Sep 5, 2020; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Arkansas State Red Wolves head coach Blake Anderson during the second half against the Memphis Tigers  at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Anderson departs Arkansas State, set to become Utah State coach

Blake Anderson is leaving Arkansas State to become the coach at Utah State, according to multiple reports on Thursday.

Arkansas State confirmed Anderson’s departure and named offensive coordinator Keith Heckendorf interim coach.

Anderson had a 51-37 record in seven seasons at Arkansas State. The Red Wolves made bowl games in his first six seasons before going 4-7 this year.

“We appreciate Coach Anderson’s contributions to our program,” athletic director Terry Mohajir said in a statement. “He is the only head coach in our FBS history to win two conference championships, and he played for a third while also leading us to six bowl games. We wish him the best moving forward.”

Anderson will be taking over a Utah State program that is just 1-5 entering Saturday’s season-ending contest at Colorado State.

The Aggies fired coach Gary Andersen in early November after three losses by a combined 114-29. Frank Maile is 1-2 as interim coach.

Anderson was reportedly looking for a fresh start as he continues to attempt to move on emotionally following the death of his wife, Wendy, in August of 2019 after a battle with breast cancer. Wendy Anderson was 49.

Wendy Anderson’s fight became national news. The Red Wolves played at Georgia a few weeks later and the fans turned the stadium into a memorial for her with people sporting pink instead of the usual Bulldogs’ red.

Mohajir said Arkansas State will conduct a national search to identify a new coach.

–Field Level Media