Like a big Thanksgiving Day meal, I had to let this news digest. When I first read the reports that Wisconsin Badgers head coach Gary Andersen interviewed for the Cleveland Browns coaching vacancy, I was a little taken back. But the more I thought about it that day and have been thinking about it, the more it dawned on me that this necessarily isn’t a bad thing at all.
This type of thing happens all the time. And by all the time, I mean ALL THE TIME. The former ball coach at Wisconsin Bret Bielema used to get calls and interviews during his time at Madison as well. It just happens.
Coaches bolt for more prominent jobs all the time, whether that’s a better coaching job at the college level or the next step up in the NFL. Some pull the rug out from under you and change jobs over night with no inclination of their intentions. But do you think Andersen would spend just one year in Madison and decide to high-tail it out-of-town?
Sure he left Utah State for Wisconsin, but that was after four years with the Aggies and building that program from the bottom up. He’s also the same guy that called every single player on that team and told them of the situation before heading north to Wisconsin. Andersen also informed Badgers athletic director Barry Alvarez of the interview with the Browns and gave Alvarez his word that he is committed to the UW football program.
It’s definitely reassuring to Wisconsin fans that Andersen is highly committed to this university. No doubt in the future Andersen will be getting more interview opportunities from both college and NFL teams and rightfully so. He’s a good coach and although I haven’t personally met him, from what I’ve seen and heard he’s an even better person in general.
And doesn’t it make you feel good to know that the Badgers have a coach that after his first year on the job in Wisconsin, he is already getting an interview for an NFL job? Speaks volumes about the type of coach Andersen is and how he has not only turned around a Utah State program, but is working on getting the Badgers back in the Rose Bowl and possibly a BCS playoff berth or two.
For now though Andersen is looking to bring the Wisconsin Badgers into the national spotlight. After a 9-4 first season the expectations are high for the Badgers and Gary Andersen, something he knows very well and welcomes the challenge.