Utah State coach enjoying simple life in Logan

Utah State coach enjoying simple life in Logan

LOGAN, Utah (AP) Gary Andersen probably could be settling into a new job right now at a more prominent Division I program, making bigger bucks with more highly touted recruits.

Instead, the coach of the 18th-ranked Utah State Aggies is gearing up to play Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl while continuing to enjoy the view from his balcony overlooking Cache Valley in rural northern Utah.

Right beside him are his prized Great Danes, appropriately named Aggie and Big Blue. And don't forget the Utah State flag flying outside his home and the Aggies logo tattooed on his right shoulder.

``I hear people say, `You're nuts,''' Andersen said of his recent announcement that he had pulled his name out of the tempting coaching merry-go-round despite being a hot prospect. ``There's a lot more to life than money.''

A quick glance at Andersen's office in Logan shows where his priorities are - on his family and his kids, both his own and those who play for him at the school 90 minutes north of Salt Lake City, where Andersen was born.

His favorite item in the room is the military case containing the flag that was draped over his father's casket, front and center next to his computer.

It was his father who supported him as a walk-on at Ricks College when no one else wanted him. It was his father who helped him follow a crazy dream to coach even after he drove cross-country in 1988 for a $10,000-a-year job as an assistant at Southeastern Louisiana - only to see the program cut after six months.

``He was the driving force and he (still) helps me big-time when I make the decisions I've got to make,'' said Andersen, 48.

A close second are photos of twin sons Chasen and Hagen in Logan High School football uniforms, making plays during a 14-0 season that culminated with a 4A state championship.

Both are headed to Utah State in January and will be freshmen in 2013, joining older brother Keegan, a tight end who will be a junior next season.

Jars filled with candy sit atop Andersen's desk, and the cupboards are full of crackers, cookies and that college staple, Top Ramen.

``The kids filter through here all day long,'' Andersen said. ``It's a family atmosphere and I want that for my assistant coaches, too.''

It's why players know where Andersen lives, and are welcome at his home anytime.

Over Thanksgiving, he and wife Stacey had about four dozen players over for dinner, catering not cooking, but making sure there was even soul food for members of his culturally diverse team.

``You're going to have a hard time pulling her out of this place,'' Andersen said of his wife. ``She always wanted to be around the kids and can do that here and feel like she's making a difference.''

Most would say the same about Andersen, who was hired Dec. 4, 2008, to take over just as the Utah Utes were gearing up for the 2009 Sugar Bowl. Andersen was Utah's defensive coordinator under longtime friend Kyle Whittingham, and would go back and forth for a month between Logan and Salt Lake and eventually on to New Orleans as the BCS-busting Utes trampled Alabama to cap a perfect season.

Afterward, Andersen settled in at Utah State, intent on rebuilding the Aggies after they had gone a combined 9-38 the previous four seasons.

He did it his way, battling through a pair of 4-8 records until turning the corner with a come-from-behind win over Hawaii in 2011 and closing the season with five straight victories before a berth in the Potato Bowl.

Now the Aggies, who join the Mountain West next year, are headed back to Boise - with Andersen under contract through 2018.

He said it's not unrealistic that he could stay at Utah State forever.

He loves the type of player he gets to recruit, and living in a town known for its blue-collar work ethic.

``It's how I was raised and what I believe ... how you can develop a kid and push him to become a hard worker and tough-minded,'' Andersen said. ``That's what the Cache Valley is, a small community where you're accountable for your actions daily. I get to coach the kind of kids I like to coach and for me the Cache Valley is what I grew up in. It is what Salt Lake City was when I was 8 to 18 years old. A part of me likes that.''

He enjoys living the simple life, with Sunday night family dinners, and a new tradition started last year of a one-week vacation. After last season it was San Diego and the Wild Animal Park and Sea World.

He's not sure yet about this year.

``They want to go on a cruise, but I know I'll get seasick,'' Andersen said.

It's an honest answer from a coach the players trust.

Star defensive back Will Davis recalled the recruiting trip he took to Logan about two years ago.

He still planned to visit Hawaii, but Andersen convinced him to commit right then and there.

``He said, `I'll take you to Hawaii and we'll go down there, get the win and beat them up a little,''' Davis said of a game on the Aggies' 2011 schedule. ``He just sold me. I put my trust in a man who's very trustworthy. Sure enough, we went to Hawaii and we beat them.

