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  Gary Andersen
Gary Andersen

Player Profile
Position:
Defensive Line/Special Teams

Experience:
4th/10th year

Assistant Head Coach Defensive Coordinator/DL
4th/10th year

Coaching Experience
2004- Utah

2005
Defensive Coordinator
Assistant Head Coach
Defensive Line
2004
Defensive Line
2003 - Southern Utah
Head Coach
1997-2002 - Utah
2002
Assistant Head Coach
Defensive Line
Special Teams Coord.
2001
Assistant Head Coach
Defensive Tackles
Strong Side Ends
Special Teams Coord.
1997-00
Defensive Tackles
Strong Side Ends
1995-96 - Northern Arizona
Assistant Head Coach
Defensive Line/Special Teams
1994-95 - Park City HS (Utah)
Head Coach
1992-94 - Idaho State
Defensive Line
1989-92 - Ricks College
Offensive Line
1988 - Southeastern Louisiana
Assistant Head Coach
Offensive Coordinator

Bowl Experience
1999 - Las Vegas Bowl
2001- Las Vegas Bowl
2004 (2005)- Fiesta Bowl
2005- Emerald Bowl
2006- Armed Forces Bowl

With nine years of experience as a Utah assistant coach, Gary Andersen is second only to head coach Kyle Whittingham in terms of longevity and rank on the staff. Since 2005, Andersen has served in a tri-role as Whittingham's assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and defensive line coach. The promotion came a year after he returned to the Ute staff as the defensive line coach.

In his current capacity, Andersen has directed a Ute defense that finished in the top three in the league in scoring defense in each of the past two years. The Utes ranked No. 2 in both scoring and total defense in 2005. Last season, Utah led the MWC (and ranked No. 22 in the nation) in turnovers gained. The Utes finished second in the MWC in rushing defense in 2006. Andersen also plays a key role in Utah's recruiting efforts, and in 2005, Rivals.com named him the nation's No. 1 non-BCS recruiter.

Andersen, who has been hired or retained by three different head coaches at Utah (Ron McBride, Urban Meyer and Whittingham), first joined the U. staff in 1997 and spent five years coaching the defensive tackles and strong side ends. In 2001, he was elevated to assistant head coach and added special teams to his duties. In 2002, he assumed responsibility for the entire defensive line.

After the 2002 season, he accepted the head coaching job at Southern Utah, where his 4-7 record in 2003 bettered the three previous years combined. He turned a program that had finished 102nd in the nation in the final 2002 I-AA Gridiron Power Index (used to determine playoff selection), into the No. 36-ranked team in his only year.

Utah's rise into the Top 25 lured Andersen back to his alma mater and he played an important role in Utah's record-setting 2004 team that went 12-0 and played in the Fiesta Bowl.

Andersen's resume boasts nine first-team all-conference players, two Mountain West Conference defensive players of the year (John Frank in 1999 and Eric Weddle in 2005 and 2006), and a Consensus All-American (Weddle in 2006). Other Andersen-coached first-teamers are: Jason Kaufusi, Garrett Smith, Pene Talamaivao, Sione Pouha, Steve Fifita, Spencer Toone and Kelly Talavou.

Players drafted by NFL teams after playing for Andersen include Richard Seals, Frank, Lauvale Sape, Pouha, Jonathan Fanene, Weddle and Paul Soliai. He also has seen several former players make NFL rosters as free agents: Andy Bowers, Ma'ake Kemoeatu, Josh Savage, Talamaivao, Fifita and Talavou.

Andersen began his coaching career in 1988 as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Southeastern Louisiana. From 1989-92, he coached the offensive line at Ricks College. Andersen's next move was to Idaho State, where he served as the defensive line coach from 1992-94.

He was the head coach at Park City High School in Park City, Utah, for one year before returning to college coaching. Andersen spent the 1995-96 seasons as the assistant head coach, defensive line and special teams coach at Northern Arizona.

Andersen coached 12 Division I-AA All-Americans (11 during his time with the Big Sky and one at SUU). Among them was 1996 Division I-AA punt return leader Rickey Pearsall.

RECRUITING AREA
Utah

PLAYING CAREER
Andersen played center for Utah from 1985-86 after earning first-team juco All-America honors at Ricks College in 1984. He played high school ball at Cottonwood High in Salt Lake City.

EDUCATION
Utah, 1986, Bachelor's in political science

PERSONAL DATA
Hometown: Salt Lake City
Birthdate: Feb. 19, 1964
Family: Married to the former Stacey Lambert. Three children: Keegan and twins Chasen and Hagen.

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