Coach Keeper

The Aggies are nationally ranked!

After knocking off 19th ranked Louisiana Tech on the road in overtime with a 48-41 nail-biter, the Ags squeaked their way to number 25 on the national list and secured at least a piece of the WAC Conference title. If USU beats Idaho next week, they’ll take their first solo conference title since 1936.

I’m finally a winner! Yay! Yay! Yay!

We outranked Utah’s golden child, BYU. We outranked Utah’s rebellious child, U of U. Finally, Utah’s neglected middle child gets some attention and glory!

After years and years of having to listen to my obnoxious zoobie relatives “rise and shout,” I can finally shut them up with victorious cheers about the “spot where the sage brush grows!”

But . . .

Even as I do my victory dance, there’s a slight apprehension in my jig.

It can’t be denied that the key to this Aggie turnaround is due to the hard work and dedication of coach Gary Andersen. Pulling a college football program out of a decades-long slump isn’t going to go unnoticed by bigger schools with bigger purses.

They’re few and far between, but we have had winning coaches at USU before. They come in for a few years, ramp up the program, take us to a bowl game, then ditch us for a better deal.

Coach Andersen just signed an eight-year contract with USU. He says he loves it here. He says his family loves it here and they have no plans of going anywhere anytime soon.

Yeah, that’s what Smith and Weatherbie said too.

Money talks.

Sure, with a $765,000 a year salary that probably makes Andersen the fourth highest paid person in Cache Valley behind the Millers, the Chem Dry guy and the Icon guy, but still. More is more, and bigger schools with more prestigious programs means more recognition and we all know the male ego is a pig for attention.

So, come on Cache Valley! We’ve got to work our magic to keep our coach. We need to dial it up a notch on the charm. The mountains, the family-friendly environment, the biking, hiking, boating and skiing, the farmers market, our quaint Downtown District and the Pumpkin Walk aren’t going to be enough!

Get the plates of cookies going over there, and homemade bread fresh from the oven, stat! Make sure no one ditches squash on their doorstep and tackle anyone who goes near their place with fruitcake over the holidays. Some carolers for Christmas would be nice, and organize a “12 Days of Christmas” for them pronto. Put someone on snow removal and make up a nice gift basket including Pepperidge Farms cookies (not the seconds you get at the outlet store), a Cache Valley Cheese sampler, Casper’s ice cream gift cards, and season tickets to the Eccles Theater.

Never underestimate the power of small town folk.

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