News From Terre Haute, Indiana


December 15, 2012

Indiana State hires Utah State assistant and former UNLV coach Mike Sanford to lead football program

TERRE HAUTE — The progress Indiana State’s football program has made in the last half-decade can be measured in the adjectives new coach Mike Sanford used to describe what’s now his program.

Phrases like “very good situation” and describing the state of the Sycamores’ program as “excellent” were not words bandied about the last time ISU hired a football coach.

Sanford was named ISU’s 17th head football coach on Friday. ISU Director of Athletics Ron Prettyman announced the move on Friday afternoon. Sanford, who is currently assistant head coach at Utah State, will meet the local press and the ISU faithful during a 2 p.m. press conference on Monday.

Sanford will be on Utah State’s staff today as the Aggies face Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho. The bowl schedule formed a bit of a logistical challenge for both Prettyman and Sanford. They met last weekend in Terre Haute and the deal was finalized on Thursday and Friday.

“I made a whirlwind trip over the weekend at a time when we were in between practices [for the bowl game]. I came in and visited with Ron and saw everything. I visited with some very important people that will make our program successful and I met President Bradley,” Sanford said via phone on Friday evening.

“I think the attractiveness [of the ISU job] is that it’s in a position to make the next step. That’s up to the players and the direction of the staff I hire to take it to the next step,” he added.

Sanford defined his job as taking that “next step” and was clear in what that next step would be.

“My job is to come in to do everything I can to push and place extremely high expectations and demands to win the Missouri Valley Conference and to win a national championship,” Sanford said.

Prettyman said that there were 50 official applicants for the job. Prettyman narrowed the list to 10 finalists and then met with two coaches in person.

“When you see his bio, you’ll see quality of places he’s been and the leadership roles he’s had. He had the whole breadth of experience we were looking for. As good of a coach as he is, he’s an even better person. He’s a great family man, a man of character and integrity. He’s a gem to find for our program,” Prettyman said.

Prettyman said contract details and salary still have to be finalized.

Sanford played at USC from 1973-76. He was a quarterback on USC’s 1973 and 1974 Rose Bowl teams. He later played free safety in 1976.

Sanford has been coaching at the collegiate level since 1978. His first job was defensive coordinator at San Diego City College. He subsequently worked at Army, Virginia Military Institute, Long Beach State, Purdue (from 1987-88 on Fred Akers’ staff), USC and Notre Dame from 1979-98.

Perhaps his most notable stop in that period was at USC, his alma mater. Sanford was wide receivers coach from 1989-96. During his time there, USC was renowned for its wide receivers as Curtis Conway, Johnnie Morton and Keyshawn Johnson all starred at the collegiate level and in the NFL.

Sanford was an assistant coach with the San Diego Chargers from 1999-2001. He returned to the college ranks in 2002 at Stanford and regained renewed plaudits at Utah from 2003-04 when he served as offensive coordinator under Utes head coach Urban Meyer. The Utes were a national power during Sanford’s time there as they went 21-2 and he helped groom Alex Smith into the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft.

Sanford took over as UNLV’s head coach in 2005. The Runnin’ Rebels have always had an uphill climb on the gridiron and went 16-43 during Sanford’s tenure.

However, Sanford improved UNLV from a two-win program in Sanford’s early seasons to back-to-back 5-7 records in 2008 and 2009. The highlight of the Sanford era occurred in 2008 when the Rebels defeated No. 15 Arizona State 23-20 in Tempe, Ariz.

After he was fired in 2009 by UNLV, Sanford moved on to Louisville, but his time there ended in controversy as he was relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator in the middle of the 2011 season by current Cardinals coach Charlie Strong.

Sanford took the Utah State assistant head coach position for the 2012 season.

“I’m really happy for Mike. He wants to be a head football coach again and it’s hard to get those jobs,” Utah State coach Gary Andersen said in a USU press release. “I’m very supportive of it and I wish him and his family all the best.”

Given his background, Sanford has a reputation as a coach who prefers to run a spread offense. Sanford didn’t back down from that, but also wasn’t wedded to the spread if ISU’s talent doesn’t fit it.

“What I don’t want to do is put a square peg in a round hole. I don’t want to come and say I’m a spread guy. I want to do what we can do with best of their abilities. We’ll run, but I want to be an explosive attacking uptempo type of team,” Sanford said.

Sanford complimented former coach Trent Miles on the job he did to restore ISU’s credibility as a football program.

“I was impressed with what Trent Miles did. It’s a very good situation. I’m familiar with the state in a lot of ways and I’m very excited,” Sanford said.

