Football Game Notes - 09/09/13
Utah State football head coach Gary Andersen held a news conference Monday to talk about the upcoming game at Colorado State.
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Linebacker Highest Selected USU Player Since Rulon Jones In 1980
Kevin Clune, who has 12 years of coaching experience including seven as a coordinator, has been named Utah State's defensive coordinator it was announced Friday by Aggie head coach Matt Wells. Clune replaces Todd Orlando who was recently named the defensive coordinator at Houston.
"I'm really looking forward to returning to Utah State and the opportunity to work with so many of the players and coaches I have in the past," said Clune. "Utah State football has great momentum and I hope to continue leading the young men of the program to even greater achievements."
Clune spent this past season as the defensive coordinator at Hawai'i, as the Rainbow Warriors defense gave up 26.8 points and 418.2 yards per game, an improvement from the 2013 season, when Hawai'i allowed 38.8 points and 494.7 yards a game.
Clune previously spent five years at Utah State (2009-13) as its linebackers coach, helping the Aggies to three-straight bowl games and a 2012 Western Athletic Conference championship.
"I'm really pleased that Kevin Clune is returning to Utah State as our defensive coordinator," said Wells. "Kevin has a tremendous amount of experience with our defense in terms of both terminology and daily operations, and his transition into this position will be very natural.
"Kevin did a tremendous job at Hawai'i improving that defense and I have great confidence that he will continue to do special things here with our Aggie defense moving forward."
Prior to serving as Hawaii's defensive coordinator for the 2014 season, Clune spent the previous five years (2009-13) as Utah State's linebackers coach were he coached all-conference linebackers Bobby Wagner, Jake Doughty, Kyler Fackrell and Zach Vigil. Wagner was a three-time first-team all-WAC selection and concluded his career with 446 tackles, ranking first all-time in league and school history.
During the 2013 season as Utah State's linebackers coach, the Aggie defense ranked first in the Mountain West and seventh in the nation in scoring allowing just 17.1 points per game, the second-fewest allowed by an Aggie defense since 1971. USU also ranked first in the Mountain West and eighth in the nation in rushing defense (106.7 ypg), its fewest allowed since 1968, first in the Mountain West and 12th in the nation in total defense (330.9 ypg), and first in the Mountain West and 15th in the nation in passing efficiency defense (113.2).
Utah State's 2013 defense also ranked sixth in the nation in the red zone, allowing opponents to score just 68.9 percent of the time, including just 19 touchdowns, to rank second nationally. Furthermore, USU's defense ranked seventh in the nation in forcing three-and-outs with 5.6 per game, while its 7.6 tackles per loss per game ranked 10th nationally. USU's defense also ranked 11th nationally in third-down conversions at 32.6 percent.
Utah State's defense finished the 2013 season holding five of its final seven opponents to 14 or fewer points and did not give up more than 24 points in its last seven games. USU also played in back-to-back-to-back bowl games for the first time in school history and won just its third bowl game ever in 2013.
Utah State was also the only team in the nation not to allow a touchdown run of 10 or more yards in 2013, and allowed just two 100-yard rushers, while limiting its opponents to just 13 points following 16 turnovers.
During the 2012 season, Clune helped Utah State's defense rank among the top 15 in the nation in five different statistical categories, including being ranked first in the Western Athletic Conference and seventh in the nation in scoring defense (15.38 ppg). USU also ranked second in the WAC and tied for sixth nationally in sacks (3.23 pg), first in the WAC and 10th in the nation in pass efficiency defense (104.43), second in the WAC and 13th in the country in rushing defense (113.77 ypg), first in the WAC and 15th in the nation in total defense (322.08 ypg), and first in the WAC and 32nd in the nation in passing defense (208.31 ypg).
Utah State's defense also led the WAC and ranked second in the nation in red zone efficiency at 63.6 percent allowing just 13 touchdowns and 15 field goals on 44 trips inside the 20, while blocking two field goals, intercepting six passes, recovering one fumble, and turning the ball over on loss on downs seven times.
Utah State's defense also ranked eighth in the nation forcing 5.08 three-and-outs per game in 2012, while ranking 21st nationally in third down efficiency at 32.88 percent (73-222).
In 2011, Clune helped Utah State lead the WAC in total defense (366.2 ypg), ranking 50th in the nation, as well as ranking second in the league in both rushing defense (127.7 ypg) and tackles for loss (5.9 pg). The rushing defense also ranked 31st in the nation, an improvement of 57 spots from 2010, while the total defense's ranking was an improvement of 52 spots from its 2010 national ranking. The Aggies also were second in the WAC in opponent third-down conversions in 2011 as their opponents converted just 69 third downs on 195 attempts (.354).
Clune came to Utah State after four years as Weber State's defensive coordinator (2005-08), helping the Wildcats to a share of the 2008 Big Sky Conference title and advancing to the quarterfinals of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
During the 2008 season, Clune's defense was fourth in the Big Sky in total defense (363.9 ypg), as well as leading the Big Sky in pass defense (208.4 ypg). Weber State also led the league in pass efficiency defense (109.4), which ranked 17th in FCS.
Under Clune, Weber State's defense was ranked second in the Big Sky in both 2006 and 2007. The 2007 Wildcat defense yielded an average of just 348.4 yards per game. WSU also ranked first in the league in pass defense (212.2 ypg) and third in rushing defense (136.2 ypg).
During his tenure at Weber State, Clune coached 15 all-Big Sky Conference winners, including nine in 2008 and a second-team All-America in 2005 in Brady Fosmark.
Clune also served as defensive coordinator at Southern Utah in 2003 and 2004 until joining the Weber State staff in 2005.
While at Southern Utah, Clune mentored outside linebacker Nick DiPadova, who earned second-team NCAA Division I-AA All-American honors in 2004 and was honorable mention in 2003. Marques Harris also earned third-team NCAA Division I-AA All-American accolades in 2004 as well.
Clune was a graduate assistant coach on the Utah staff in 2001 and 2002 working with both the running backs and linebackers. He also spent time on the football staffs at Occidental College and Fullerton Junior College coaching the defensive line and linebackers as well as the special teams coordinator. Clune also coached at Dos Pueblos High School and Palma High School.
Clune was a defensive lineman at Fullerton JC for one year and spent one season at the University of San Diego.
Clune earned his bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Cal State Fullerton in 2000.
Kevin Clune File