LOGAN — Utah State head coach Gary Andersen has taken the head coaching job at Wisconsin.
A player, who wished to remain anonymous, said members of the team received a call from coach Andersen Tuesday night, informing them that he had accepted the Wisconsin job.
Andersen interviewed with Wisconsin on Monday and was reportedly offered the job on Tuesday. An official announcement has not been made by either Wisconsin or coach Andersen, but could come as early as Thursday.
The Wisconsin State Journal, who originally broke the story, said Andersen was expected to inform his staff on Tuesday night before finalizing the deal Wednesday.
"I plan to remain the head football coach at Utah State University," Andersen said. "The interest I have received is a compliment to the quality young men in this program. Their hard work and dedication has built a culture that will enable us to continue to be successful at a very high level moving forward." -Gary Andersen
Several Aggies players tweeted about the coaching change shortly after being told by coach Andersen.
Junior tight end D.J. Tialavea tweeted, "Just got that phone call always have and always will love ya coach!" Tialavea followed it up by tweeting: "Nothing's gonna change, I'm still gonna work hard and ball out next year.. It's my senior year, I don't have a choice."
Senior wide receiver Matt Austin tweeted: "Jus got word ! All the coordinators lookin like they are leavin wit coach A! Smh but coach Bouknight my receiver coach got a job at NIU.."
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams tweeted: "All I can say is now is when we as teammates need each other the most. Thankful for what he's done for us and tho we may not all support it."
Keegan Andersen, son of Gary Andersen, tweeted: "No matter what happens i'm still an Aggie. I am going to finish an Aggie! I love all my teammates y'all are my brothers and always will be!"
By the way, congrats Coach A— Travis Reynolds(@T_Rey8) December 19, 2012
Andersen is expected to make more than $2 million a season; however, no official deal has been released at this time. Andersen currently makes $700,000 as Utah State's head coach. Andersen will be coaching on the opposite sidelines of Urban Meyer, who was head coach of the University of Utah when Andersen was with the team.
Andersen has been with Utah State for four years and has been rumored to have been the top coaching candidate for several top football programs, including Cal and Colorado, after turning around a losing Aggies team to an 11-2 season, which is the best in school history.
Following a contract extension with the Aggies, which would have locked Andersen in until 2018, Andersen said he was committed to the program and Utah State.
All I can say is now is when we as teammates need each other the most. Thankful for what he's done for us and tho we may not all support it.— Kerwynn Williams (@KWill_25) December 19, 2012
"I plan to remain the head football coach at Utah State University," Andersen said. "The interest I have received is a compliment to the quality young men in this program. Their hard work and dedication has built a culture that will enable us to continue to be successful at a very high level moving forward.
"I love Cache Valley, this university and these young men, and I am humbled and excited to continue to be the coach here," Andersen added.
In his four years as head coach, Andersen was 27-24, including a close loss to Wisconsin earlier in the season. The Aggies capped off the season with a 41-15 victory over Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday.
Andersen was born in Salt Lake City and spent his football career in Utah. He played football at Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) before transferring to the University of Utah. Andersen started as the defensive line coach at Utah in 1997, was head coach at Southern Utah University and then defensive coordinator at Utah.
Former Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema accepted the head coaching job at Arkansas about two weeks ago.