Anderson came to UNC with Larry Fedora from Southern Miss two seasons ago and set 35 school records in their first season in Chapel Hill in 2012, including for total offense and most points.
Arkansas State has become a terrific stepping stone for up-and-coming coaches, including Hugh Freeze and Guz Malzahn, who both spent only one season in Jonesboro. In fact, Anderson becomes the Red Wolves's fifth head coach in five seasons.
He is not expected to coach UNC's bowl game.
Thursday Afternoon Update: UNC has confirmed Anderson's departure and provided a statement from head coach Larry Fedora:
"Blake is an outstanding football coach and I'm thrilled he has the chance to be the head coach at Arkansas State. It's been a goal of his for a long time to be a Division I head coach and he deserves this opportunity.
Blake has been with me for the last six seasons and we've had success at both Southern Miss and North Carolina, setting several offensive school records. When you have that kind of success other schools are going to notice. I want our assistants to have these types of opportunities and I'm excited for Blake and his family as they make the move to Arkansas State.
"Going forward, we will take our time to find the best fit for our program."