SUU In View (Alumni Magazine - Spring 2003)
Gary Andersen Named New Football Coach
Southern Utah University named Gary Andersen as its head football coach, at a press conference, December 9, 2002. Andersen, 38, takes over the Thunderbird program after spending the last six seasons as assistant head coach at the University of Utah. At the U. of U. Andersen also served as special teams' coordinator and defensive line coach as well as serving in a variety of off-the-field capacities.
Coach Andersen comes to SUU with a wide variety of experience, in several different venues from High School to Jr. College to division 1AA and division 1A. He has coached in Idaho, Arizona, Louisiana, and Utah. Additionally Andersen has coached several individuals who have been named to All Conference and All American teams and other players who have gone on to play in the NFL.
SUU Athletic Director Tom Douple said, "We had a plan when we went looking for a coach and it has paid off. We began our search by drawing up a profile of who we were looking for. We aggressively went after coaches who fit that profile and we found that man in Gary Andersen. He's a guy who played his high school football in Utah, played his college football in Utah and has coached and recruited extensively in Utah. This is a good day for Utah high school football and a great day for Southern Utah University football."
Andersen's previous boss, former U. of U. coach Ron McBride, concurred that the Thunderbirds made a good decision. "Southern Utah made an outstanding choice when they picked Gary to take over their football program," McBride said. "I couldn't think of a better man for the job. He is an outstanding football coach and an outstanding person. In our building [at U. of U] he was the best guy at everything, from grades to compliance to everything else. He's young, ambitious, and smart, plus he's a players' coach who understands players' needs."
Of his appointment Andersen said, "I'm excited to have the opportunity to be a head coach its something I've wanted for a long time Ð and to work with quality kids, with Utah kids, with kids who want to win. There are already over 40 Utah kids on the [SUU] roster and that's a nice base to start with."
Andersen is married to the former Stacy Lambert and they are the parents of three sons, Keegan, Chasen and Hagen. Coach Andersen played high school football at Cottonwood High school in Salt Lake and at the University of Utah, graduating in 1986 with a B.S. in political science.