Sept. 23, 2010
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State University has signed three-year contract extensions for Director of Athletics Scott Barnes and Head Football Coach Gary Andersen it was announced Thursday. The agreement extends Barnes' contract through the 2015-16 academic year and Andersen's through the 2016 football season.
"The contract extensions of both Scott Barnes and Gary Andersen signal a commitment to Utah State University Athletics that Aggies everywhere can celebrate," said USU President Stan L. Albrecht. "These are turbulent times for athletic conferences, which makes the commitment by both of these accomplished individuals to Utah State all the more meaningful. It ensures stability and continuity for our growing program. We are thrilled and excited about what lies in store for USU Athletics, and we know we are in very good hands."
Barnes, who came to Utah State in April, 2008, already has many accomplishments to his name. During his first two-plus years at USU, he overhauled the university athletics development operations, leading to an increase of more than 30 percent in Big Blue Scholarship Fund membership. Major Gifts fund-raising doubled in his first year. He created a new intercollegiate athletics-funding plan that has generated a 33 percent increase in annual operating revenues. He implemented a Competitive Excellence Plan for football that includes a new scheduling philosophy, increased operational support of $2.5 million and further facility developments. He also spearheaded a student-fee referendum that now generates $2.1 million for Aggie athletics annually.
Other projects started that Barnes helped to complete include the Jim & Carol Laub Athletics-Academics Complex and the Steve Mothersell Aggie Sports Hall of Honor. Both were completed in 2009, as were the off-court facilities for both men's and women's basketball within the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The Dr. Randall and Julianne Stockham Student-Athlete Academic Hall of Honor was completed this year. Later this fall a ceremony will be held for the naming of Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium.
"I want to thank President Albrecht for the trust he has placed in me to lead our athletics program for many more years," Barnes said. "The past two and a half years in Logan have been a wonderful blessing for our family. We look forward to continuing our work with a great group of coaches and staff who have helped create better opportunities for our student-athletes to excel academically and athletically. There are both challenges and opportunities ahead, and I look forward to working with President Albrecht and others to continue to move Aggie Athletics forward."
Under Barnes' helm, the university has won nine Western Athletic Conference championships in the past two years, while 194 Utah State student-athletes earned academic all-conference honors during the 2009-10 academic year to lead the WAC. Overall, USU's student-athletes traditionally rank among the best in the WAC with an 85 percent graduation success rate and a cumulative 3.11 grade-point average.
Barnes has also played a role in Utah State being recognized as having the most economically efficient athletics departments in the nation in 2009, while finishing third nationally in 2010 based on a study done by Texas A&M's Laboratory for the Study of Intercollegiate Athletics. Barnes has served on several NCAA committees and was recently selected as a member of the prestigious NCAA men's basketball committee, beginning his five-year term this fall.
Under Andersen's leadership, Utah State football is once again building a winning tradition. Now in his second year as the Aggies' head football coach, Andersen has been key in rejuvenating the USU football program. Among his many priorities in rebuilding the program was to reestablish USU's commitment to in-state recruiting. The number of in-state players on his team has increased from 33 to 45 this season. Andersen has also increased Utah State's numbers with both Polynesian student-athletes as well as LDS return missionaries. Barnes notes that the football team is making a difference both on and off the field with more academic tracking and community outreach participation.
Andersen said turning Utah States football into a winning program is a challenge he relishes. He said he looks forward to helping his team grow into winners athletically, academically and socially.
"With the changes in the landscape of the WAC, it is important that our football program remain stable," Andersen said. "A long-term contract at this time is very important in recruiting young men and in keeping quality assistant coaches. I am proud to be the head football coach at Utah State University and would like to thank President Albrecht and Scott Barnes for this opportunity to be at USU for many years to come."
During his first year at Utah State, Andersen guided the Aggies to a 4-8 record and its most wins since the 2002 season, which included a school-record tying three WAC victories. Furthermore, USU amassed a school-record 5,272 yards of total offense in 2009, while quarterback Diondre Borel set single-season records for total offense with 3,343 yards, and fewest interceptions with four. Additionally, running back Robert Turbin set a single-season school record with 18 touchdowns and 110 points scored and became the first Aggie to rush for 1,000 yards (1,296) since the 2001 season.
Utah State had two players earn all-WAC honors in Andersen's first year as linebacker Bobby Wagner named to the first-team and Turbin was named to the second-team. USU also had 15 players earn academic all-WAC honors in 2009. Wagner ended last season ranking first in the WAC and 22nd in the nation with 115 total tackles.
"Gary has done an exceptional job in positioning our football program for long-term success," Barnes said. "Our student-athletes have reached uncharted territory in terms of academic success and Coach Andersen is absolutely the right man to move us towards being a top-tier football program. I'm ecstatic about his long-term commitment to being with us in Logan."
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