A familiar face will be assisting with Weber State’s football program in 2021.
Two-time former Utah State head coach Gary Andersen will be a volunteer staff member with the four-time defending Big Sky Conference champion Wildcats. Andersen will assist Weber State’s defensive coaching staff, which includes former Aggie player and assistant coach Bojay Filimoeatu (defensive line), and serve as an advisor.
“Gary is one of the best coaches in the country and we are lucky to have him with us,” WSU head coach Jay Hill said in a press release. “His experience and expertise in helping to train and prepare our coaching staff will really help us get better.”
This will be Andersen’s first coaching gig since was was fired as USU’s head coach on Nov. 7, 2020. 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, dropping their record to 0-3 at the time.
The 57-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. The Aggies went to three bowl games with Andersen at the helm.
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.
The Salt Lake City native 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.
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 and has more than 30 years of coaching experience.
Weber State will travel to Salt Lake City and square off against Utah on Thursday, Sept. 4 in its season opener. The Wildcats will be aiming for their sixth consecutive trip to the FCS Playoffs.
MW COVID POLICY
The Mountain West issued its COVID-19 game cancellation policy Friday and, as expected, it includes a section that states any team from the conference that can’t play on a scheduled date due to COVID issues will not be allowed to reschedule. Instead, “the game shall be considered a forfeit (a.k.a. a loss) for that team,” and a win for the opposing team.
However, if both teams aren’t able to play because of COVID, “the game shall be declared a ‘no contest.’”
Unlike last season, the Mountain West has not established any “minimum roster thresholds for competition.” That will be up to the discretion of each team.
This decision by the league was expected based off comments by commissioner Craig Thompson’s on Day 1 of the Mountain West’s annual football media days last month in Las Vegas.
FUTURE SEC FOE
Utah State will play a road game at Southeastern Conference program Texas A&M on Sept. 6, 2025. The future contest was officially announced Thursday.
This will be USU’s second trip to College Station as it tested the the Texas A&M Aggies in 2009 before falling by a 38-30 scoreline. Utah State also has road games lined up against SEC foes in 2022 (Alabama) and 2024 (Mississippi State).
The Aggies are 1-17 all-time against teams from the SEC. That lone win took place on the road against Kentucky in convincing fashion, 35-6, on Oct. 10, 1970.
USU last squared off against an SEC program in 2019, a 42-6 setback to eventual national champion LSU.