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CORVALLIS, Ore. — Gary Andersen’s rise through the college coaching ranks has been rapid, to say the least.
After only two seasons in Madison, Wisconsin, the former Utah State head coach is coming back west.
Andersen will be named the new coach at Oregon State, the school announced Wednesday afternoon. After two years at Wisconsin, the one-time four-year Aggie head coach will take over a Pac 12 program that has consistently been good — if not always great.
“I began working to find a new head coach as soon as I spoke with Gary this morning,” Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said in a statement. “My first concern is taking care of the players on the current team, especially the senior class, and ensuring that their bowl experience is a memorable one. I will find a head coach to uphold the great tradition at Wisconsin, someone who is committed to excellence both on and off the field.
“I want to thank Gary for his two years here and commend him on the way his team performanced on the field, in the classroom and in the community. I wish him the best at Oregon State.”
The Portland Tribune was the first to report Andersen’s hire.
Andersen finished 19-7 in his two seasons with the Badgers, who finished 10-3 in 2014 and will face Auburn in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1. The news broke shortly after Wisconsin star running back Melvin Gordon announced he would skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft in April.
Andersen went 26-22 in four seasons at Utah State, where he was named Western Athletic Conference coach of the year in 2012 after taking the Aggies to an 11-2 record and their first bowl game since 1997 when they lost to Ohio 24-23 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
He also spent one year as the head coach at Southern Utah in 2003, and worked as the defensive coordinator under Kyle Whittingham at Utah for three seasons before assuming the Aggies’ top job.