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LOGAN — After struggling through three-straight sub-.500 seasons, including a 3-9 record in 2016, Utah State stayed the course with head football coach Matt Wells for the 2018 season.
That strategy paid off, when Wells led the Aggies to their most successful run in his tenure, a 10-2 regular season that included a Top-25 appearance, a 7-1 mark in Mountain West play and a breathe away from the Mountain West title game.
The Aggies lost to Boise State, 33-24 in the final game of the regular season that would’ve clinched a berth to the Mountain West championship.
But Wells' success was recognized Wednesday morning, when the conference announced him as the league's coach of the year.
Wells adds to his coach of the year distinction he earned in 2014, becoming the fifth Mountain West coach in league history to win the award in multiple seasons. A former Utah State quarterback, Wells improved to 44-34 overall in six seasons at his alma mater, including a 2-2 mark in postseason bowl appearances.
In addition to Wells, Utah State offensive lineman Quit Ficklin and return specialist Savon Scarver were named to the all-Mountain West first-team offense, and quarterback Jordan Love, lineman Roman Andrus, linebacker Tipa Galeai, linebacker David Woodward and defensive back Jontrell Rocquemore were named to the all-league second team.
Utah State had a school-record 18 players receive all-conference honors, including 10 all-Mountain West honorable mentions.
The Aggies are bowl-eligible for the seventh time in the past eight seasons, and will learn its postseason appearance Sunday, Dec. 2.
On the same day that postseason awards were announced, Wells also emerged as a leading candidate for the head coaching job at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders fired coach Kliff Kingsbury on Monday.
A source connected to Texas Tech tells me that Utah State coach Matt Wells "is the leader right now" to succeed Kliff Kingsbury as coach of the Red Raiders.— Don Williams (@AJ_DonWilliams) November 28, 2018