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Matt Wells named Utah St. head coach

The Utah St. Aggies officially hired Offensive Coordinator Matt Wells head coach Thursday after reports surfaced early Thursday morning. Well will replace outgoing head coach Gary Anderson, who has accepted a job at Wisconsin.

Utah Stae head coach Matt Wells (left)
Utah Stae head coach Matt Wells (left)
RyanTalbot/Utah State Athletics

The Utah St. Aggies officially announced the hiring of Offensive Coordinator Matt Wells Thursday morning after the Salt Lake Tribune reported Thursday morning that USU would hire Wells to replace outgoing head coach gary Anderson. Uta St. will officially name Wells as head coach at a press conference Thursday evening at 4 pm. in Ogden, Utah.

In a quote from the official press release, Wells said:

“We will continue to emphasize the physicality and importance of the run game that we have established, and will place greater emphasis on the vertical passing game and taking shots down field. We want to be a dynamic offense that is up-tempo and aggressive in all areas that is exciting to watch and for our players to play in.”

The Tribune opined Thursday morning:

As coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Wells helped improve Utah State’s passing game and mentored starting quarterback Chuckie Keeton. Wells also has strong ties to recruits in Utah State’s incoming class.

Wells is only in his first year as offensive coordinator and second year at Utah St., coming to the Aggies from the Louisville Cardinals, where he was quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator. Wells, who was a thre-year letterman at quarterback for the UtAgs, also had stints coaching at the New Mexico Lobos and Tulsa Golden Hurricane before returning to Utah State.

In his report today, blogger Tom Fornelli said the move was a no-brainer.

It's hard to argue with the success that Utah State has had on offense since Wells returned to the school. The team's passing efficiency improved from 108.18 in 2010 to 151.93 in his first season coaching the quarterbacks. As offensive coordinator, Wells' offense averaged 34.9 points per game.

Wells' resume as an offensive coach is touted in his official profile on the Utah State athletics site as well:

Under Wells' guidance, Utah State's passing efficiency improved from 108th in FBS in 2010 to No. 18 in 2011 (151.89). The Aggies' quarterbacks also improved in fewest interceptions thrown, tying for 70th in 2010 to being seventh in 2011 with six and was the fewest in the nation of any bowl-eligible team.

As the quarterbacks coach in 2011, Wells helped Utah State's offense established school records for total offense (5,945 yards), rushing yards (3,675), total points (437) and total touchdowns (60).

Anderson was in his fourth season coaching Utah State before moving on to accept the head coaching position with the Wisconsin Badgers Wednesday. Anderson, who came to Utah State from the Utah Utes, where he spent five season as assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and defensive line coach. Anderson finished his four-year career with the Aggies with a record of 26-24, including an 11-2 mark in 2012.

Anderson finished his career with Utah St. by leading the Aggies to a 41-15 win over the Toledo Rockets of the Mid-American Conference in the famous Idaho Potato Bowl last Saturday in Boise, Idaho.