It’s no secret now to Badgers fans that Gary Andersen got another payday.
On Monday, the UW Board of Regents approved a $300,000 increase to Andersen’s base salary for the upcoming season. The raise still shouldn’t be as shocking as it has been over the past few days. After all, Andersen had a $100,000 annual pay increase built into his contract after he was due an initial $1.8 million for taking over after the Bret Bielema kerfuffle.
To break things down, the coach was already set to earn $1.9 million for 2014, and under past conditions would have hit $2.2 million in 2017. After his new raise, Gary Andersen will earn $2.2 million for 2014 and, should nothing else change, earn $2.6 million for the 2018 season.
The university even announced Andersen’s contract had been extended through Jan. 31, 2019 back in January of this year.
In a statement released by Athletic Director Barry Alvarez, the old coach said he mulled over Andersen’s contract during the 2013 season in which the Badgers went 9-3-and whatever Arizona State was. He added that the Cleveland Browns inquiry in February only proved the first-year coach’s worth.
From Alvarez on Monday:
“Then some weeks later, as has been reported, the Cleveland Browns approached Coach Andersen about their vacant head coaching position. Gary did not ask directly or even imply that his salary should be increased, but that only re-affirmed my thoughts about adjusting his compensation.”
Andersen in a Feb. 11 press release:
“Officials from the Cleveland Browns contacted me … I decided not to pursue the position. I am committed to the University of Wisconsin and the student-athletes in our program. I love the city of Madison and am grateful for all the support from Badgers fans around the state and around the country … “
Also from Alvarez on Feb. 11:
“When you have talented coaches on your roster, there will always be people who want to talk to them. I think that Gary is one of the top coaches in the country and am glad that he is leading our team.”
We all know the Browns were desperate. We also know that Andersen is a smart coach who values stability. He spent 11 years in the Utah system, including the first four years under the Kyle Wittingham era as defensive coordinator before spending four years rebuilding Utah State.
Alvarez spent 16 years building the Badgers into a Big Ten power house full of great running backs, corners, and linemen, plus suitable backup quarterbacks. Bielema built up the three-time B1G champions over seven years, and even if Andersen stays through half the time of Bielema, he will still probably outlast the Browns current head coaching hire.