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Gary Andersen
Gary Andersen

Head Coach


After four years of building a winning program at Utah State, Gary Andersen has stepped in and not missed a beat while maintaining the level of excellence that has defined Wisconsin football over the past two decades.

Andersen, 50, was introduced as the 29th head coach in Wisconsin football history on Dec. 20, 2012 after four-year run as the head coach at Utah State in which he was named WAC Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award in 2012.

Gary Andersen
Andersen at a Glance
Salt Lake City, Utah
Alma Mater
Utah, 1986 (political science)
Playing Experience
• Offensive line, Ricks College (1984)
• offensive line, Utah (1985-86)
Coaching Experience
• Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator, Southeastern Louisiana (1988)
• Assistant Coach, Ricks College (1989-92)
• Assistant Coach, Idaho State (1992-94)
• Head Coach, Park City (Utah) High School (1994-95)
• Assistant Head Coach, Northern Arizona (1995-96)
• Assistant Coach, Utah (1997-00)
• Assistant Head Coach, Utah (2001-02)
• Head Coach, Southern Utah (2003)
• Assistant Coach, Utah (2004)
• Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator, Utah (2005-08)
• Head Coach, Utah State (2009-12)
• Head Coach, Wisconsin (2013-present)

He engineered a transition described by both the coaches and players at Wisconsin as "seamless," leading the Badgers to a 9-4 record, including a 6-2 mark Big Ten play during his debut season in 2013. For his efforts, Andersen was named a semifinalist for the Maxwell Coach of the Year Award.

Academically, the Badgers were publically recognized by the NCAA for holding the nation's third-highest Academic Progress Rate score.

In scoring a 45-0 win over UMass and a 48-0 victory over Tennessee Tech, Andersen became just the seventh head coach since World War II to open his career at a school with back-to-back shutouts, and the first since Fred Akers at Texas in 1977.

Dating back to his time at Utah State, Andersen has won 25 of his last 32 games as a head coach. Of the 31 coaches that took over at a new Football Bowl Subdivision program in 2013, Andersen was one of just five to score at least nine wins in his first season at the helm.

He oversaw a Badgers team that finished the regular season ranked No. 7 nationally in total defense and No. 18 in total offense. Wisconsin also ranked No. 6 in scoring defense, allowing just 16.3 points per game.

The Badgers set program records for total offense with 480.8 yards per game and rushing yards in a season with 3,689. UW's rushing average of 6.62 yards per carry was also a school record, while running backs James White and Melvin Gordon set the FBS record for most rushing yards by a pair of teammates in a season by combining for 3,053 yards. They also made Wisconsin the first team in FBS history to have two 1,400-yard rushers in the same season.

Andersen's squad had a pair of All-Americans in senior LB Chris Borland (first team) and senior OL Ryan Groy (third team). Three players earned first-team All-Big Ten honors in senior WR Jared Abbrederis, Borland and Groy, with 14 Badgers earning some level of all-conference distinction.

Borland capped a tremendous career by being named Nagurski-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and the Butkus-Fitzgerald Big Ten Linebacker of the Year in addition to being a finalist for the Chicago Tribune's Silver Football given to the Big Ten MVP.

Borland, who was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, became one of five players from Andersen's first UW team to be selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, joining WR Jared Abbrederis (Green Bay), NG Beau Allen (Philadelphia), S Dezmen Southward (Atlanta) and RB James White (New England).

In addition, eight players from Andersen's Utah State teams have been taken in the NFL draft.

At Utah State, he led a program that had just six wins in the previous three seasons to a 26-24 record in his four years at the helm. Andersen guided USU to its most successful season in history in 2012. The Aggies won a school-record 11 games, went undefeated in the WAC and captured their first outright league title since 1936. To cap the season, USU defeated Toledo, 41-15, to win the 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and finish the year ranked No. 16 in the Associated Press Top 25.

For guiding Utah State to double-digit victories for the first time in history, Andersen was named the WAC Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award. In addition to their first bowl win since 1993, the Aggies defeated three teams that finished the season with at least nine wins, with all of those victories coming away from home. That included a win at No. 20 Louisiana Tech, the first road win over a ranked team in the program's history. Utah State also defeated in-state rival Utah for the first time since 1997.

Andersen, who was the defensive coordinator at Utah for four seasons before getting the head job at Utah State, has a history of developing tremendous defenses. In 2012, Utah State ranked eighth in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 15.4 points per game. In 2008, the year before Andersen took over at USU, the Aggies allowed an average of 34.7 points per game and ranked 106th nationally.

In addition to scoring defense, Utah State also ranked among the top 15 nationally in sacks (eighth), pass efficiency defense (10th), rushing defense (12th) and total defense (15th) in his final season.

On the offensive side of the ball, much like Badgers fans are accustomed to from UW, Utah State has been very efficient running the ball. The Aggies finished sixth in the country in rushing offense in 2011 (282.7 ypg) and were 25th in 2012 (204.1 ypg). RB Robert Turbin ranked 10th nationally with 1,517 yards on the ground in 2011 and RB Kerwynn Williams ran for 1,512 yards in 2012, good for ninth in the country.

