A top 25 ranking.
Likely double-digit season win total.
Stout defense, explosive offense, amazing coaching staff.
Right now, I have to admit I’m feeling a little like Rip Van Winkle; like I fell asleep and woke up a couple decades later. I never believed an Aggie football season like this would come around during my lifetime. I dreamt of a future conference title and some bowl game appearances, but this is surreal. It’s almost too much to handle.
The incredible transformation of the program has been steady and strong since 2008. That’s the year the University hired athletic director Scott Barnes and head football coach Gary Andersen. It’s no stretch to say that these two men were the catalysts behind the drastic metamorphosis.
Barnes has made building the football program his number one priority ever since he arrived. He’s vamped up the athletic facilities, boosted donor contributions and has found a head coach who shared his vision.
Barnes chose Gary Andersen to head the change on the football field just seven months after he arrived in the Logan. Despite all the wonderful improvements he’s spearheaded, that singular hire may end up the greatest achievement of his tenure.
Andersen turned a program from a laughingstock to arguably the best in the state in just four years. Gary was not the most popular hire when Barnes announced him as head coach, but Aggie fans are thanking their lucky stars for his leadership in Logan. Heck, I might even name my first-born child Gary.
In the midst of all the recent conjecture about a possible departure to a more nationally-prominent gig, Andersen remains adamant he’s in Logan for the long haul. Gary has defended his long-term commitment to the program almost to the point of anger. He will likely have three boys on his football team next year and knows his recruiting success is very much tied to his connections in the state. He’s also stated that “you only need so much money” to live comfortably, and I’m guessing the 3 quarters of a million a year he makes right now suits him just fine.
In short, Aggie fans need not worry about Andersen departing for seemingly greener pastures anytime soon. In fact, I’ll bet my unborn child (Gary) that he stays for at least four more years. Personally, I’d be more worried about Scott Barnes departing.
So, while it’s good for the media to speculate and propagate rumors about a coaching departure, let me be the voice of reason. Don’t fret, Aggie Nation. Gary’s not going anywhere. And the success he’s created and the belief he’s instilled should stay as long as he’s at the helm.