ST. GEORGE — Lance Anderson was named head football coach at Utah Tech University in a press conference Friday morning on campus and he greeted fans and players with energy and enthusiasm.

Executive Director of Athletics Ken Beazer (left) introduces Lance Anderson (right) as the new head football coach at Utah Tech University, St. George, Utah, Dec. 8, 2023 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

“I’ve always believed that you should never be afraid to chase your dreams,” Anderson said. “Never believe that you can’t accomplish something. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do that. Today this is really a fulfillment of one of my dreams.”

Anderson’s pedigree was established in the coaching tree at Stanford University, where he worked with some of the best coaches in the land over the course of 16 seasons with the Cardinal.

Anderson learned his chops from the likes of David Shaw (now with the NFL Network), Jim Harbaugh (now the prominent head coach at Michigan), Derek Mason (recently named head coach at Middle Tennessee State) and Vic Fangio (former head coach of the Denver Broncos and current defensive coordinator with the Miami Dolphins).

“I want to thank all the head coaches who I have had a chance to work for,” Anderson said, “who have trusted me and hired me, who have mentored me and helped me along the way in this journey to where we are today.”

Anderson takes over a Trailblazers team that finished 2-9 this season, its first season in the United Athletic Conference of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision.

Anderson said that as a recruiter for the Cardinal, he learned first-hand how deep the football talent pool is in Utah, especially at the high school level.

“The student-athletes that are here, the kind of high school football coaches that are here, I know that you can get great kids out of the state of Utah,” he said.

Executive Director of Athletics Ken Beazer (left), new Trailblazers football coach Lance Anderson (middle) and his wife Sherri (right) take questions at a press conference on campus, St. George, Utah, Dec. 8, 2023 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

Anderson went on to talk about other recruiting gold mines he wants to work that are close to St. George, mentioning Las Vegas, Phoenix and Southern California as high-talent regions where he wants to recruit heavily.

“Recruiting is the lifeblood of a college football program. I love recruiting, it’s something that I’ve invested myself in throughout my football career,” Anderson said. “You’re only as good a coach as the kind of football players that you have. You’re going to get those players through recruiting.”

Anderson said he wants to strike the best balance at Utah Tech between home-grown, local high school recruits and experienced players acquired in the transfer portal, which Anderson said “is a big part of college football and is not going away.”

“I want to be built on high school football recruiting, but I’m not going to be afraid to go to the transfer portal when we have needs,” Anderson said, “to be able to address those needs immediately and get a football player in here at a specific position who’s ready to play.”

The new coach has a clear idea of the kind of program he wants to attract the best student-athletes to Utah Tech.

“I want to make this a program that kids are proud to be a part of,” he said, “they enjoy playing here, they enjoy playing with their teammates and they want to be here.”

Anderson comes to St. George with his wife Sherri and their three children Aubrey, Jaren and Braden.

The new coach joined Associate Athletics Director/Media Relations Steve Johnson and Utah Tech Executive Director of Athletics Ken Beazer at the press conference and all three praised the vital work done by previous head coach Paul Peterson, who was relieved of his sideline duties shortly after the season ended.

“Thanks for his work in getting this football program to where it’s at,” Beazer said, “allowing us to launch today with this new era. I want to thank him and his staff for all that they have done for the program.”

Head Coach @CoachL_Anderson is looking to blaze a new trail for Utah Tech Football

We are very excited to join him on this new journey#UtahTechBlazers | #UACfb

— Utah Tech Football (@UtahTechFB) December 8, 2023

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