Gary Andersen returns to the Utes!

posted by Ron Callan - 

Gary Andersen has surfaced. The Oregon State Beaver football coach who abruptly resigned October 8th has been hired by his alma mater. This will be Andersen's third stint as a coach at the University of Utah.

Andersen was 7-23 in his two and a half seasons in Corvallis. I have included the official press release from Utah Athletics.

SALT LAKE CITY—Former University of Utah football player and assistant coach Gary Andersen is rejoining the Ute coaching staff as an associate head coach and defensive assistant. The Salt Lake City native will begin his third stint at Utah when the new NCAA rule allowing a 10th assistant coach goes into effect on Jan. 9. "We're looking forward to Gary rejoining our staff," said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham. "Gary brings a wealth of high-level coaching experience to the program, including serving as the head coach at two Power Five schools. During his previous time on our staff, he developed some of the best defensive linemen in Utah history. In addition, he is an excellent recruiter and motivator and understands what it takes to win at this level." Andersen begins his 12th overall season with the Utes after nine years away as the head coach at Utah State (2009-12), Wisconsin (2013-14) and Oregon State (2015-17). Among Andersen's head coaching highlights were a Western Athletic Conference championship in 2012 with Utah State and the 2014 Big Ten Conference West Division title with Wisconsin. Andersen's first run with the Utes was as a defensive line coach from 1997-2002 under then head coach Ron McBride. He also served as the assistant head coach from 2001-02. After a year as the head coach at Southern Utah in 2003, Andersen returned to the U. in 2004 as Urban Meyer's defensive line coach. From 2005-08, he was Kyle Whittingham's defensive coordinator, assistant head coach and defensive line coach. Andersen departed for the head coaching job at Utah State after Utah's win over Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl. "Returning to the Utah football family is something my wife Stacey and I are very excited about," said Andersen. "Having an opportunity to coach at your alma mater is somewhat unusual and having the opportunity to do it again is certainly special. Kyle Whittingham is a great coach and I look forward to working alongside him again. I am fired up to meet the players and go to work." As Utah's defensive coordinator from 2005-08, the Utes finished in the top three in the Mountain West Conference in scoring defense every year, including a No. 1 league ranking (No. 5 in the nation) in 2007, when the Utes led the nation in pass efficiency defense. In Utah's undefeated 2008 season, the Utes finished in the top two in the Mountain West in total defense, scoring defense, rush defense and pass efficiency defense. During his time at Utah, Andersen coached two All-Americans (consensus defensive back Eric Weddle in 2005 and defensive end Paul Kruger in 2008), two conference defensive MVPs (John Frank in 1999 and Weddle in 2005 and '06), 19 first-team all-conference players and 16 NFL draft picks. Six players who were coached by Andersen during their Utah careers are on current NFL rosters: Weddle, Sean Smith, Bryce McCain, Koa Misi, Sealver Siliga and Derrick Shelby. As a head or assistant coach, Andersen numbers 40 NFL draft picks. Andersen began his college coaching career in 1988 as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Southeastern Louisiana. His other college experience came at Ricks College (1989-91), Idaho State (1992-93) and Northern Arizona (1995-96). He was the head coach at Park City High in 1994. Andersen played center for Utah from 1985-86 after earning first-team junior college All-America honors at Ricks College in 1984.

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