Alex Gerke (pronounced gur-Key) is entering his second season as the Aggies' offensive line coach.
"Alex has spent years coaching the spread offense, so he is very knowledgeable and well-rounded on the type of offense we're going to run here at Utah State," USU head coach Gary Andersen said. "He is an excellent offensive line coach and an exceptional recruiter, with significant experience recruiting the state of Utah, California, as well as Polynesian players in addition to all over the country. His coaching beliefs are the same as mine as far as taking quality care of the current players in the program and recruiting high-caliber players for our program."
In 2009, the Gerke-led Aggie offensive line anchored a USU offense that set a school record for total offense with 5,272 yards, and also paved the way for a Utah State rushing attack that amassed 2,311 rushing yards, the first time over 2,000 rushing yards since 2,028 in 1975 and the most since 2,701 a year earlier in 1974. The Aggie linemen anchored an Aggie offense that posted top 15 marks in school history in 14 different categories.
"I think that Utah State has the right guy for their program in Gary Andersen. He understands Utah and knows what type of players to recruit here to make a successful program. I look forward to being a spoke in the wheel as we get the USU program rolling towards continued success," Gerke said.
Gerke is familiar with the Western Athletic Conference, spending the 2008 season at Hawai'i, coaching the running backs and assisting with the offensive line. He helped guide the Warriors to a 7-7 record, losing to Notre Dame, 49-21, in the Hawai'i Bowl.
Prior to his stint at Hawai'i, Gerke spent two seasons at Weber State. At Weber State, Gerke also coached with current USU linebackers coach Kevin Clune and defensive line coach Chad Kauha'aha'a.
"I'm excited to be back in Utah," Gerke said. "I have a strong affinity for the state, I love it. I'm extremely honored to help Utah State achieve its goals for success."
While at Hawai'i, Gerke helped coach three-time first-team all-WAC honoree John Estes, who was on the 2008 Rimington Award Watch List for best center, the Outland Trophy Watch List for best interior lineman and the Lombardi Award Watch List for best lineman/linebacker. Estes was a three-time Rimington Award Watch List member.
At Hawai'i, Gerke also coached running back Daniel Libre, who in limited action, led UH with 443 yards on 99 carries and six TD's.
At Weber State, Gerke coached right tackle Dave Hale, who earned All-America honors for Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) and Dimitri Tsoumpas, the second overall pick in the 2008 Canadian Football League Draft. The WSU offensive line allowed only 12 sacks and its offense featured the Big Sky's leading rusher.
Gerke's coaching career began in 1985 at South High School in Salt Lake City, where he coached both the offensive and defensive line. The following year, he went to Golden West Junior College to serve as the assistant offensive line coach and weight training coach.
In 1994, Gerke returned to the state of Utah where he coached the offensive and defensive line at East HS in Salt Lake City. The next year, he was a guest coach with the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders before returning to coach the offensive and defensive lines at Hunter HS in Salt Lake City for three years.
Gerke served as a graduate assistant for Utah in 1998, coaching the Utes' offensive tackles and tight ends for two years. In 2000, he joined the Cal Poly staff as offensive line coach, mentoring All-American Dustin Kroeker. The Mustangs ranked 15th in Division I-AA in passing offense and quarterback Seth Burford ranked sixth in passing efficiency.
Gerke's stint with Cal Poly was a short one as the following year he returned to Utah's staff to serve as offensive line coach for two years. Gerke returned to Golden West and was head coach from 2003-05. From 2003-05, Gerke also worked with NFL Draft Prospects for Athletes' Performance.
Additionally, Gerke has also coached several players who have earned All-America accolades and have gone on to play professionally. Notables include Jordan Gross (Utah), a 2003 first round draft choice of the Carolina Panthers and Outland Trophy runner-up. Chris Kemoeatu (Utah) was a sixth-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers, while Ed Taamu (Utah) was a 2002 fourth round pick by Minnesota. Glen Parker (Golden West JC), an All-American at Arizona, later played for the New York Giants, Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs. Alfred Pupunu (South High) was a member of the San Diego Chargers Super Bowl team and also played for the Chiefs and Giants.
Gross and Doug Kaufusi, both of Utah, were named to the Mountain West 10th Anniversary Football Team, and were both Gerke coached.
Gerke, a native of Westminster, Calif., was a two-year starter on the offensive line at Golden West Junior College in 1980-81. In 1982 he signed with Utah where he was a two-year offensive lineman.