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Matt Wells to take Utah State head coach position

Offensive coordinator to replace Andersen

sports senior writer

Published: Thursday, December 20, 2012

Updated: Monday, December 24, 2012 18:12

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AD Scott Barnes give Matt Wells a new hat at the beginning of the news conference./Curtis Ripplinger photos

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New coach Matt Wells responds to question.

In an effort to maintain continuity, Utah State Athletic Director Scott Barnes announced that offensive coordinator Matt Wells will be Gary Andersen’s successor as football head coach, after Andersen accepted the head coaching position at Wisconsin.

“I’m extremely honored and humbled to be the next head football coach at my alma mater,” Wells said. “This is a university that molded me as a student-athlete, and I am fully invested in and passionate about continuing the vision for this football program that was set before me. I would like to thank University President Stan Albrecht and Mr. Barnes for the trust, belief and vision they have in me to lead this program.”

Specific contract details were unavailable at the press conference.

Wells — the university’s 27th head coach — said his primary focus as head coach was to fill out his coaching staff and to hit the recruiting trail. As was the case under Andersen, the coaching staff will focus first on in-state recruiting, followed by out of state.

Having been promoted from offensive coordinator, Wells said the offense will maintain a “spread, up-beat tempo,” and that the defense will be very similar to the way it was under Andersen.

Wells spent the past two years working with an offense that ranked 23rd in the nation in total yardage and set four school records in total points, total offense, completions, and total yards per game.

Prior to Utah State, Wells spent time at Navy, Tulsa New Mexico and Louisville before returning to his alma mater. Every position Wells held involved working on the offensive side of the ball.

Barnes and Wells each stressed that players were the number one priority for the program, and that they would make decisions based on what was best for the players.

"I'm very excited for him and happy for what he has accomplished, moving up the coaching ranks,” said sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton. “I anticipate Coach Wells doing great things for Utah State University and this community. I am definitely happy about him returning after spending my first two years in college working with him as my position coach. We return a lot of players on both sides of the ball, and it is going to be fun to watch how this team progresses under his leadership."

curtis.lundstrom@aggiemail.usu.edu

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