University of Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez announced Thursday the Badger football program has hired former Utah State head coach Gary Andersen to the same position at Wisconsin.
Andersen’s hire comes 15 days after former head coach Bret Bielema’s departure to the University of Arkansas. Alvarez reportedly waited to contact Andersen until after Utah State’s bowl game.
Utah State went 6-30 in the three seasons before Andersen took the head-coaching reins. The defensive-oriented coach inherited the nation’s No. 108 defensive unit and turned it around in his four seasons manning the Aggies—USU let up an average of just 15.4 points per game this season, good for No. 8 in nation.
Andersen compiled a 26-24 record in Logan, Utah, including an 11-2 record this season that capped off with a 41-15 win over Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. One of Utah State’s two losses this season came Sept. 15 in Madison, where the Aggies dropped a 16-14 game to the Badgers after USU junior kicker Josh Thompson missed a 37-yard field goal as time expired.
While Wisconsin has lost six of its assistant coaches since Bielema’s departure, it is uncertain whether Andersen will retain any of UW’s remaining coaching staff: running backs coach Thomas Hammock; interim offensive line coach Bart Miller; and secondary coach Ben Strickland.