We have learned that Utah State assistant head coach Mike Sanford has been named the head coach at Indiana State.
Sanford steps in at Indiana State for Trent Miles, who departed for the same position at Georgia State. Miles executed a remarkable turnaround at Indiana State, leading a program that went 2-54 from 2005-09 to a 6-5 record in 2010 and 7-4 seasons in 2011-12. Under Miles, the Sycamores played outstanding defense, ranking fifth nationally in pass efficiency defense and total defense and placing third in scoring defense. On offense, they were led by junior running back Shakir Bell, who ranked sixth in FCS with 134.1 rushing yards per game.
Sanford is a coaching lifer with 35 years of experience spread through 14 different stops. He played quarterback at USC from 1973-76 and began coaching as a graduate assistant a year later with the Trojans. Sanford has spent the majority of his career in the West, with stays at San Diego City College, Long Beach State, another stop at USC, the San Diego Chargers, Stanford, Utah, UNLV and, most recently, Utah State. He has also ventured off the West Coast a number of times, with stints as a position coach at Army, VMI, Purdue and Notre Dame, and as the offensive coordinator at Louisville in 2010-11.
Sanford was the head coach at UNLV from 2005-09, compiling a 16-43 record. He spent the 2012 season as the assistant head coach and also coached running backs and tight ends. Sanford helped the Aggies post a 10-2 record and win the WAC title. Utah State ranked in the top half of the WAC in every offensive category, and running back Kerywnn Williams led the conference and placed 23rd nationally by rushing for 106.4 yards per game. Williams, a First Team All-WAC honoree, also led the team and ranked eighth in the WAC with 43 grabs for 663 yards and five touchdowns. Utah State tight end Kellen Bartlett earned Honorable Mention All-WAC honors by snagging 37 catches for 261 yards and five scores.
We hear Sanford plans to bring some exciting young assistants to Indiana State. Really like this hire!