For the second time in as many years, Utah State Athletics has announced a contract extension for head football coach Matt Wells. The revised contract will keep Wells at USU through the 2019 season.
"It is extremely important to us that we keep Matt and his staff at Utah State long-term, and I know in my conversations with him this is exactly what he wants," said interim AD Jana Doggett. "We know what we have in Coach Wells and his commitment to our student-athletes continues to be tremendous. Matt has deep roots here as a former Aggie quarterback and he conveys his passion for our great university on a daily basis."
Along with Wells' contract extension, the new deal also calls for continued salary increases for assistant coaches.
"I am very appreciative of the support shown by my University and President (Stan) Albrecht, and in our staff and myself," said Wells. "I am extremely honored to coach here at my alma mater and I'm as motivated as ever to reset the culture daily that has been established here at Utah State in our football program. We will continue to work hard toward our goals of graduating our student-athletes on time, and competing for and winning Mountain West championships.”
Wells has wasted little time putting his stamp on the Aggie football program as he has led the Aggies to a 19-9 record during his first two years as head coach, including a 13-3 Mountain West record. Those 19 wins are a school-record by a USU coach in his first two seasons.
Wells also led Utah State to just its second-ever 10-win season this past year with a 10-4 mark, culminating with a 21-6 win against UTEP in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. Overall, it was USU’s third-straight bowl win and fourth-straight bowl game appearance, both of which are school records.
During the 2014 season, Wells mentored 15 players who earned 16 all-Mountain West honors, which were the most in the league and tied for the third-most in school history. Furthermore, USU had six first-team all-Mountain West selections, which were also the most in the conference.
Wells also coached the 2014 Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year in senior linebacker Zach Vigil who earned second-team All-American honors from USA Today Sports. Overall, Vigil is just the 11th player in school history to earn conference player of the year honors and just the 13th player in school history to be named a first-or second-team All-American, including the first linebacker to be recognized this highly.
In his first year in charge of the Utah State program, Wells was named the 2013 Mountain West Coach of the Year as he set the school record for wins by a first-year head coach as the Aggies finished the season with a 9-5 mark, tying the 1960 and 1961 teams for the second-most wins in school history. USU also went 7-1 in Mountain West play, winning the Mountain Division of the conference and playing in the inaugural Mountain West Championship game.
Wells, who is the 17th-youngest head coach at the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level and one of just 14 coaches to lead his alma mater, is just the second Utah State graduate to be appointed its head football coach joining Chris Pella, who graduated from USU in 1965 and coached the Aggies from 1983-85.
Along with all of its accomplishments on the field, Utah State has been just as successful in the classroom under Wells as 21 players earned academic all-Mountain West honors in 2014, while all 41 seniors over the past two years have graduated from the University, marking the seventh year in a row that USU has graduated every senior in its program.