University Affairs

USU Terminates Football Coach Employment Agreement

Editor's note: This story was updated on July 18 with the following statement from Utah State University regarding Blake Anderson's employment.

Utah State University notified Blake Anderson on Thursday that it is moving forward with terminating for cause his employment agreement.

This action is based on significant violations of his contractual obligations related to USU’s employee reporting requirements. These reporting requirements include a prohibition on employees outside the USU Office of Equity from investigating issues of sexual misconduct, including domestic violence. Additionally, Anderson failed to manage the team in a manner that reflects USU’s academic values.

Consistent with Anderson’s employment agreement, the university provided him with written notice of its intent to terminate and 14 days to respond. To USU’s disappointment, Anderson’s response failed to acknowledge his responsibilities as a USU employee and as a head coach and instead sought to make excuses and unsuccessfully recast the clear language of USU’s policies.

Regarding the termination, USU President Elizabeth Cantwell said: “While I recognize that today’s decision has a significant impact, it is the only one that could be made based on the facts. We are committed to moving forward in building a winning Athletics program grounded in student success and integrity.”

Original Story (Published July 2, 2024)

Utah State University officials informed Head Football Coach Blake Anderson on Tuesday of their intent to terminate his employment agreement for actions taken in spring 2023. These actions violated both his employment agreement and university policy. Under his employment agreement Coach Anderson will have 14 days to respond.

This decision comes after a thorough external review of alleged noncompliance with university policies that implement Title IX, which require full and timely reporting of disclosures of sexual misconduct — including domestic violence — and prohibit employees from investigating disclosures of sexual misconduct themselves.

Associate Vice President & Deputy Athletic Director of External Affairs Jerry Bovee (Interim Athletic Director, 2023) and Utah State Football Director of Player Development & Community Austin Albrecht have also been dismissed for violations of university policies related to the reporting of sexual and domestic violence and failures of professional responsibilities.

Consistent with Utah’s public records laws and USU policies, the university is not able to release any additional information until all opportunities to respond and/or appeal have expired, which is a minimum of 14 days.

This morning, USU Vice President & Director of Athletics Diana Sabau met with the student athletes and staff of the football program to inform them of these changes and to share that Defensive Coordinator & Defensive Ends Coach Nate Dreiling will serve as USU’s interim head football coach for the 2024 season.

In an email to faculty and staff this morning, President Cantwell and Sabau shared the importance of taking these actions:

“As leaders, we are responsible for ensuring allegations of USU policy violations are investigated. Today’s actions are the result of a thorough external investigation, and we believe the evidence demands immediate action. Our job is to fearlessly hold ourselves and others accountable for their conduct and to make sure that, for the sake of our students and our community, we are living the values of our university. While recognizing the impact of these decisions on our student athletes and football program, we will continue to take the steps necessary to deliver a respectful, transparent and winning culture at Utah State University.”

CONTACT

Amanda DeRito
Associate VP of Strategic Communications
University Marketing and Communications
435-797-2759
Amanda.derito@usu.edu


TOPICS

Athletics 203stories Football 78stories

Comments and questions regarding this article may be directed to the contact person listed on this page.

Next Story in University Affairs

See Also