Exactly a week after the reports surfaced in earnest, Mike Sanford has officially found a new coaching home.
Utah State confirmed Tuesday that the former Louisville offensive coordinator has been hired as head coach Gary Andersen‘s new running backs/tight ends coach. The addition will be a reunion for Andersen and Sanford, who worked together at Utah in 2004.
“When hiring an assistant coach, you always want to find someone who puts the student-athletes first and is the best coach out there, and Coach Sanford definitely fits both of those,” Andersen said in a statement announcing the hiring. “I am extremely familiar with his coaching style and philosophies from coaching with him as well as coaching against him throughout the years.
“He brings a wealth of coaching knowledge and experience to our program having been at every level from the small college, all the way through to the NFL. He is a great addition to our staff and we’re excited to have him join our Aggie football family.”
Sanford comes to the Aggies after spending the 2010 and part of the 2011 season as the coordinator at Louisville. In early October, Sanford was dismissed from/parted ways with Charlie Strong‘s Cardinals coaching staff.
Prior to his brief stint with the Cardinals, Sanford spent five seasons as the head coach at UNLV. This will also be a homecoming of sorts for Sanford, who was Utah’s coordinator in 2003-04.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah