Top Aggies football assistants turn down opportunities to leave Logan
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With coach Gary Andersen reaffirming his commitment to Aggies football, the big question would be if his assistants would follow suit.

That appears to be the case, as defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and offensive coordinator Matt Wells acknowledged that they have turned down the same positions at schools in BCS auto-bid conferences. It's building the perception that something big could be happening in Logan.

Aranda decided to stay at Utah State after getting offered the DC job at Texas Tech. When contacted by The Tribune on Monday, Aranda said his commitment to the players and coaches with the Aggies was hard to let go.

"The football aspect of it played a big role in my decision," he said. "We have a lot of experience returning next year. It would've been awfully tough to leave so many guys that I have been through so much with."

Wells declined to take an offensive coordinator position at North Carolina State, where the Wolf Pack is starting over with a new staff.

Retaining Aranda and Wells is a big plus for Utah State. Under Aranda, the Aggies boasted the No. 8 scoring defense and No. 15 total defense this season, and they led the Western Athletic Conference in just about every significant defensive category. Wells helped lead Utah State into the top 40 in rushing, passing, scoring and total yardage this year.

When Andersen announced he was staying on at Utah State, he cited that the administration was doing what it could to retain assistants with competitive salaries. The upbeat atmosphere at the school after posting its first-ever 11-win season probably has something to do with it as well.

Said Aranda: "I respect the coaches, I love the university, I respect the players. When you have it as good as I have it at Utah State, why would you leave?"

— Tony Jones and Kyle Goon