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December 20, 2012

Wisconsin Finally Has a New Coach

Filed under: Coaches,Football,Hire/Fire — Chas @ 12:49 pm

Well, my son is running a fever today. Which means I’m taking a sick day as well. (Hence the slew of posts.)

Today, Wisconsin officially hires Gary Andersen from Utah State. Wisconsin fans like the fact that Andersen was a candidate, and they seem very pleased with the hire. By most accounts, the hire was considered to be an excellent move.

A coach that won in a place that has been mostly a rent-a-win since its return to 1-A. He’s from the Urban Meyer coaching tree. He was the DC at Utah. It also seems to be a fiscally prudent hire, as Andersen’s salary is in the $1.8 – 2 million range.

Obviously for Pitt fans, the relief is that Wisconsin may have found a coach that can win. If Wisconsin wins, then they aren’t looking to replace him a few years down the road. Which means if Chryst succeeds like we hope and believe, he won’t be faced with the choice of going home.

There is one nagging fear.

This is not an Alvarez-influenced guy. He is a believe in spread principles.

As for offense, it may be that Wisconsin will have a new look for the first time in 20 years. It’s not that Andersen doesn’t share Alvarez’s and Bielema’s affinity for the running game — Utah State ranked sixth nationally in rushing offense last season (behind star Robert Turbin), 25th this season — but he’ll likely employ the system he knows best. Both Utah and Utah State employed spread-option offenses with mobile quarterbacks, a departure from Wisconsin’s traditional pro-style attack.

When Bret Bielema left for Arkansas, Alvarez minimized the achievements by saying how Bielema won with his blueprint. There are going to be some legitimate questions about how this relationship will work. Andersen is his own man.

“The coach that I’ll hire will be someone that will have to understand who we are and how we go about our business,” Alvarez said two weeks ago. “I don’t look to change a whole lot in how we operate things here.”

Right, but what if the 48-year-old Andersen — experienced and successful in his own right — wants to institute some changes? This isn’t merely an AD impressing upon his new hire the importance of the principles that guide the athletic department and the university at large. This is an AD who clearly believes he’s well within his rights to dictate X’s-and-O’s to his football coach.

“I don’t have any problem with our scheme,” Alvarez said. “I don’t perceive us a spread-’em-out, fast-paced, no-huddle, one-back, five-wides. … You know what the plan is. It starts with those big palookas up front.”

This is what Andersen must prepare for. Both men may have to learn to adjust.

In so many ways. It seems that Andersen is eager to bring most of his staff to Wisconsin. While Alvarez wants Andersen to retain several present coaches.

This isn’t to say it will be the culture shock on both sides that put immediate stress on the Rich Rodriguez and Michigan marriage. Andersen is a defensive-minded coach, first. His spread isn’t an air-raid style. It utilizes the running game, much more. Plus Wisconsin has shown itself to be adaptable to the concepts that utilize spread elements as shown with the year of Russel Wilson.

But… What if Alvarez can’t stop trying to meddle? Trying to control and push Andersen to do things a certain way. What if regardless of success  at Wisconsin, Andersen chafes under Alvarez? What if the pursestrings stay closed on paying for assistants?

Well, at least we have a few years before worrying.

Well, it appears that Pitt will have the same head football coach two years in a row! Considering the last few years, that’s good news. Now what I’m curious about is who Paul Vhryst is going to hire as his defensive coordinator. He tends to stay with people he knows well. Maybe he had to see how things went in Wisconsin. In that Anderson wants to bring his entire staff to Madison, some people at Wisconsin will be looking for jobs.

Comment by Justinian 12.20.12 @ 1:11 pm

Chas who do you think the next DC is
Tood Orlando played at wisnconsin

any names chas.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.20.12 @ 2:38 pm

I’m hearing Kerry Cooks.

Comment by TX Panther 12.20.12 @ 3:07 pm

When anthony covington de commited from pitt
it must have been bad grades that made him do it

becuse he just commited to appalachin state
no one gives up pitt and 10 outher big time
schools for appalachin.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.20.12 @ 3:10 pm

tex panther good job
kerry cooks coached at wisconsin fromm 2006 till 2009 the co dc at ND now way to go tex panther

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.20.12 @ 3:53 pm

Why they would hire a spread coach just to try to change him? If Peterson made this hire he would be savaged after a few losses. The Whisky faithful will blame the coach, not the administration for hiring him if this does not work out.

Comment by Chuck Morris 12.20.12 @ 5:20 pm

FRANKCAN, come on man, if you call Orlando TOOD one more time, I swear I’m goin to smack you upside the HEED! LOL

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.20.12 @ 5:36 pm

ok ok todd you know who i mean i got in a hurry
you know how i get when i get in a hurry all these posts i am in a rush sorry.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.20.12 @ 6:03 pm

You mean his name’s not really Tood?

Comment by marcus of schaumburg 12.20.12 @ 7:03 pm

Utah St promoted off coordinator to HC, while Andersen is expected to take most of his staff to Wisc including his def coordinator.

This is good that it frees Orlando or Cooks for Pitt if either are indeed Chryst’s choice

Comment by wbb 12.20.12 @ 7:39 pm

lol frankie at least didn’t call him Toad.

PC’s past hires suggest someone with Wisconsin ties.
So I’d be happy with either:

A) Todd Orlando ( as long as Dawn comes with him)
B) Kerry Cooks (haven’t heard his name before but if was co DC at ND, I’m buying)

Whoever is the better recruiter if they’re coaching skills are about equal. And maybe has recruited the South. Since we just lost Hux who had some Southern ties.

Comment by Emel 12.20.12 @ 7:42 pm

P.S. yes I know it’s Tony Orlando & Dawn 🙂

hey wbb I couldn’t remember the starting Center on those PITT bb teams from the last ’60’s but he was almost identical in hgt/wgt to Bill Sulkowski.
And no not Jim Bolla he came later with Billy Knight.

Comment by Emel 12.20.12 @ 7:46 pm

If Chryst wants Orlando (and Dawn), does he have to tie a yellow ribbon or knock 3 times?

Comment by wbb 12.20.12 @ 7:48 pm

Emel, can’t remember but if I wake up at 3 am and remember (don’t laugh), I’ll turn on the computer and post it.

Comment by wbb 12.20.12 @ 8:06 pm

Maybe Andersen will be successful at Wisconsin, but Alvarez doesn’t get along with him, so he leaves to become DC at Pitt with his boy Chryst. C-ya Steve!

Comment by Hank the Tank 12.20.12 @ 8:07 pm

lol wbb. Sounds like me, it will just suddenly pop into my head.

Sort of like an old girlfriends name.

FYI: for our younger panther bros’s, Dawn was actually two women who sang with Tony.

Comment by Emel 12.20.12 @ 8:29 pm

Paul O’Gorek?

Comment by wbb 12.20.12 @ 8:41 pm

Kerry Cooks… very interesting candidate. Seems to hit all the criteria of serious candidate for Chryst staff.

-Wisconsin ties
-Chryst knows him
-on a team still in bowl hunt
-coaching experience looks strong

-looks like his recruiting and ties are to midwest and down towards Texas?

– similar demeanor to Chryst??

If it was Todd Orlando wouldn’t they already pull the trigger since there are no ties for him right now?

Comment by PittScript 12.20.12 @ 11:11 pm

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