Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium
Matt Wells wasted little time putting his stamp on the Aggie football program in his first season as head coach, as he led Utah State to the inaugural Mountain West Championship game after winning the Mountain Division of the conference with a 7-1 record in 2013.
Wells also led Utah State to just its third-ever bowl victory as it posted a 21-14 win against No. 24 Northern Illinois in the 2013 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
For his efforts, Wells was named the 2013 Mountain West Coach of the Year as he set the school record for wins by a first-year head coach as the Aggies finished the 2013 season with a 9-5 record, tying the 1960 and 1961 teams for the second-most wins in school history.
Co-Offensive Coordinator/TEs/Rucruiting Coord
Luke Wells is in his second season as Utah States co-offensive coordinator, tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator.
During the 2013 season, Wells was part of an Aggie offense that set school records for pass completions (297), total offensive plays (1,073), touchdown passes (30) and first downs (310), while its 445 points scored and 481 pass attempts both rank second all-time. Furthermore, USUs 56 total touchdowns rank third all-time and its 31.7 points per game average ranks fifth all-time in school history.
Utah States tight ends also set the single-season school record for touchdown receptions in 2013 with eight as D.J. Tialavea and Keegan Andersen each had three, while Wyatt Houston had two. The previous record was seven set in 1993.
Passing Game Coord/Wide Receivers
Jovon Bouknight (Juh-vonn Bo-night) is entering his sixth season with Utah State and his fifth year as wide receivers coach after serving as the teams offensive graduate assistant in 2009. Bouknight was named USUs passing game coordinator in 2014.
During the 2013 season, Bouknight was part of an Aggie offense that set school records for pass completions (297), total offensive plays (1,073), touchdown passes (30) and first downs (310), while its 445 points scored and 481 pass attempts both rank second all-time. Furthermore, USUs 56 total touchdowns rank third all-time and its 31.7 points per game average ranks fifth all-time in school history.
Utah State also played in back-to-back-to-back bowl games for the first time in school history and won just its third bowl game ever during the 2013 season.
Defensive Passing Game Coord/Cornerbacks
Kendrick Shaver is entering his fourth season as cornerbacks coach at Utah State and was promoted to defensive passing game coordinator in 2014.
During the summer of 2014, Shaver served an NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship with the Oakland Raiders during their fall training camp.
During the 2013 season, Shaver helped the Aggies defense rank first in the Mountain West and seventh in the nation in scoring allowing just 17.1 points per game, the second-fewest allowed by an Aggie defense since 1971. USU also ranked first in the Mountain West and eighth in the nation in rushing defense (106.7 ypg), its fewest since 1968, first in the Mountain West and 12th in the nation in total defense (330.9 ypg), and first in the Mountain West and 15th in the nation in passing efficiency defense (113.2).
Assistant Athletics Director for Football Operations
Waqa Damuni (Wonga Da-moo-knee) is in his second season at Utah State, serving as an Assistant Athletics Director for Football Operations. In his current role, Damuni oversees the day-to-day operations of the football program.
His responsibilities include the overall management of the football budget, team travel, bowl game coordination and community outreach. Other duties include game day management, the coordination and planning of team events and special projects related to the football program.
Damuni, a former tight end and three-year letterwinner at Utah State from 1996-98, helped the Aggies win back-to-back Big West Conference championships, including a trip to the inaugural Humanitarian Bowl in 1997.
Special Assistant to the Head Coach
Dave Kragthorpe is in his second season as the Special Assistant to the Head Coach at Utah State. Overall, Kragthorpe spent 10 years as a collegiate head coach at South Dakota State, Idaho State and Oregon State.
Kragthorpe began his coaching career as an assistant at Idaho Falls (Idaho) High School and later head coach at Roosevelt (Mich.) High School. He also spent time as an assistant at the collegiate level at Montana, South Dakota State and BYU.
Kragthorpes first head coaching job was at South Dakota State in 1969, before serving as the offensive line coach and offensive coordinator for LaVell Edwards at BYU from 1970-79.
Defensive Graduate Assistant
Manoa Latu (pronounced Ma-no-uh La-to) is in his first year with Utah States football program as a graduate assistant coach for the Aggies defense. In his role, Latu will assist the defensive coaches with daily football operations, primarily working with the defensive backs and defensive coordinator and safeties coach Todd Orlando and cornerbacks coach Kendrick Shaver.
Latu comes to Utah State after spending the past season as a graduate assistant at Central Washington working with the safeties. Prior to that, Latu spent the 2012 season as a student assistant at Portland State working with the defensive backs.
Latu played college football at Portland State (2010-11) and saw action in all 22 games. During his senior season, he recorded 38 tackles, including 0.5 for loss, to go along with three passes defended and one interception. As a junior, he ranked second on the team with 72 tackles and led the Vikings with three interceptions, while adding six pass breakups, one forced fumble and 2.5 tackles for loss. He finished his junior season ranking 21st in the Big Sky Conference in total tackles and fourth in interceptions.
Head Strength and Conditioning Coach
Dave Scholz is in his second season as Utah States strength and conditioning head coach and in his fifth year overall with the Athletics Department.
Scholz came to Utah State after spending the 2012 season in the National Football League as a strength, nutrition and conditioning assistant with the San Francisco 49ers. In his position, Scholz was responsible for the programming for quarterbacks and kickers as well as all the nutritional aspects of the team, including meal planning. Scholz spent the 2011 season as the 49ers strength and conditioning intern.
Prior to joining the 49ers, Scholz served as the assistant strength and conditioning coach at Utah State for three years (2008-10), where he assisted in all matters of football and served as the head of sports nutrition. He also was the lead strength and conditioning coach for softball and volleyball.