Blake Anderson (American football)

Robert Blake Anderson (born March 24, 1969) is an American football coach and former player. Anderson is currently the head coach of the Arkansas State Red Wolves football team.[1][2] He was the North Carolina Tar Heels offensive coordinator in 2012 and 2013. He was previously the offensive coordinator at Southern Miss.

Blake Anderson
SunBeltMD-2015-0720-BlakeAnderson.png
Anderson at the 2015 Sun Belt Media Day
Current position
TitleHead coach
TeamArkansas State
ConferenceSun Belt
Record50–37
Biographical details
Born (1969-03-24) March 24, 1969 (age 51)
Jonesboro, Arkansas
Playing career
1987–1989Baylor
1989–1991Sam Houston State
Position(s)Quarterback, wide receiver
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1992Eastern New Mexico (GA)
1993Eastern New Mexico (WR)
1994Howard Payne (WR)
1995–1997Trinity Valley CC (QB/WR/DB/RC)
1998Trinity Valley (OC)
1999–2000New Mexico (RB)
2001New Mexico (WR)
2002–2004Middle Tennessee (co-OC/WR)
2007Louisiana–Lafayette (OC/QB)
2008–2009Southern Miss (RGC/QB)
2010–2011Southern Miss (OC/QB)
2012–2013North Carolina (OC/QB)
2014–presentArkansas State
Head coaching record
Overall50–37 (college)
Bowls2–4
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
2 Sun Belt (2015, 2016)
1 Sun Belt West (2018)

Playing careerEdit

Anderson began his playing career as a quarterback and wide receiver at Baylor University from 1987 to 1989, but tore his ACL during practice. After his recovery he chose to transfer to Sam Houston State University where he played as a wide receiver for the Bearkats from 1989 to 1991. At Sam Houston State he was named to the Southland Conference All-Academic team as a senior. During his college days he played in the I-formation and Veer offenses popular at the time.[3] Sam Houston State Defensive Coordinator Mike Lucas told Anderson that he believed he was suited for a coaching role.[4]

Coaching careerEdit

Eastern New Mexico (1992–1993)Edit

Anderson got his start from Howard Stearns at Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds football as a graduate assistant in 1992 and received a full-time position there tutoring wide receivers for the Greyhounds in 1993.[citation needed]

Howard Payne (1994)Edit

In 1994, he coached wide receivers for the American Southwest Conference co-champion Howard Payne University Yellow Jackets under head coach Vance Gibson.[citation needed]

Trinity Valley (1995–1998)Edit

Anderson joined the Trinity Valley in 1995 as an assistant. He was the offensive coordinator during the Cardinals run to the 1997 NJCAA National Championship under coach Scott Conley.[citation needed]

New Mexico (1999–2001)Edit

Before the 1999 season he joined New Mexico as running backs coach under Rocky Long and served in that position until 2000. During the 2001 season he took the wide receivers coaching position. During the 2000 season his rushing attack averaged 148 yards per game which accounted for 56% of the team's offensive production.[citation needed]

Middle Tennessee (2002–2004)Edit

In 2002 Middle Tennessee coach Andy McCollum hired Anderson to serve as co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach in replacement of Larry Fedora who had left for Florida. At Middle Tennessee he was exposed to variations of the Hurry-up offense which dramatically changed his outlook.[3] The Blue Raiders passing offense increased each year under his tenure improving from 154.0 yards per game in 2002 to 226.7 in 2003 and 267.7 in 2004. Anderson's offense led the Sun Belt Conference in scoring offense in 2003 and saw the school's first 1,000 yard receiver in 2004. After leaving MTSU he left coaching for three years for a stint in private business.[5]

Louisiana–Lafayette (2007)Edit

Anderson was hired by Coach Rickey Bustle as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Ragin' Cajuns for the 2007 football season, replacing Rob Christophel. Anderson's offense churned out over 250 yards per game on the ground making it the #6 ranked rushing offense in the nation. The 2007 Ragin' Cajuns became the Sun Belt's first ever 3,000-yard rushing team.[citation needed]

Southern Miss (2008–2011)Edit

Anderson joined Southern Miss in 2008 as quarterbacks coach and run game coordinator under new coach Larry Fedora. He mentored record-setting future NFL quarterback Austin Davis during his freshman and sophomore years and was promoted to offensive coordinator for the 2010 season where the Golden Eagles averaged 36.9 points per game. Anderson was the play-caller during Southern Miss's stellar 12-win season in 2011 including the Conference USA Football Championship Game victory over the previously unbeaten Houston Cougars. Southern Miss capped off the 2011 season with a 24-17 victory over Nevada in the Hawaii Bowl.[citation needed]

North Carolina (2012–2013)Edit

When Fedora left Southern Miss for North Carolina in 2012 he took Anderson along as his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. In his inaugural season with the Tar Heels Anderson oversaw an offense that produced 485.6 yards per game, setting over 35 school records, and ending the campaign ranked eighth in the nation in scoring. During the 2013 campaign his offense gained 432.4 yards per game.[citation needed]

Arkansas State (2014–present)Edit

Anderson was announced as Arkansas State's head coach on December 19, 2013. He became Arkansas State's fifth head coach in five years, replacing Bryan Harsin who had left for Boise State.[citation needed]Arkansas State has played in 6 consecutive bowl games and won 2 Sun Belt conference championships under Anderson.

PersonalEdit

Anderson was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas but moved to Hubbard, Texas at an early age. He graduated from Hubbard High School. He obtained a degree in kinesiology from Sam Houston State in 1992 and his master's degree in sports administration from Eastern New Mexico University in 1994. Anderson and his late wife Wendy had one daughter and two sons.

On August 20, 2019, Anderson announced that Wendy had passed away after a battle with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Defensive coordinator David Duggan coached the team during Anderson's leave.[6]

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Arkansas State Red Wolves (Sun Belt Conference) (2014–present)
2014 Arkansas State 7–6 5–3 T–4th L GoDaddy
2015 Arkansas State 9–4 8–0 1st L New Orleans
2016 Arkansas State 8–5 7–1 T–1st W Cure
2017 Arkansas State 7–5 6–2 3rd L Camellia
2018 Arkansas State 8–5 5–3 T–1st (West) L Arizona
2019 Arkansas State 8–5 5–3 2nd (West) W Camellia
2020 Arkansas State 3–7 1–6 (West)
Arkansas State: 50–37 37–18
Total: 50–37

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Arkansas State hires UNC OC Blake Anderson as next head coach". CBSSports.com.
  2. ^ "Arkansas State Red Wolves hires Blake Anderson as new coach". ESPN.com.
  3. ^ a b "Southern Miss' Blake Anderson quickly embraced up-tempo offense". gulflive.com.
  4. ^ "A Look At Football Through The Eyes Of The Play-Caller". sportsglutton.
  5. ^ "Life, love and loss in a coaching family: The story of Blake and Wendy Anderson". espn.com.
  6. ^ "Arkansas State coach: Wife has died of cancer". espn.com.

External linksEdit