Report: Wisconsin Hires Gary Andersen

December 18, 2012 at 10:33p    by Alex    


Run_Fido_Run's picture

Anderson has done good work at Utah State, but this is an odd hire. Andersen probably has no recruiting contacts in the key states - Wisc., Minn, ILL, Ohio, Michigan, and PA. Utah State's roster does include several kids from Fla, which is a good sign. Maybe he can give Wisc a little better presence in California and/or with Polynesians?  

JoeinCbus's picture

Good coach, but I really thought Bucky might be able to lure in a big name.  Surprising.

SilverBulletNYC's picture

This. Weakens. The. B1G. 

The South will NOT rise again!

Kurt's picture

Andersen runs a power spread offense?  Ok, my vote is under the column of good hire.  He's done a hell of a job at USU.
But I did sort of expect them to try to lure a name brand but it matters nothing.  

ih8rolltyde's picture

Weak hire. Big step back for B1G.

****igan smells like old water that hot dogs were boiled in.  FACT

J.Mo's picture

I wonder how many people said that when Ohio State hired a guy from Youngstown State?

Oyster's picture

I can honestly say that I never said anything like that.  My exact words were:  Who in the hell is Jim Tressel?

FitzBuck is clearly the winner.  Not even close.

BuckGnome's picture

True.  Although, to people who follow football in the state top to bottom, Tressel was very well known and greatly respected long before his hire at Ohio State.  Many people I talked to throughout the 90's believed Tress to be the best football coach in the state at any level.  Few remember, but he was offered the Miami(FL) job during that period and turned it down.
I didn't care what outsiders perception of the Tressel hire was, I was just thrilled the university made the right choice.

BeijingBucks's picture

What does power spread have to do with Wisconsin?



None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

Kurt's picture

Not a whole lot right now, but that's the offense that Andersen should be bringing with him.

TheHostileDwarf's picture

Wikipedia lists this guy as "the head football coach in waiting at the University of Wisconsin" so, you know, done deal: it's on the internet. When do we get to start hating him as much as Bielema?

JakeBuckeye's picture

I'm looking forward to being able to like Wisconsin again now that he's gone. Alvarez is cool.

bukyze's picture

Ditto.  I have a ton of friends who are Wisky grads, and I really hated having to hide my utter disdain for Bielema.  When Alvarez coached, I had always wanted Wisconsin to win all their conference games except when they played us.   Hell, I even let my wife buy a Wisconsin hat.  (Doh!)  That thing has long since been burned after Bert/Bart/Bret was hired.   Alvarez has always been a class act, and it seems Anderson will be as well.

JozyMozy's picture

Don't know much about the man, but I do know that Utah State has been VERY solid the past couple of years. Hell, Utah State ALMOST beat Bielema this past season, where they finished 11-2 after knocking off Toledo in their bowl game. I still can't believe they let that 2011 game @ Auburn slip away.
I don't see how the lack of a recognizable name is a bad thing? Perception is a big deal, sure, but really- who outside of Buckeye country ADORES Darrell Hazell? 

NC_Buckeye's picture

If Wiscy was looking for an up-and-comer they should also have been looking at the other coach in that Idaho Potato Bowl -- Matt Campbell. (Played for Massillon and Mount Union. Is a coaching disciple of Larry Kehres.) IMO, this guy will be a world beater. He won't be at Toledo for very long.
Campbell's big disadvantage is his age; he's only 32. Andersen OTOH is 48.

Dougger's picture

how much do you attribute him to the awful showing by toledo in their bowl game? Not being a jerk, but toledo just did not bring it and i was really disappointed.

I like football

NC_Buckeye's picture

For three quarters, Utah State didn't bring it either. All the scoring happened in the 4th quarter.
I had to leave at half time and didn't get to see the second half so I don't know what happened. But Toledo looked liked they belonged on the field with Utah State during the first half. Sounds like you saw the whole thing. What went down?

Dougger's picture

I watched until it got out of hand. We both saw it was low scoring in the first half. in the second half it seemed like UT was moving up and down but once close to the red zone they were just peein it away with bad mistakes - an interception comes to mind, and they also had a turnover on downs. I could be a little biased because I'm from Toledo but they just didn't play that well from what I saw.

I like football

CowCat's picture

If Urban Meyer can go from the MAC to Utah with no prior connections and go 12-0 in his second year, this guy can succeed in the B1G as well -- especially as Barry Alvarez already has established recruiting relationships from his coaching days.
He also is a defense-minded coach who has some indirect knowledge of how to defend Urban's system, given their mutual connections to Utah and Kyle Wittingham.
Overall a smart hire IMO.
He'll have to be very savvy on the recruiting trail, though.  Bielema actually did a good job finding projects, transfer QBs, etc.

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

brglr14's picture

he wanted chryst. and its to bad he didnt get it. i dont think he would of got the backlash others have if he would of went. i think barry had his sites set on both coaches in tater bowl and took the winner.

I dont know karate but i do know crazy and i'm not afraid to use it.


sawesome's picture

This isn't exactly true.  While Alvarez might have liked to have Chryst as the coach, he publicly said that it wouldn't be appropriate to hire him because of his short tenure at Pitt and that he'd helped him to get the Pitt job in the first place.  I don't think Chryst was ever a serious contender for the job at Wisconsin, at least as far as Alvarez was concerned.
For my part, I think the Andersen hire will turn out well if they give him enough time to develop his offense.  I'm guessing his first criteria for the next head coach was someone who would tell his boss when he was being courted by another school—and the sort of character that's supposed to come along with it.  I didn't see much of the Utah St–Toledo game, but if I'd had to pick it beforehand I would've given the edge to the Rockets (based only on a growing respect for the MAC).  But they got pretty well stomped by the Aggies.

