffalo (Dollar General Bowl) in 2018.

Roc and Jenny Bellantoni have four children — all sons— in Gino, Marco, Ricky and Nico. Ricky and Nico are twins.

Stacy Collins was USU’s special teams coordinator a year ago, while Frank Maile coached the tight ends. Maile and Collins are now the Aggies’ co-defensive coordinators.

In addition to Collins and Maile, USU’s other returning full-time assistants are Justin Ena (linebackers), TJ Woods (offensive line), Bojay Filimoeatu (outside linebackers), Mark Orphey (secondary) and Jason Phillips (passing game coordinator/wide receivers).

Bellantoni, Dave Schramm (running backs) and Bodie Reeder (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks) are coaching at USU for the first time in 2020.

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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