JONESBORO, Ark. – The Arkansas State Red Wolves will need to look for a new leader of the pack.

University officials announced Thursday afternoon that head coach Blake Anderson is stepping down to accept “the same position at another FBS program.”

“We appreciate Coach Anderson’s contributions to our program,” Arkansas State Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Terry Mohajir said in a release. “He is the only head coach in our FBS history to win two conference championships, and he played for a third while also leading us to six bowl games. We wish him the best moving forward.”

Reports Thursday indicated Anderson is heading west to take over the program at Utah State. An official announcement is expected Friday by the Mountain West program.

Anderson has led the A-State program since 2014, taking the team to a 51-37 record overall and a 38-18 record in Sun Belt Conference play. He took the team to six bowl games, securing wins over UCF in the 2016 Cure Bowl and FIU in the 2018 Camellia Bowl, and a pair of Sunbelt crowns in 2015 and 2016.

His seven-season run with the Red Wolves ended a series of coaching stops and starts that saw the program have five head coaches in five years following nine seasons under Steve Roberts.

Prior to his stint in Jonesboro, Anderson was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of North Carolina and the University of Southern Mississippi under Larry Fedora.

In August of 2019, Anderson took a short leave after his wife Wendy died after a battle with breast cancer.

Arkansas State has struggled in 2020, with a 4-7 overall record and going 2-6 in the conference.

Assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Keith Heckendorf with serve as the interim head coach. The Red Wolves had added a game against the University of the Incarnate Word for Saturday, but that contest has now been canceled. It is unclear if the team would try to schedule another opponent to get a 12th game in this year.

A national search for Anderson’s replacement will begin immediately headed by Mohajir, Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse and System President Dr. Charles Welch.