Once Sanford takes over on Monday, retaining recruits and hiring staff will be the biggest priority. Coaches cannot have contact with recruits until Jan. 3, so Sanford will have to do his convincing via phone.

Sanford, 57, is married to Melinda Sanford. His two children — Lindsay and Mike Jr. — are grown. Mike Sanford Jr. is the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator at Stanford.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • ISU basketball trio earn national academic honors

    A trio of Indiana State basketball student-athletes have been named to the 2013-14 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court as announced by the national organization. Honored from Indiana State were Lucas Eitel, Justin Gant and Jake Kitchell.

    July 23, 2014

  • Metro roundup: Post 346 rallies past Rockville

    Wayne Newton Post 346 scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to get past Rockville 6-3 in an American Legion baseball regional at Terre Haute North on Wednesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Truebytower.jpg Memorable experience in Morocco for ISU soccer team could help team's growth

    Coming off the best season in its history, the Indiana State women’s soccer team figures to have the experience to do even better in the upcoming fall season.
    Or maybe that’s #TheExperience.

    July 23, 2014 11 Photos

  • Metro: Former Miss Softball joins Purdue staff

    Terre Haute North graduate Megan Ciolli Bartlett, the state’s 2001 Miss Softball and a two-time All-American at Notre Dame, is joining the Purdue coaching staff.

    July 21, 2014

  • Metro: ISU graduate Johnson sixth in shot at Monaco

    Indiana State graduate Felisha Johnson competed in her first International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League track and field meeting Friday, placing sixth in a shot put competition that featured six of the top seven throwers in the world for 2014.

    July 18, 2014

  • ReedUK.jpg A.J. Reed makes it 5 for 5 in college baseball awards with Golden Spikes Award

    When it came down to it, college baseball’s electors agreed that there was no award Terre Haute’s A.J. Reed didn’t deserve for his remarkable 2014 season at Kentucky.
    Reed was selected Thursday as the 2014 Golden Spikes Award winner, given annually to the top amateur player in the nation by USA Baseball, making Reed a unanimous pick as the national player of the year.

    July 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • MVC to shift women's basketball tournament to Moline, Ill.

    The Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament will move 90 miles farther from Terre Haute beginning in 2016, the league announced Thursday.

    July 17, 2014

  • Metro: ISU-IU football game to be on ESPNEWS

    Indiana University announced Wednesday that the season opening game between Indiana State and IU will be played at noon on Sept. 30.

    July 16, 2014

  • Riley 10s go 4-1, place second in state tourney

    Riley’s 10-and-under all-star team finished as runner-up over the weekend at the Cal Ripken baseball Central Indiana tournament.

    July 14, 2014

  • Odum heads for Vegas with Kings summer team

    Terre Haute native Jake Odum scored three points in the Indiana Pacers’ 84-74 victory on Thursday over the Miami Heat in the Orlando Summer League.

    July 11, 2014

  • odum.jpg Odum has 5 points for Pacers in summer play

    Former Indiana State standout Jake Odum contributed five points, three assists and a steal in 15 minutes on the court Wednesday for the Indiana Pacers summer league team.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • MVC Tournament staying in St. Louis until 2018

    Missouri Valley Conference men's tournament staying in St. Louis until 2018.

    July 9, 2014

  • mundy.jpg College report: Former Patriot runner Mundy is ‘proud to be a Hoosier’

    After redshirting the indoor and outdoor track and field seasons this year, Chanli Mundy was eager to do one thing recently as she prepared to compete in the USATF Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Eugene, Oregon. “The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is being able to wear an IU uniform,” she said last week prior to making her cross-country trip.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Odum scores 2 points off bench for Pacers

    Three of the top picks in last month’s draft are adjusting to NBA at different speeds at the Orlando Pro Summer League.

    July 7, 2014

  • Terre Haute's A.J. Reed joins Manziel as an SEC Athlete of Year

    University of Kentucky baseball star A.J. Reed of Terre Haute and Florida softball standout Hannah Rogers have been named 2013-14 Roy F. Kramer Southeastern Conference Male and Female Athletes of the Year, according to a voting by the league’s athletics directors.
    “A.J. and Hannah are true examples of outstanding student-athletes,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said Tuesday. “They have competed at the highest level of collegiate athletics, and through their hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence, have been successful in their endeavors. They are fine representatives of their universities and this conference.”

    July 1, 2014

  • SPT063014 loyd .jpg A new era: ‘Bittersweet day’ as Loyd takes over for ailing Shaw as Rose-Hulman men’s basketball coach

    Rose-Hulman President James Conwell couldn’t have been more accurate Monday afternoon when he called it “a bittersweet day” for his school.