Bowl Game Experience (8-2)
Season School Bowl Result (Opponent)
1999 Utah Las Vegas W, 17-16 (Fresno State)
2001 Utah Las Vegas W, 10-6 (USC)
2004 Utah Fiesta W, 35-7 (Pittsburgh)
2005 Utah Emerald W, 38-10 (Georgia Tech)
2006 Utah Armed Forces W, 25-13 (Tulsa)
2007 Utah Poinsettia W, 35-32 (Army)
2008 Utah Sugar W, 31-17 (Alabama)
2011 Utah State Idaho Potato L, 24-23 (Ohio)
2012 Utah State Idaho Potato W, 41-15 (Toledo)
2013 Wisconsin Capital One L, 34-24 (South Carolina)

With consecutive appearances in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Utah State was bowl eligible in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1960-61. In 2011, the Aggies finished 7-6, the most wins for USU since 1993. They burst on the national scene in the season-opener, taking defending national champion Auburn down to the wire on the road. The season ended with Turbin earning WAC Offensive Player of the Year honors and Utah State leading the WAC in total defense.

In the three seasons preceding Andersen's hire (2006-08), Utah State went a combined 6-30 (.167). The Aggies had not finished above .500 since 1996. He led USU to back-to-back winning seasons and a 26-24 mark in four years (.520).

Along with their success on the field, Utah State's players have succeeded in the classroom under Andersen. The 2011 Aggies were represented by 18 players on the All-WAC Academic Team, the most in the conference. More than half of Andersen's players at USU earned at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA. The Aggies also ranked No. 4 nationally and earned public recognition from the NCAA for their Academic Progress Rate score for 2012-13 (Wisconsin ranked No. 3).

During his five seasons at Utah, Andersen was a part of two undefeated campaigns, both of which culminated in BCS bowl victories. He was the Utes' defensive coordinator in 2008 as they went 13-0 and defeated Alabama, 31-17, in the Sugar Bowl to end the season ranked No. 2 in the country. His defense ranked 11th nationally in rush defense, No. 12 in total defense and No. 20 in pass efficiency defense, and Andersen was named a finalist for the Broyles Award, given to the nation's top assistant coach.

In 2007, Utah led the country in pass efficiency defense, ranked fifth in scoring D and 18th in total defense.

Overall, Andersen spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach at Utah after coaching for the Utes from 1997-2002 before becoming the head coach at Southern Utah in 2003 and then returning to Utah in 2004.

Andersen's coaching career began in 1988 as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Southeastern Louisiana, where he coached for one season before going to Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) from 1989-92 as the offensive line coach. His other coaching stints include Idaho State (1992-94, defensive line), Park City (Utah) High School (1994-95, head coach) and Northern Arizona (1995-96, assistant head coach/defensive line/special teams).

A 1986 graduate of Utah, Andersen earned his bachelor's degree in political science. He played center for Utah from 1985-86 after garnering first-team junior college All-America honors in 1984 at Ricks College.

Andersen is married to the former Stacey Lambert, and they have three sons: Keegan and twins Chasen and Hagen. Chasen plays linebacker for the Badgers, while Keegan is in his first season as a graduate assistant coach at UW.

Andersen's Coaching Career
Year School Position
Overall Conf. Bowl
1989 Ricks College Offensive Line -- --
1990 Ricks College Offensive Line -- --
1991 Ricks College Offensive Line -- --
1992 Idaho State Defensive Line 3-8 1-6
1993 Idaho State Defensive Line 2-9 0-7
1994 Park City (Utah) HS Head Coach -- --
1995 Northern Arizona Assistant Head Coach/DL/ST 7-4 4-2
1996 Northern Arizona Assistant Head Coach/DL/ST 9-3 6-1
1997 Utah Defensive Tackles/Strg Side Ends 6-5 5-3
1998 Utah Defensive Tackles/Strg Side Ends 7-4 5-3
1999 Utah Defensive Tackles/Strg Side Ends 9-3 5-2 Las Vegas
2000 Utah Defensive Tackles/Strg Side Ends 5-6 3-4
2001 Utah Assistant Head Coach/DT/ST 8-4 4-3 Las Vegas
2002 Utah Assistant Head Coach/DT/ST 5-6 3-4
2003 Southern Utah Head Coach 4-7
2004 Utah Defensive Line 12-0 7-0 Fiesta
2005 Utah Def. Coord./Asst. HC/DL 7-5 4-4 Emerald
2006 Utah Def. Coord./Asst. HC/DL 8-5 4-4 Armed Forces
2007 Utah Def. Coord./Asst. HC/DL 9-4 5-3 Poinsettia
2008 Utah Def. Coord./Asst. HC/DL 13-0 8-0 Sugar
2009 Utah State Head Coach 4-8 3-5
2010 Utah State Head Coach 4-8 2-6
2011 Utah State Head Coach 7-6 5-2 Idaho Potato
2012 Utah State Head Coach 11-2 6-0 Idaho Potato
2013 Wisconsin Head Coach 9-4 6-2 Capital One
Head Coaching Totals 39-35 22-15 3 Bowl Games

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