Utah State Hires Utah LB Coach Justin Ena As Defensive Coordinator
Aggies have its defensive coordinator
Gary Andersen dips into Utah for its DC
Gary Andersen is filling out its staff with the latest hiring being the defensive coordinator, and he looked to a familiar face. Andersen tabbed Utah’s linebacker and co-special teams coordinator Justin Ena to be the Aggies defensive coordinator.
“It’s a great opportunity for Justin. It gives him a chance to run his own defense,” said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham after Thursday’s practice. “Most position coaches aspire to be coordinators and coordinators aspire to be head coaches.”
Ena was on the same staff with Andersen this past year as the two both coached on the defensive side of the ball.
This is a nice hire by Andersen as Ena is very familiar with the state of football in Utah. He played linebacker at BYU where he was a three-time all-league player and spent four years in the NFL. Playing in the league is huge as it can be a selling point in recruiting when trying to get players to commit to the Aggies.
His entire coaching career has been in the state of Utah. He started coaching in 2008 at Southern Utah where he started as the special teams coordinator and then was the defensive coordinator from 2010-13. He then went to Weber State for a year in 2014 as the defensive coordinator and then at Utah where he coached a variety of defensive positions.
Another plus is that at Utah he coached a pair of the best linebackers in the Pac-12 linebackers in Cody Barton and Chase Hansen this past season.