The Utah State Aggies went to a familiar face to replace defensive coordinator Todd Orlando who took the same position with the Houston Cougars. The Aggies are bringing back Kevin Clune to be their defensive coordinator, the news has been confirmed by The Salt Lake Tribune.
Clune spent five years as the Aggies linebackers coach, and spent the previous season as the defensive coordinator with the Hawaii Warriors. Being a defensive coordinator is nothing new for Clune. Prior to coaching at Utah State he was the defensive coordinator at Weber State between 2005-08 and Southern Utah from 2003-05.
In his first year as defensive coordinator in Hawaii, Clune helped improve the Warriors defense which gave up 26.8 points and 418.2 yards per game, and that was part of the reason that the Warriors improved to 4-9. In 2013, Hawaii allowed 38.8 points and 494.7 yards a game.
Money likely was a factor in his move from Hawaii to Utah State. With the Warriors he was making $160,000 per year, but reports are that Utah State offered $200,000 per season.
Clune was a big reason to help turn around Utah State from being one of the worst programs in all of college football to a team that has now gone to four-straight bowl games.
The linebacking corp has been exceptionally strong for Utah State, and that credit goes to Clune who coached Bobby Wagner, Bojay Filimoeatu and Jack Doughty, all three have spent time in the NFL. He also coached Zach Vigil, Nick Vigil, Jake Doughty and Kyler Fackrell.
This is an exceptional hire for Utah State. They not only bring back one of the key coaches who helped start the successful run that the Aggies are currently enjoying, but he was able improve Hawaii's defense from being one of the worst in the Mountain West to being the middle of the pack in just one year.