Gary Andersen returns to the Utah Utes

Gary Andersen returns to the Utah Utes. (File photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) — The Utah Utes announced Tuesday morning that former University of Utah football player and assistant coach Gary Andersen will rejoin the coaching staff as an associate head coach and defensive assistant.

This job will mark Andersen's third stint and 12th season with the U of U when the new NCAA rule allowing a 10th assistant coach goes into effect on Jan. 9.

"We're looking forward to Gary rejoining our staff," said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham. "Gary brings a wealth of high-level coaching experience to the program, including serving as the head coach at two Power Five schools. During his previous time on our staff, he developed some of the best defensive linemen in Utah history. In addition, he is an excellent recruiter and motivator and understands what it takes to win at this level."

Andersen spent nine years away from the U of U as the head coach of Utah State (2009-12), Wisconsin (2013-14) and Oregon (2015-17). As head coach, Andersen accomplished a Western Athletic Conference championship in 2012 with Utah State and a Big Ten Conference Western Division title with Wisconsin in 2014.

Andersen's first job with the Utes was as a defensive line coach from 1997-2002 under then head coach Ron McBride. From 2001-02 he also worked as the assistant head coach.

After one year as the head coach at Southern Utah in 2003, Andersen came back to the U of U in 2004 as Urban Meyer's defensive line coach.

From 2005-08 he was Kyle Whittingham's defensive coordinator. After Utah's win over Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl, Andersen left for the head coaching job at Utah State.

"Returning to the Utah football family is something my wife Stacey and I are very excited about," said Andersen. "Having an opportunity to coach at your alma mater is somewhat unusual and having the opportunity to do it again is certainly special. Kyle Whittingham is a great coach and I look forward to working alongside him again. I am fired up to meet the players and go to work."

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