“Gary has built a foundation that gives our football program an opportunity to sustain success. Our student-athletes are achieving in the classroom, and earning conference and national academic honors. On the football field, they’re representing our university community very well,” Barnes said. “It takes time to build a football program and after three years, Gary’s leadership has put us ahead of schedule in many aspects.”
Barnes said that Andersen’s new deal can pay him up to $565,000 annually with incentives.
“We are delighted that he has committed to Utah State long term. Gary has tremendous passion for this place and cares deeply for our student-athletes,” Barnes said.
In just his third season, Andersen has guided USU to its first bowl appearance since 1997, leading the Aggies to a 7-5 mark in 2011 and a bid in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday in Boise, Idaho. Only John Ralston and Charlie Weatherbie took Utah State teams to a bowl game in fewer years than Andersen did, as Ralston took the Aggies to the 1960 Sun Bowl and Weatherbie took the 1993 Aggies to the Las Vegas Bowl, both doing so in their second year.
“First of all, it is an honor to get an extension and a new six-year contract,” said Andersen. “ As a football coach, I have always wanted to have some stability for myself and my family. The commitment from Utah State University is outstanding. My commitment to this university, this community and Aggie Nation, is very strong and very important to myself and to my family. I think that in this case, both parties are showing a commitment to all Aggies, past, present and future.”
Andersen joins John L. Smith who took the 1997 Aggies to the same bowl as USU is playing in, then known as the Humanitarian Bowl, as Aggie coaches who led USU to a bowl game in their third season.
“It is a very blessed day for myself, for my family and our football staff,” he said. “We are very excited about the opportunity to play in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday and excited about the future overall. This allows us to continue the growth that we have started in the Utah State football program and again, I thank everyone involved for their commitment to the program. I am honored and humbled to be the head football coach of the Utah State Aggies for many years to come.”
Louisiana State 6-1 (8-4 overall)
Utah State 5-2 (7-5)
Nevada 5-2 (7-5)
Hawai’i 3-4 (6-6)
San Jose State 3-4 (5-7)
Fresno State 3-4 (4-8)
New Mexico State 2-5 (4-9)
Idaho 1-6 (2-10)
Auburn 42-38 over USU September 3
USU 54-17 over Weber State September 10
Colorado State 35-34 OT over USU September 24
BYU 27-24 over USU September 30
USU 63-19 over Wyoming October 8
Fresno State 31-21 over USU October 15
Louisiana Tech 21-17 over USU October 22
USU 35-31 over Hawai'i November 5
USU 34-33 over San Jose State November 12
USU 49-42 over Idaho November November 19
USU 21-17 over Nevada November 26
USU 24-21over New Mexico State December 3