UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | April 18, 2024

Utah Tech’s new football head coach sets goals for upcoming season

Utah Tech University and the football program welcomes Lance Anderson as he became the new head coach. With this fresh start for the team and with the upcoming season approaching in 227 days, people can expect to see new changes to the football program on the horizon. Miki Akiyama | Sun News Daily

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Following a disappointing 2-9 season for Utah Tech University, a new head football coach was named for the upcoming season. 

Athletic Director Ken Beazer gave praises to former head coach, Paul Peterson, throughout the process of naming a new head coach. Peterson was the coach who led the Trailblazers through their transition from the Division II level to the Division I Football Championship Series level. Making the transition is a difficult task for any coach, and Beazer said he was thankful that Peterson made the transition.

Beazer said, ultimately, Utah Tech decided that a new direction was needed for the football program and Dec. 8, former Stanford Defensive Coordinator Lance Anderson was named as the next Utah Tech head football coach.

At the press conference announcing Anderson’s hire, Beazer said, “No less than 100 had interest in this [the head coach position], and I probably talked to no less than two dozen individuals.”

Beazer said that during the hiring process, Anderson’s experience stood out, including his 16 years of coaching at Stanford in several different capacities and his experience as a senior analyst at Boise State last year.

Beazer praised Anderson’s mastery of designing and calling game plans at a high level in big games, and his recruiting and talent development skills expanded during eight years as recruiting coordinator at Stanford.

Anderson’s main goal this upcoming season is to build the program.

”Before we talk about X’s and O’s or schemes, we need to build a winning culture,” Anderson said.

Anderson said he wanted a culture consisting of a hard-working, disciplined, tough and physical team that always gives great effort. A team that cares, trusts and plays for each other.

“When you do things right as a football program, the wins are going to follow,” Anderson said. “They are going to come, so the most important thing is building that winning culture.” 

Jamison Clark, running back coach and recruiting coordinator, said he was immediately impressed with Anderson’s love and passion for the game.

Both Clark and Anderson have been on the road recruiting for the upcoming season. The timing of Anderson’s hire gave him plenty of time to recruit players needed to succeed next year. After Anderson was hired in December, he was able to sign a large recruiting class to end the year including:

-two offensive linemen

-two wide receivers

-two running backs

-two safeties

-one defensive back

Since then, they have signed a two-star transfer quarterback from Syracuse to add to their growing recruiting class.

On top of that, both Anderson and Clark said several transfers are coming to Utah Tech that will be announced in the upcoming weeks. Anderson said getting a player out of the transfer portal with experience who can help the team immediately is needed.

This upcoming season is Utah Tech’s first full season at the FCS level. They will be playing all 12 games, and they will be eligible for postseason play for the first time at the FCS level. With this prospect, both Anderson and Beazer have high expectations for the team.

Beazer said every year, the team has to have a realistic expectation that winning the conference is possible. Injuries and other things happen, and it is impossible to win the conference every season, but there still needs to be a belief among players and coaches that it is possible.

“I really, truly believe that we are going to build something special here, and I really think you want to get in on the front end,” Anderson said.