昆山水墨会所

first_imgE-mail: [email protected] Aaron Alford is the newest coach on the Utah football staff. Actually Alford is the only new coach since Kyle Whittingham became head coach nearly three years ago.The Ute staff has suffered remarkably little turnover during Whittingham’s tenure. The staff stayed intact for two years and the first change came this past offseason when Jay Boulware left for Iowa State and was replaced by Alford.”We’ve only lost one guy in three years, and that speaks to the Salt Lake community and university in general,” Whittingham said. “It’s a great place to live and work and that’s why people stay. Aaron’s doing a nice job with the corners — that’s his forte — and he knows the league and the area.”Alford, who is starting his seventh coaching job since graduating from Colorado State a decade ago, would like nothing better than to stick around Utah for a long time. He’s tired of the “coaching circle” he’s made, going from Ohio to Utah to Illinois to Wyoming, to Utah and back to Ohio before coming back to Utah.”It’s great to be back out here in the West,” he said. “I knew some of the guys here and was aware of the expectations. It was a good fit.”Alford started at Kent State in Ohio, where he grew up, as a graduate assistant. He came to Utah in 1999 and coached at Southern Utah for two years. While in Utah he found his wife, Linda, a Park City native, and in 2001 he accepted a job at Western Illinois. Then it was back west to Wyoming for a year and then another year at Southern Utah, where he earned his master’s degree.He went back to Ohio again, where he coached the cornerbacks at Akron for the past three years. Although the team had success, going to a bowl game in 2005, as well as the defensive back field he coached — the Zips were 16th in the nation in pass defense last year — he jumped at the opportunity to come west again.”To have the opportunity to coach at a great place like this and also have your family right at your doorstep has been outstanding,” Alford said. “It’s been a blessing to be here ever since I got here.”Playing at Colorado State for four years, following in the footsteps of his brother, Tony, left Alford with several memories of playing against Utah.He said he played one of his first collegiate games as a redshirt freshman against Utah in Rice-Eccles Stadium in 1993, when the Utes won.The following year was the famous Ute-Ram matchup in Fort Collins when both teams were unbeaten and ranked in the top 20.”I’ll never forget that,” Alford said of Utah’s 45-31 victory. “Anthony Hill threw it, and I thought it was a touchdown and then Harold Lusk was taking it back for like 104 yards. That definitely deflated the town of Fort Collins that night.”The Rams beat the Utes the following year, so at least Alford ended up with one victory over his future employer.As for the cornerbacks he coaches, Alford has been pleased with their progress so far.He said Brice McCain is doing a good job as the returning starter and Sean Smith, R.J. Stanford and Elijah Wesson are all making good transitions to defense after coming to Utah as offensive players. “This is their first true exposure to defense, and they’ve really handled it well,” he said. “We’ve been pretty hard on them, but I really think they’ll be ready to go Aug. 30. They’ve done a good job so far.” last_img read more