Joe Lorig, who has 18 years of coaching experience, including eight years as a defensive coordinator and two years as a special teams coordinator, is in his second season at Utah State and first year as safeties coach after coaching the Aggie linebackers in 2014.
In his first season at Utah State, Lorig helped Utah State to the second-most wins in school history with its 10-4 record and its third-straight bowl win with a 21-6 victory against UTEP in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.
During the 2014 season, Lorig coached a pair of Aggie linebackers to first-team all-Mountain West honors in Zach Vigil and Nick Vigil. Zach Vigil was also named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year and a second-team All-American by USA Today Sports, as well as earning All-America honors from three other organizations. Zach Vigil concluded his senior season with 156 tackles, which included 9.0 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss as he ranked seventh nationally in tackles (11.1 pg) and 13th in tackles for loss (1.46 pg).
Utah State’s defense finished the 2014 season ranking among the top 30 in the nation in 10 categories, including ranking first in the Mountain West and 12th in the nation in scoring defense at 19.7 points per game. USU also ranked first in the MW and fourth nationally in both sacks (3.57 pg) and tackles for loss (8.1 pg), second in the MW and eighth in the nation in passes intercepted (19), second in the MW and ninth in the nation in defensive touchdowns (5), second in the MW and 11th in the nation in turnovers forced (30), second in the MW and 17th nationally in passing efficiency defense (111.42), first in the MW and 24th in the nation in rushing defense (130.7 ypg), second in the MW and 25th in the nation in opponents third down conversion percentage (.358), and second in the MW and 30th nationally in total defense (356.1 ypg).
Lorig came to Utah State after spending two seasons at Arizona State where he served as the Sun Devils’ special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach.
In 2013, Lorig coached two cornerbacks who earned various Pac-12 accolades, in Robert Nelson (first team), who finished the year ranking 19th in the nation in interceptions (0.4 pg), and Osahon Irabor (second team). The ASU defense finished the season ranking third in the nation with 21 interceptions.
Lorig also coached placekicker Zane Gonzalez to Freshman All-American honors in 2013. Gonzalez finished the season ranking first in the Pac-12 and fifth in the nation in field goals per game (1.8) and 29th in the nation in field goal percentage (.833), while his 25 made field goals tied the NCAA freshman record.
In 2012, Lorig coached a pair of Pac-12 honorable mention cornerbacks in Irabor and Deveron Carr as the duo combined for 21 passes defended helping Arizona State rank third in the nation in pass defense (167.9 ypg).
Under Lorig, punter Josh Hubner set the school record, led the Pac-12 and was second in the nation for yards per punt (47.1) in 2012. Hubner was named to numerous All-America teams, including Lindy’s (third team) and Sports Illustrated (honorable mention).
Prior to joining the Sun Devils staff, Lorig was the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Central Washington for four seasons (2008-11).
During his time at Central Washington, the Wildcats posted a 34-12 record and won three Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships, to go along with two appearances in the NCAA Division II playoffs. Lorig, whose Wildcat defense routinely placed among the top 10 nationally in total defense, was named the 2010 American Football Coaches Association Division II Assistant Coach of the Year.
In 2009, his defense led the NCAA Division II in scoring defense (11.9 ppg), ranked third nationally in rushing defense (58.6 ypg) and fourth in total defense (249.3 ypg), earning him a spot as a finalist for the FootballScoop.com Division II Coordinator of the Year. His efforts helped the Wildcats finish the year at 12-1, earn a No. 1 national ranking and advance to the NCAA Division II quarterfinals.
In 2007, Lorig served as the linebackers coach at UTEP. Prior to UTEP, Lorig spent eight seasons as an assistant at Idaho State, including serving as defensive coordinator from 2003-06.
Lorig’s coaching career began as an assistant at Western Oregon, where he helped guide his alma mater to the 1997 Columbia Football Association Championship and a berth in the NAIA postseason.
A two-time all-Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges honoree at cornerback at Walla Walla Community College, Lorig played his final two years at Western Oregon, where he was a team captain.
During his coaching career, Lorig has mentored several professional players, including Jared Allen, an NFL All-Pro defensive end; Pago Togafau, who has been a member of four NFL teams; Jeff Charleston, who has been a member of three NFL teams; Adam Bighill, a Division II All-American who was a rookie for Grey Cup champion British Columbia in 2011; Deveron Carr, who played for Tampa Bay in 2013 and Robert Nelson who plays for Cleveland.
Lorig earned both his bachelor’s degree in law enforcement (1995) and his master’s degree in correctional administration (1997) from Western Oregon. A native of Edmonds, Wash., his family includes his wife, Becky, and children: son, Tyler (6), and daughters, Jordan (8) and Emma (4).
JOE LORIG FILE
Coaching History: 2014- Utah State - Linebackers 2012-13 Arizona State - Special Teams Coordinator/Cornerbacks 2008-11 Central Washington - Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator 2007 UTEP - Linebackers 2003-06 Idaho State - Defensive Coordinator 2001-02 Idaho State - Linebackers 1999-2000 Idaho State - Cornerbacks 1997-98 Western Oregon - Secondary
Bowl Games: Utah State - New Mexico, 2014
Arizona State - Holiday, 2013; Kraft Fight Hunger, 2012
Conference Championships: Arizona State - Pac-12 South, 2013 Central Washington - Great Northwest Athletic; 2009, 2010, 2011 Idaho State - Big Sky, 2002 Western Oregon - Columbia Football Association, 1997
Playing Experience: 1993-95 Western Oregon - Cornerback 1991-93 Walla Walla College - Cornerback
Education: 1995 Western Oregon - Law Enforcement (B.S) 1997 Western Oregon - Correctional Administration (M.S)
Family: Wife - Becky; Son - Tyler (5); Daughters - Jordan (7), Emma (3)
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