Kevin Clune to remain on USU coaching staff

<strong>LOGAN–</strong> Kevin Clune (Kloon) will remain on the Utah State football coaching staff it was announced Wednesday by newly appointed Aggie head coach Matt Wells. Clune has spent the past four seasons with USU serving as linebackers coach.

“Kevin is a man of high-character and has the passion and energy to make Utah State the best it can be, and we are excited to have him remain a part of our football family,” said Wells. “The linebackers have demonstrated a very consistent level of play over the last four years, which says a lot about Kevin, and I have been impressed by their production on and off the field during my time at Utah State.”

Clune helped Utah State to its most successful season in school history in 2012 as it went 11-2 and set school records for wins (11) and home wins (6), while being nationally ranked in the Associated Press poll for three-straight weeks for the first time in school history. USU also won its first outright conference championship since 1936 and just its third in school history joining the 1921 and 1936 teams that both won Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference titles.

Utah State also finished the 2012 season winning its final seven games, which is tied for the fourth-longest active winning streak in the nation and tied for the third-longest winning streak in school history.

“I’m very happy to be able to continue to work with the players in the program and build on the successes we have had,” said Clune. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to keep building the program, and with the move into a new conference, I think this is going to be an exceptional place to be.”

During the 2012 season, Clune helped Utah State’s defense rank among the top 15 in the nation in five different statistical categories, including being ranked first in the Western Athletic Conference and seventh in the nation in scoring defense (15.38 ppg). USU also ranked second in the WAC and tied for sixth nationally in sacks (3.23 pg), first in the WAC and 10th in the nation in pass efficiency defense (104.43), second in the WAC and 13th in the country in rushing defense (113.77 ypg), first in the WAC and 15th in the nation in total defense (322.08 ypg), and first in the WAC and 32nd in the nation in passing defense (208.31 ypg).

Utah State’s defense also led the WAC and ranked second in the nation in red zone efficiency at 63.6 percent allowing just 13 touchdowns and 15 field goals on 44 trips inside the 20, while blocking two field goals, intercepting six passes, recovering one fumble, and turning the ball over on loss on downs seven times.

Utah State’s defense also ranked eighth in the nation forcing 5.08 three-and-outs per game in 2012, while ranking 21st nationally in third down efficiency at 32.88 percent (73-222).

During the 2012 season, Clune coached two inside linebackers who earned all-WAC honors in junior Jake Doughty and sophomore Zach Vigil.

As a junior, Doughty lead the team and ranked second in the WAC with 109 tackles (8.4 pg), while adding 3.5 tackles for loss, one sack, four pass breakups, three quarterback hurries, one interception and one fumble recovery.

Vigil finished his sophomore season ranking second on the team and tied for fourth in the WAC with 105 tackles (8.1 pg). Vigil also led the team and ranked tied for fifth in the WAC in both sacks (5.5) and tackles for loss (9.50), to go along with five quarterback hurries, one forced fumble, one pass breakup and a blocked punt against Utah that was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.

In 2011, Clune coached first-team all-WAC linebacker Bobby Wagner, who led the league and ranked eighth in the nation in tackles with 11.3 per game, ranking tied for third in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in total tackles with 147. Wagner earned first-team all-WAC accolades for the third-straight season becoming just the eighth player in school history to be named first-team all-conference three times.

Wagner also led the Utah State defensive unit with 11.5 tackles for loss, adding four sacks and two interceptions. Wagner was also named the North’s Most Outstanding Player in the 2012 Senior Bowl, snaring an interception to go along with seven tackles, tying for game-high honors.

Wagner, who ended his career with 446 career tackles to rank first all-time in the WAC and tied for first all-time in school history, was drafted in the second round (47) by the Seattle Seahawks and becomes the highest drafted Aggie since Rulon Jones was the 42nd overall pick in the second round in 1980 by the Denver Broncos.

Clune also mentored Kyle Gallagher, who ranked tied for 12th in the WAC during the 2011 season in tackles per game (7.69). Gallagher finished his Aggie career with 291 total tackles, ranking just outside of USU’s career top 10 lists.

In 2011, Clune helped Utah State lead the WAC in total defense (366.2 ypg), ranking 50th in the FBS, as well as ranking second in the league in both rushing defense (127.7 ypg) and tackles for loss (5.9 pg). The rushing defense also ranked 31st in FBS, an improvement of 57 spots from 2010, while the total defense’s ranking was an improvement of 52 spots from the 2010 FBS rankings. The Aggies also were second in the WAC in opponent third-down conversions in 2011 as USU’s opponents converted just 69 third downs on 195 attempts (.354).

In 2010, Clune mentored Wagner to lead the WAC and rank eighth in the FBS with 11.1 tackles per game. Wagner’s 133 tackles were the most by a USU defender since 2002.

Under Clune’s coaching in 2009, Wagner led the league and ranked tied for 22nd in FBS in tackles with 115, a 9.6 per game average. Wagner’s 115 tackles ranked as the second-most by a USU sophomore, behind Johndale Carty’s record of 138 set in 1996. Wagner was the first sophomore to lead the Aggies in tackles since 1994.

Clune came to Utah State after four years as Weber State’s defensive coordinator (2005-08), helping the Wildcats to a share of the 2008 Big Sky Conference title and advancing to the quarterfinals of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

During the 2008 season, Clune’s defense was fourth in the Big Sky in total defense (363.9 ypg), as well as leading the Big Sky in pass defense (208.4 ypg). Weber State also led the league in pass efficiency defense (109.4), which ranked 17th in FCS.

Under Clune, Weber State’s defense was ranked second in the Big Sky in both 2006 and 2007. The 2007 Wildcat defense yielded an average of just 348.4 yards per game. WSU also ranked first in the league in pass defense (212.2 ypg) and third in rushing defense (136.2 ypg).

During his tenure at Weber State, Clune coached 15 all-Big Sky Conference winners, including nine in 2008 and a second-team All-America in 2005 in Brady Fosmark.

Clune also served as defensive coordinator at Southern Utah in 2003 and 2004 until joining the Weber State staff in 2005.

While at Southern Utah, Clune mentored outside linebacker Nick DiPadova, who earned second-team NCAA Division I-AA All-American honors in 2004 and was honorable mention in 2003. Marques Harris also earned third-team NCAA Division I-AA All-American accolades in 2004 as well.

Clune was a graduate assistant coach on the Utah staff in 2001 and 2002 working with both the running backs and linebackers. He also spent time on the football staffs at Occidental College and Fullerton Junior College coaching the defensive line and linebackers as well as the special teams coordinator. Clune also coached at Dos Pueblos High School and Palma High School.

Clune was a defensive lineman at Fullerton JC for one year and spent one season at the University of San Diego.

Clune earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Cal State Fullerton in 2000.

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