OSUStu's picture

I don't know much about the man's coaching.  But his missed kick in the playoffs probably cost the Vikings a Superbowl.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

AndyVance's picture

I don't think this is as bad of a hire as everyone seems to believe... Jim Tressel was an established coach at a school no one cared about (granted, he was really, really, really established). Urban progressed through similar "no-name" schools until he really hit his stride and was called up to Florida. As Jozy noted, we all heralded Darrell Hazell as the best hire Purdue could make ever, and we're the only people in America to know his name prior to the hire...
On the other hand I agree that from a recruiting standpoint, it's an interesting hire. He'd better shore up a coaching staff that knows how to recruit the region hard, and then hope that his bona fides elsewhere brings in recruits Bielema could not.

J.Mo's picture

When Urban went to Florida, he was a huge name. Just took Utah to aBCS bowl.

BuckeyeSki's picture

Our division just got a whole lot easier...

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

PierogyJim's picture

Put me in the meh column. Andersen is 26-24 at Utah State, a WAC school. Urban is the same age as Andersen. At least Tressel won Nat'l Championships at Youngstown State and Urban's per-SEC record speaks for itself.
All this hire tells me is that Wisconsin could not get a top tier coach.

Riggins's picture

He won more games in his 4 years at Utah State (22) than the school did in its previous 8 years combined (21).  Not tomention 11-2 this season.
Alvarez is a smart guy.  I wouldn't be so quick to mock the hire.

PierogyJim's picture

I'm not mocking, but I'm not exactly blown away by the hire. 

tennbuckeye19's picture

They hired Gary Andersen. Not to be confused with Gary Anderson.


Denny's picture



E2Brutus's picture

I think the new hires in the B1G have been great:
Hazell - of the Tress Coaching Tree and 
Andersen - of the Urbz Coaching Tree
this is an upgrade from Bert and the Stache

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

Excellent hire.  If you can win at Utah State (dodge a wrench), you can win at Wisconson (dodge a ball).

Read my entire screen name....

cronimi's picture

All I can picture now is Bert getting pelted in the head with a wrench. And it brings a smile to my face!

bukyze's picture

I was actually at the game in Camp Randall this year when Utah State played them.  USU missed a 32 (?) yard FG to win the game.  They were well disciplined, and played great D.  Small sample, I know, but overall, I think it is a solid hire.  A big key will be what coaches he ends up hiring.

MediBuck's picture

I'm giving this one an Average grade. Not that Andersen isn't a good coach--he's an excellent coach making the most of a difficult situation at Utah State. I've watched him run that offense for several years now (living in WAC/Mountain West country... *sigh*) and think it's an exciting spread-to-run system with some real innovations in offset multi-back looks. We can rest assured that our days of cursing repeated TE and H-back motions is not over in Madison.
That said, a program with the stature and resources of Wisconsin can afford to go after a bigger name that will guarantee success. Andersen's system relies on different puzzle pieces that Wisky is not traditionally known for (hybrid H-backs, scatback/slot WRs, running QBs) and don't necessarily exist in great quantity in the Midwest. Factor in that they'll be rummaging for leftovers after Meyer has had his fill gorging on the region's elite athletes, and it's an uphill climb.

Wisky will find success with this hire, but I don't expect it to be right away. Perhaps they jumped the gun a little, but in terms of how it impacts OSU, I'm not the least bit worried :)

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

AndyVance's picture

No reason for us to be worried, I agree. My question for folks questioning this hire is this: looking at all the factors and variables, who was realistic, available, and possible? Alvarez is, by all available indicators, a helluvan AD, so I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. With Bert waiting to announce his move until almost everyone else had hired their new coach, he pretty much left Barry with a big steaming pile of Turd Ferguson to clean up, yes?

BrewstersMillions's picture

Indeed. Its also a bit much to assume Wisconsin deserved better. They aren't a destination job and they don't have the best tradition out there. They are in the same line as Oregon  and Oklahoma State-schools that are either in the shadow of a collegiate super power in their conference or desperately trying to go from obscurity to relevance to dominance in record time. All three schools have to contend with collegiate mega millionaires and have had great successes as of late-with Oregon being the king of the 'almost there's' but if Kelly and Gundy were to bolt to somewhere else the same way Bert did, would there be this massive rush for coaches to leave where they were to fill those spots? Wisconsin simply isn't a destination that will attract the biggest and brightest. This hire is perfect for them.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would be more obvious.

AndyVance's picture

You're right on the money (pun more or less intended). Alvarez has done yeoman's work in the 20+ years he's been at the tiller in one role or the other, but it will take time to "get there" yet. Ohio State and M*ch*g*n are the undisputed kings of the B1G realm, and that doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon.
Wisconsin, Nebraska and Penn State (if it can survive NCAA purgatory under BOB's steady hand - should he stay, that is) are more or less the rest of the top half, along with either Iowa or Michigan State, depending on which program gets their act together first... but for any of them to become a destination job, the next few years and the types of investments these program make will really set the stage for the next 20.
I believe the Big Ten and its programs are at what the business community refers to as an inflection point, with the considerable change coming in the conference - and to the sport at large - during the relatively short-term future.

kareemabduljacobb's picture

Saw this on Buckeyenation ESPN affiliate website, on the sidebar of tweets..
Tom Mulhern @TomMulhernWSJ

Source said Urban Meyer wanted to hire Gary Andersen as Ohio State def coordinator. Would have been salary bump at time.

Retweeted by Rittenberg/Bennett

I guess I really didn't know much about this guy but knew he had a good team at Utah State.    Hopefully he'll keep Wisky going in the right direction.