The Wisconsin Badgers head football coach is Gary Andersen if credible sources are correct. Of course until a contract is signed the Badgers head football coach rumors might as well continue, however we can see this is likely the end game. Gary Andersen is currently the head coach at Utah State and what he has in common with other rumored coaches is that his team played well against the Badgers and the program where he is from has a relationship with the Badgers/ Alvarez. Gary Andersen wasn't very much on our radar because like Chris Petersen at Boise State he was seen as an untouchable .
If the Badgers do in fact hire Gary Andersen to be the Badgers football head coach they will have made the biggest coaching hire of any program in 2012 unless Chris Petersen gets lured somewhere. There should be no debate if this goes down on the level of the Badgers program and its ability to attract a head coach because if any of the "major powers" Michigan, OSU, Florida, USC were searching for a head coach this season this guy would be their pick unless they had a Carrol/ Meyer up their sleeves. If you want to be the person who asks is this a bigger hire than Bielema and the answer is a resounding yes unless you potentially count the assistant coaches that Bielema currently has attracted.
Gary Andersen is a defensive minded coach and was the defensive coordinator/ assisstant head coach for the Utah team that went 13-0 in 2008 and upset Alabama in their bowl game. In fact Utah State was the 8th best team in the nation in points against this year, very impressive with the talent that a Utah State can bring in, clearly Andersen and his staff can coach the players up as well as recruit.
Speaking of recruiting Gary Andersen is a known commodity as a recruiter, he is credited with doing a phenominal job at bring blue chip prospects to Utah when he was there as a defensive coordinator/ head coach. Andersen primarily has contacts in California and on the West Coast which is an avenue the Badgers have explored more recently. While this does seem like a bit of a poor match for the Badgers a known recruiter is usually good in any market they opperate and Andersen seems like he has a personallity that can fit in the Midwest. One of the biggest questions is if Andersen can balance his staff so that he has some good known recruiters on staff for the Midwest, East Coast and Florida.
What you really have to like about Gary Andersen is that like Barry Alvarez he took over a program that was horrible at age 44 and then had a plan that turned around a program in 4 years. Sure if you look at stats Utah State is 26-24 in the 4 years with Andersen but they have improved every year to the point where this year they went 12-2, almost beat the Badgers, and won big in their bowl game in 2012. It is this ability to formulate a plan and execute in short order that has put Andersen on top of the Badgers list just like it would have for every school in the country.
The questions that has to be out there with Gary Andersen is who will the offesnive coordinator be because Gary Andersen has more of a spread formation background than the pro style offensive that Barry would like to be kept as a hallmark of Badger football. In fact of course Gary's background includes working with Urban Meyer and hearing his gospel on the spread/ option offense. We like Matt Canada to be lured back from NC State with an offer to be Assisstant Head Coach/ Offensive Coordinator/ big pay raise as it was impressive how much he was able to learn from his mistakes and improve the offense this season as the year wore on. Matt Canada expressed a desire to be a Badger coach for the long term and is a midwestern guy that would be great to bring back.
Someday there might be some Badger fans that dig this artical up and tell you we told you so when Gary Andersen doesn't work out, but right now we are here to tell you that if this is the hire then Barry Alvarez hit a Grand Slam homerun that has the rest of the athletic directors in the country shaking their heads.
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