Wisconsin appears to have a new football coach, the State Journal reports:
The University of Wisconsin is set to hire Utah State’s Gary Andersen as the Badgers’ next football coach.
A source close to the football program told the State Journal on Tuesday night it is a done deal: Andersen is UW athletic director Barry Alvarez’s choice to succeed Bret Bielema, who left to become the head coach at Arkansas.
Andersen, 48, has a career record of 30-31 – including 11-2 this year and a victory in the Potato Bowl.
He signed a contract extension with Utah State in October, saying:
“I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead quality young men for many years to come. Logan, Cache Valley and Utah State University have become home for me and my family. This extension continues to show how dedicated we all are at building a football program academically, socially and athletically that will be a quality representation of Utah State University.”
Until the Badgers called, that is.
Update: Three days ago, Andersen said this after his name was tied to the Colorado and Cal jobs:
“Opportunities are wonderful. It was very humbling the last three or four weeks to go through that process and be involved in jobs. You learn a lot, but you also learn a lot about yourself and where you want to be,” Andersen said this week.
“And you sit back and take a deep breath and know who you want to be able to be around. I love the kids I get to coach here. … The kids I have in the program, it just was not time. I look them in the eye and I need to be where I’m at.”
At least one of his players was buying it, too:
“He’s been talking about building a program,” sophomore linebacker Zach Virgil said. “And he can do something at Utah State that a lot of coaches dream of doing — start something special.”
Well, Madison is pretty special, too.