July 19, 2024

Utah State’s Blake Anderson placed on leave, not expected to return as team’s coach, per report

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Utah State coach Blake Anderson is currently on administrative leave and is not expected to return to his role, according to ESPN. The team was informed that defensive coordinator Nate Dreiling, who was hired in January, will serve as interim coach. 

The 55-year old Anderson was set to return for his fourth season with the Aggies, who open their 2024 slate on Aug. 31 against Robert Morris. Anderson was hired to replace Gary Andersen at Utah State in 2021 after seven years at Arkansas State

Anderson immediately led the Aggies to an 11-3 record with a Mountain West title and a win over Oregon State in the Los Angeles Bowl. The Aggies also placed 24th in the final AP Top 25, the first time they finished the year ranked since 2018 and just their third ranked finish of the century. 

Utah State hasn’t enjoyed as much success over the past two years, however. The Aggies have gone 6-7 in each of the last two seasons with a 9-7 mark in MWC play during that span. They’ve also lost two consecutive bowl games and have finished no better than tied for third in the Mountain West’s Mountain division. 

Anderson is 23-17 in three seasons as Utah State coach. He boasts a 74-54 overall record, including his time at Arkansas State, where he won two Sun Belt titles and led the Red Wolves to six consecutive winning seasons from 2014-19. 

A former quarterback and wide receiver at Baylor and Sam Houston State, Anderson was the offensive coordinator at North Carolina before breaking through as a head coach. He was also an assistant at FBS programs Southern Miss, Louisiana, Middle Tennessee State and New Mexico.