``He didn't guarantee me a championship,'' said Davis, a senior on a team that won the Western Athletic Conference title this year with a 10-2 record. ``He just guaranteed me I'd be part of a change. He knew we were going to turn it around. His vision is beyond this year. I can't even fathom to think what he's thinking in that head. He has something huge in mind for Utah State. But if he does go on (eventually), I don't think anyone would be mad because we want the best for him.''

Not only did UMBC own Virginia on the court, they owned the Twitter world

USA Today Sports Images

Not only did UMBC own Virginia on the court, they owned the Twitter world

They said it could not be done, no No. 16 seed would ever beat a No. 1 seed. The odds would be too great and the obstacle too steep.

As we all know, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), just proved that all wrong.


All season the top-ranked Virginia Cavaliers dominated their opponents. They dictated pace, held opponents to less than 55 points, and smothered teams by forcing turnovers.

The roles filled on Friday evening and with an up-tempo 74-54 victory, UMBC proved the impossible.

The hardwood is not the only place that UMBC owned last night, they grabbed headlines, attention, and thousands of fans (literally) on Twitter.

Someone grabbed a hold of the UMBC Athletics Twitter account and took the upset by storm.

It all started when Seth Davis poked the bear:

and they were relentless.

Oh yeah, I forgot Seth Davis:

Then they started get snarky and owning everyone:

As someone the graduated from a commuter school, I can relate:

More Seth Davis:

Back to Twitter:

I guess that application wave actually was a thing or people wanted to know what ‘UMBC’ stood for:

Game. Set. History.

Now here come the shots against other schools:

Yeah, don’t jump on this bandwagon Terps fans. Stay in College Park:

I did not take long for other social media icons to start reaching out:

Oh and Seth Davis eventually did apologize:

Started the night at 5,588 and jumped up to 51.7 K. No one cares what you think Steven:

If you liked what you saw thank Zach Seidel, not an intern, not a student athlete who provided those tweets last night.

Zach, you just earned yourself a raise and we’ll see you in the Second Round.

NCAA Tournament 2018: UMBC vs. Kansas State Second Round, time, TV channel, how to watch

USA Today Sports Images

NCAA Tournament 2018: UMBC vs. Kansas State Second Round, time, TV channel, how to watch

After shocking the world and doing what no other team has done before, the UMBC Retrievers are not done yet.

Yes, UMBC became the first No. 16 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed. And against a Virginia team that was the only dominant squad in all of college basketball, no one expected it (except Troy Machir).

Remember the Retrievers barely made it to the NCAA tournament with a buzzer-beater from Jairus Lyles.  

Lyles scored a game-high 28 points in their historic upset as the team went 50 percent from behind the arc with 12 three-pointers.

Up next they play No. 9 Kansas State who looked shaky in their First Round win over Creighton. Can the Cinderella run for the Retrievers continue? Either way anything they do would be a first for a No. 16 seed going forward.

Virginia and UNC UMBC will match up on Sunday in Charlotte, NC. 

Here is the NCAA Tournament information:


UMBC vs. Kansas State How to Watch

What: 2018 NCAA Tournament Second Round, South Region

Who: No. 16 UMBC (25-10, 12-4 America East) vs. No. 9 Kansas State (23-11, 10-8 Big 12)

When: 7:45 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 18.

Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina

TV Channel: TruTV

Online Stream:  March Madness Live on

TV Announcers: TBA Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Grant Hill (analyst), Bill Raftery (analyst), Tracy Wolfson (reporter)

Twitter: @UVAMensHoops, @KStateMBB


UMBC vs. Kansas State Bracket Analysis

How They Got Here: UMBC (Auto-bid, America East Champions), Kansas State (at-large)

Previous Meeting: First Meeting

Next Round: Winner of No. 5 Kentucky vs. No. 13 Buffalo

South Region Bracket:

No. 16 UMBC vs. No. 9 Kansas State
No. 5 Kentucky vs. No. 13 Buffalo

No. 11 Loyola Chicago vs. No. 3 Tennessee
No. 7 Nevada vs. No. 2 Cincinnati

UMBC vs. Kansas State Betting Spread, Lines & Odds

Favorites: N/A
Over/Under: N/A
Money Line: N/A
Against The Spread: UMBC is 4-1 ATS this season, Kansas State is 15-16 ATS.

Enter the NBC Sports Washington Bracket Challenge presented by ChasenBoscolo and compete against Tony Massenburg and Walt Williams for a chance to win big.