Year In Review: Grading Gary Andersen And His First Year As Wisconsin’s Head Coach

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Gary Andersen has been the head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers football team for about 14 and-a-half months. One has to admit, it has been an interesting ride thus far.

Spring Practices, for the 2014 season, are underway. So, we wanted to take some time to grade how well Andersen has handled taking over one of the nation’s most consistent programs, in all of college football, for the past two decades. We assigned him grades in how he’s done on the recruiting trail, on game day, on the culture he’s created, on how he’s carried on Alvarez’s blueprint and on his integrity on and off the field.

Enjoy, and see if your grades match ours.


In college football, recruiting is king. And when it comes to recruiting, Andersen has continually impressed. When he took over, he kept together a strong class of 17 players for the 2013 class, despite being thrown into the middle of the dramatic exit of former head coach Bret Bielema. A head coaching change in December can absolutely dismantle a recruiting class but Andersen did well to keep the class together; for the most part. In 2014, Coach A’s first real recruiting class came together, and he really went to work. Per Rivals, he secured the nation’s 33rd best class (Neb. 32nd, Mich. 31st) and many believe this class is vastly underrated.

Andersen also signed two key prospects from the fertile recruiting grounds of Georgia — something Bielema never did during his seven year tenure as Wisconsin’s head coach. But Andersen didn’t stop there, he also brought in a running backs coach in Thomas Brown, who is an ace Georgia recruiter. Things are looking bright between the Badgers and their connection with the Peach State. He also kept Wisconsin’s pipeline with southern Florida strong. That has always been and always will be key for the Badgers’ success. As his connections continue to grow in the Midwest and the south, the recruiting classes should only get better; and we have good reason to believe that to be true.

Grade: A-