Anderson Wows at Press Conference

Blake Anderson's morning drive to work was interrupted by a phone call at 6:30, 30 minutes before he was due for a meeting with the North Carolina Tar Heels coaching staff.

"They said turn the car around, the plane will be there to pick you up at 7:30,'' said Anderson, who was introduced as 30th head coach in Arkansas State football history at a Thursday afternoon press conference. "I said I have a wife and three kids, you don't know what it is like at my house."

The Andersons made their appointed and by late morning they were in Jonesboro, where Blake, 45 in March, will take over one of the rising football programs in the country.

"This is my dream job,'' he said.

"I'm ecstatic to be here at Arkansas State. This's program's recent accomplishments are very impressive. There is a great tradition here and the fan base is outstanding, so my family and I and excited to be a part of all the wonderful things happening at Arkansas State.''

Anderson, who has been from New Mexico to North Carolina in his 13 year career, said he wanted the job and had no problems with the buyout, which runs $3 million the first two years of the five-year contract and a $2 million the next two. There is a $1 million buyout for year five.

"It is not an issue,'' he said. "I want the players we recruit to know they will have a coach who will be here when they get here."

A product of Hubbard, Texas attended coach at Baylor and Sam Houston State. He has coached at Eastern New Mexico, Howard Payne, Trinity Valley, New Mexico, Middle Tennessee, Louisiana-Lafayette, Southern Miss and UNC.

The past two seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at North Carolina the Tar Heels have averaged 35 points a game and won an Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division title and a berth in the Belk Bowl this season. Under Anderson's direction, North Carolina averaged 432.4 total yards per game this season after setting the school record the previous year with 485.6 yards per contest

The A-State hiring firm of system president Dr. Chuck Welch and campus chancellor Dr. Tim Hudson, and athletic director Terry Mohajir were on the flight that left Jonesboro Wednesday, spent the night in South Carolina and returned to Jonesboro late Thursday morning with the new coach and his family.

At his press conference, the new coach showed personality and determination and thrilled to be in Jonesboro. He mentioned he was actually born in Jonesboro and today was his 21st wedding anniversary.

"I know you all love me know,'' he said. "I haven't lost a game."

Mohajir said he was impressed with his offensive style, and his ability to evaluate and develop talent.

"This is a league where whoever has the best quarterback wins,'' he said. "I like the way he develops quarterbacks. That was a criteria I was looking for."

He also said he talked with head coaches and coordinators from all levels, the NFL down, about the position. The interview process came down to four, but he would not name those.

"This program is strong,'' he said. "And because it is strong we had a national search.

"I had a list of criteria, about 15 things on there, and he met all but one. He was not a high school coach."

Anderson promised a fast-paced offense for the Red Wolves and vicious players on defense.

"We will be fun to watch," he said. "You come to the games you will not be bored."