DHR International Leads Head Football Coach Search for Utah State

December 11, 2018 – As the college football season comes to a close for teams not competing in the postseason, expect to see a lot of firing and hiring activity involving coaches.

Schools are expected to continue to turn to search firms to fill the resulting vacancies.

Glenn Sugiyama, managing partner and global sports practice leader at DHR International, assisted in the placement of Gary Andersen as head football coach for Utah State. Matt Wells recently left the school to take on the head coaching job at Texas Tech.

Mr. Andersen, currently associate head coach and a defensive line coach at the University of Utah, was head coach for Utah State from 2009 to 2012 with a record of 26-24. He was the Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2012. In all, Mr. Andersen has been a Division I head coach for 10 years and brings 30 years of coaching experience with him back to Utah State. He has been involved in 12 bowl games, including four New Year’s Day bowls. Following his four years as Utah State’s head coach, Andersen spent two seasons as the head coach at the University of Wisconsin (2013 to 2014) and three years as the head coach at Oregon State University (2015 to 2017) before signing on with the University of Utah in January.

“We welcome Gary and Stacey and their family back to the Utah State family,” said John Hartwell, director of athletics. “His care-factor for his players, coupled with his recruiting philosophy and plan to win, are keys to the continued success of Aggie football. His knowledge of the state of Utah and our program are unparalleled and we feel those attributes will greatly aid in the continued growth and success of Aggie football.”

Noelle Cockett, president of Utah State, also welcomed Mr. Andersen back. “Gary clearly knows football and the blueprint for success at Utah State,” she said. “He is dedicated to the success of his student-athletes in the classroom, on the field of play and in life after football. Gary’s energy and enthusiasm will benefit the football program, athletics department and University, and as importantly, the Aggie fanbase across Cache Valley and beyond.”

Related: Ventura Partners Seeks Football Coach for Kansas State University

The Utah State Aggies compete in the Mountain West Conference of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The team, which began in 1892, has won 12 conference championships in four different conferences during its history, most recently in 2012. Utah State also turned to Mr. Sugiyama to find Craig Smith as head coach of the men’s basketball program in March.

A Leader in Sports Recruitment 

DHR’s sports practice is a global specialty for the firm with capabilities on six continents across all sports-related organizations. These range from Fortune 500 companies and professional sports teams to public and private university athletics. The firm has overseen searches for the University of Pittsburgh, Colorado State University, Fresno State University, San Jose State, Kansas, Syracuse and Quinnipiac University, among others.


DHR Recruits Head Football Coaches for Arkansas and Oregon State
Arkansas and Oregon State both turned to executive recruiter Glenn Sugiyama to find new football coaches. Let’s go inside each search and take a look at why recruitment firms are in high demand to find athletic leadership.


Described by Forbes magazine as “one of the most influential men in college athletics,” Mr. Sugiyama places talent for professional sports organizations and for top academic institutions around the world, including senior sports executives and head coaches. He is considered a human capital expert in the sports industry, and is frequently asked to share his opinions and insights in the media and speak about his experiences internationally.

Among other assignments, Mr. Sugiyama helped recruit head coaches Jeff Brohm at Purdue and Lane Kiffin at Florida Atlantic University last year.

Related: Executive Search Gets ‘On the Ball’ In Sports Recruitment

“Using a search firm to find an AD or head coach brings many benefits to colleges, including speed, coordination and discretion in an industry where all three are vital,” said Mr. Sugiyama. “Search firms can provide many tangible and intangible items in a search process.” In addition to confidentiality, industry expertise, organization and detail, search firms can give an institution “a credible and professional third party” credibility while providing the institution “protection and plausible deniability,” he said.

“Search firms mitigate the risk involved and allow the institution to make the very best hire with as much information and due diligence as possible,” said Mr. Sugiyami. “For a college to attempt to do an important athletic search on their own without the assistance of a search firm would be like them building a stadium without an architect or a contractor.”

Related: Eastman & Beaudine Recruits Head Football Coach for Baylor

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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