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Who Is Utah State Football’s Interim Head Coach Nate Dreiling

Jul 10, 2024, 11:26 AM

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utah state end zone pylon Nate Dreiling

LAS VEGAS, Nevada— The Utah State football program is reeling after head coach Blake Anderson and others associated with the program and University were placed on leave, with an expectation of termination, on July 2. In steps first-year USU coach Nate Dreiling after he was named interim head coach for the 2024 season.

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

“Defensive Coordinator & Defensive Ends Coach Nate Dreiling will serve as our interim head coach for the 2024 season,” Director of Athletics Diana Sabau said in a statement. “Nate brings a wealth of experience to this role, and we are confident that he is the right person to lead us through this transition.”

RELATED: USU Intends To Terminate Blake Anderson As Head Football Coach

Dreiling was handed the reins precisely 60 days before USU opened the regular season at home against Robert Morris.

Dreiling’s difficulty is exacerbated by an added transfer portal window. Utah State must wait 14 days from Anderson’s dismissal before formalizing his termination. According to ESPN, if a head coach is fired or leaves the program, that school’s players will be allowed to enter the transfer portal immediately.

RELATED: Petras & Larsen Represent USU At Mountain West Media Days

Utah State avoided significant defections during the fall transfer period but was not so lucky in the spring. The Aggies lost quarterbacks McCae Hillstead, Cooper Legas, and linebacker Anthony Switzer, among others. Suffice it to say that Dreling and his staff have their work cut out for them before fall camp opens on Friday, August 2.

RELATED: Jalen Royals Named To Preseason Mountain West All-Conference Team

About Nate Dreiling

When he was named interim head coach at 33, Dreiling became the youngest head coach at the FBS level. Dreiling joins the Aggies with ten years of college football coaching experience, including four seasons as a defensive coordinator.

A native of Victoria, Kansas, Dreiling received a bachelor of education degree while playing linebacker at Pittsburgh State. A four-time All-American, he led the Gorillas to the NCAA Division II National Championship in 2011, a year in which he was named the NCAA Division II National Defensive Player of the Year by the Don Hansen Football Committee. The 2011 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Defensive Player of the Year is the career tackles leader at Pittsburgh State and MIAA with 491 stops.

RELATED: Utah State Football Picked Seventh In Mountain West Preseason Poll

Dreiling split 2014 playing with the Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Omaha Mammoths of the Fall Experimental Football League.

Dreiling began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Kansas in 2015-16. He returned to Pittsburgh State as a safeties coach in 2017. He advanced to defensive coordinator with the Gorillas in 2018 and held the position for two years. Dreiling then served as a defensive analyst at Oregon in 2020 before leaving for Southeast Missouri State in 2022.

RELATED: Ike Larsen Named To Preseason Mountain West All-Conference Team

New Mexico State hired Dreiling as defensive coordinator in 2022. Under his tutelage, NMSU’s defense climbed from the 127th total defense in 2021 to the 29th-best unit in the country in 2022. New Mexico State improved to 10-5 in 2023. It marked the second time in program history the Aggies had won ten or more games. NMSU allowed a conference-best 22.8 points per game and showed up in the red zone. The Aggies led Conference USA and were fifth in the country, allowing opponents to score just 72.6 percent of the time after reaching the red zone.

Following USU With KSL Sports Zone

Utah State opens the 2024 season against Robert Morris on Saturday, August 31, at Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium. Kickoff time is TBA.

Listen to USU football on KSL Sports Zone with Scott Garrard on the call.

Find KSL Sports coverage of Utah State University Athletics here.

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Brian Preece is a KSLsports.com insider covering the Utah State Aggies and Salt Lake Bees. Follow Brian’s coverage of the Bees, Big League Utah, and Aggie athletics here.

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Who Is Utah State Football’s Interim Head Coach Nate Dreiling