Arkansas State's Blake Anderson resigns, reportedly heading to Utah State

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Utah State’s search to find Gary Andersen’s replacement has reportedly ended with Blake Anderson.

Arkansas State said Thursday that Anderson was resigning as its head coach effective immediately. According to multiple reports, Anderson is heading to coach the Aggies.

"We appreciate Coach Anderson's contributions to our program," Arkansas State athletic director Terry Mohajir said in a statement. "He is the only head coach in our FBS history to win two conference championships, and he played for a third while also leading us to six bowl games. We wish him the best moving forward."

Anderson has been at Arkansas State for seven seasons after he was North Carolina’s offensive coordinator. The Red Wolves have won eight or more games in four of those seasons and won the Sun Belt outright in 2015 and tied for the conference championship in 2016.

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 14: Arkansas State Red Wolves Head Coach Blake Anderson during the game between the Arkansas State Red Wolves and the Georgia Bulldogs on September 14, 2019, at Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA.(Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Blake Anderson spent seven seasons at Arkansas State. (Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Blake Anderson is 51-37 at ASU

The only season Arkansas State hasn’t had a winning record under Anderson is in 2020. The Red Wolves are 4-7, though they did beat Kansas State in September. ASU’s final game of the regular season was set for Saturday against Incarnate Word but was canceled due to COVID-19.

Arkansas State went 8-5 in 2019 as Anderson took a leave of absence from the team before the start of the season. Anderson’s leave started on Aug. 19, the same day his wife Wendy died from breast cancer. He returned to the sidelines in September at Georgia as Bulldog fans paid tribute to Wendy in Anderson’s first game back.

Utah State and Andersen parted ways midway through the pandemic-impacted 2020 season. Andersen was in his second tenure at Utah State and it was nothing like his first. The Aggies were 7-6 in 2019 and were 0-3 in 2020 before Andersen was gone.

The former Wisconsin and Oregon State coach got his FBS head coaching career started at Utah State. He was the team’s coach from 2009-12 and went to Wisconsin after USU was 11-2 in his final season.

Utah State has gone to eight bowl games in the last 10 years and moved to the Mountain West in 2013. The team has won 10 or more games in two seasons in the conference. Both of those seasons came with Texas Tech coach Matt Wells at the helm.

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