    June 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Reed adds two-way award to collection

    Seeking to become the third unanimous national Player of the Year in Southeastern Conference history, Terre Haute’s A.J. Reed has been named winner of the 2014 John Olerud Award, given annually to the nation’s top two-way player, according to an announcement Friday from the College Baseball Hall of Fame.

    June 27, 2014

  • Metro: ISU’s Wise starts out well in USATF championships

    Indiana State sprinter Katie Wise advanced to the semifinals of the women’s 100 meters as she ran 11.42 seconds in the opening heat of the event Thursday evening at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships.

    June 27, 2014

  • SPT021914ISUMBB odum.jpg ISU's Odum talks about agreeing to play for Pacers' summer-league team

    No team selected him in the two-round NBA draft Thursday night, but Terre Haute native and four-year Indiana State basketball standout Jake Odum agreed Friday to play for the Indiana Pacers’ summer-league squad next month.

    June 27, 2014 1 Photo 4 Stories

  • SPT 030914 ODUM FILE.jpg Steady success: ISU continued to climb ladder with one of its best overall seasons ever

    First of all, if you’re an Indiana State fan, stand up and applaud. The Sycamores collectively went where only one Sycamore athletic department went before in 2013-14. ISU finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference All-Sports Trophy standings. ISU recorded a score of 3.538, its highest in school history.

    June 25, 2014 6 Photos

  • Metro roundup: Odum to work out with Lakers

    Terre Haute native and former Indiana State guard Jake Odum will have two more workouts before next Thursday’s NBA Draft. Odum will work out with the Los Angeles Lakers today. Odum will have a second workout with the Orlando Magic next week before the draft.

    June 20, 2014 1 Story

  • Terre Haute’s Reed earns 4th national honor

    Recent University of Kentucky standout A.J. Reed has been named National Player of the Year and first-team All-America, according to an announcement made Wednesday afternoon by the American Baseball Coaches Association.

    June 18, 2014

  • NCAA Championships At_Pear.jpg Swift breaks ISU hurdles record, takes fourth place at NCAAs

    Senior Greggmar Swift broke the school record in the 110 meter hurdles, as Indiana State picked up two All-Americans in the final day of the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Swift’s five points in the event gave the men’s team five points for the meet and a 44th place finish in the nation. The women got 3 points from Mary Theisen in the shot put to place 51st in the nation.

    June 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • A.J. Reed chosen as 28th Dick Howser Trophy recipient

    University of Kentucky junior pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed, who enjoyed possibly the greatest individual season in UK history in 2014, is the 28th recipient of the Dick Howser Trophy, presented by Easton Foundations, as college baseball’s Player of the Year.
    The presentation was made Saturday during a national news conference at TD Ameritrade Park, site of the 2014 College World Series.

    June 14, 2014

  • SPT061214 ISUMBB parker.jpg New ISU coach Parker makes first impression

    Indiana State assistant coach Terry Parker hasn’t had too much time to make a first impression.
    Officially hired in late April, but identified as Dave Ragland’s replacement on Greg Lansing’s staff long before that, there haven’t been many team activities for Parker to take part in since he joined ISU’s staff from Utah Valley.

    June 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • Greggmar Swift advances to NCAA hurdles final

    Greggmar Swift advanced to the finals of the 110-meter hurdles to highlight Indiana State’s performances during day two of the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field.

    June 13, 2014

  • SPT 112313 NCAA 01MASCARI.jpg Terre Haute's Mascari earns All-American finish in 10,000 meters

    Indiana State sophomore John Mascari finished 11th in the NCAA Championships in the 10,000-meter run Wednesday night at historic Hayward Field.

    June 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Reed signs with Astros

    A.J. Reed’s Wednesday was already pretty good when he was named Baseball America’s College Player of the Year in the morning. In the afternoon, it got even better for the Terre Haute native. The Houston Astros, who drafted Reed with the first pick of the second round in last week’s Major League Baseball draft, announced that they had agreed to a deal with Reed. According to several sources, Reed signed his deal for $1.35 million.

    June 11, 2014

  • Metro sports: Cassell wins Lawrence County title

    Chris Cassell put together two rounds of 4-under-par 68 for a two-shot victory for his first Albright Motors Lawrence County Open championship on Sunday.

    June 9, 2014

  • Pair of Sycamores selected in Major League Baseball draft

    Two Indiana State baseball players were chosen in the 2014 Major League Baseball draft Saturday.
    Senior shortstop Tyler Wampler, a 2010 graduate of West Vigo High School, went to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 17th round (519th overall) and junior catcher Mike Fitzgerald went to the San Diego Padres in the 27th round (807th overall).

    June 7, 2014

Latest News Poll
AP Video
Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010