BOISE, Idaho -- Utah State's first trip to a postseason bowl in 14 years has earned coach Gary Andersen another one-year contract extension.
School officials announced the deal Thursday, two days before the Aggies (7-5) square off against Ohio in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise.
"Gary has built a foundation that gives our football program an opportunity to sustain success," USU athletic director Scott Barnes said. "It takes time to build a football program and after three years, Gary's leadership has put us ahead of schedule in many aspects."
The extension keeps Andersen under contract through 2017 and with incentives gives the third-year coach the chance to earn up to $565,000 annually. He also received a one-year extension last year.
"It is an honor to get an extension and a new six-year contract. ... My commitment to this university, this community and Aggie Nation, is very strong and very important to myself and to my family," Andersen said.
Utah State started the season 2-5 -- including heartbreaking losses to Auburn, Colorado State and BYU -- then ripped off six straight victories to finish second in the Western Athletic Conference and earn an invitation to play in the postseason for the first time since the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl.
Only John Ralston and Charlie Weatherbie took Utah State teams to a bowl game in fewer years than Andersen did. Ralston took the Aggies to the 1960 Sun Bowl and Weatherbie reached the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl, both doing so in their second year.
Andersen joins John L. Smith who took the 1997 Aggies to the same bowl as USU is playing in, then known as the Humanitarian Bowl, as Aggie coaches who led USU to a bowl game in their third season.