- Family removed from Southwest flight over tweet about rude agent, dad says
- Michael Bloomberg thumbs FAA ban, plots course to Israel
- California bans full-contact football practices in off-season
- Thune: Downed fighter jets show more evidence of separatist capabilities
- Obama tells DNC fundraising crowd: ‘I’m not overly partisan’
- Chambliss: Downed jet ultimately goes back to Putin
- Perdue strategy: Run against Reid, Obama, Pelosi
- White House: More changes to contraception mandate coming
- ‘Operation Normandy’ set to send 3,500 volunteers to border to ‘stop an invasion’
- Netanyahu’s spokesman: Safe to fly to Israel
Andersen will take back seat during Rose Bowl
Question of the Day
MADISON, WIS. (AP) - Gary Andersen doesn’t mind taking a back seat with his new team when it comes to the Rose Bowl.
Andersen was formally introduced Friday as the new head coach at Wisconsin and he made it clear right away that he will be more of a “fly on the wall” as the Badgers prepare for the Jan. 1 game against Stanford.
That’s because his boss, athletic director Barry Alvarez, is already handling the coaching duties at the request of the players following the departure of Bret Bielema for Arkansas. That allows Andersen, who left Utah State after four years, to evaluate players and prepare for next season.
“These kids need to go win a Rose Bowl,” Andersen said after walking past a bowing Bucky Badger mascot and pep band playing the Wisconsin fight song. “The last thing they need for me is to hang around coach Alvarez.”
Andersen drew interest from California, Colorado and Kentucky last month, but decided to pass on those opportunities and received a contract extension from Utah State. Andersen said he accepted the Wisconsin job without asking any questions and pointed to a game earlier this season when his visiting Aggies missed a 37-yard field goal in the final seconds and the Badgers escaped with a 16-14 win.
At Utah State, Andersen took over a struggling program and led it to an 11-2 record this season, Western Athletic Conference title and a bowl victory over Toledo. At Wisconsin, he inherits a team fresh off winning the Big Ten and headed to the Rose Bowl for the third straight year. Wisconsin finished 8-5 this year, Bielema’s seventh as coach.
Andersen said he spent two days personally calling all 106 players on the Utah State team to let them know he was leaving. He said that was “probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do in my coaching career.”
Andersen met separately with some Wisconsin players and addressed the entire team at practice Friday. He told players that he would not be a distraction at the bowl game, junior running back James White said.
Center Travis Frederick said that’s unlikely to happen.
“Right now our focus is really on winning the Rose Bowl,” he said.
Players said they were glad the search for a new coach was over and that Andersen made a good first impression.
“He seemed like a great guy,” said junior linebacker Chris Borland. “He’s a straight shooter.”
Retailer pays a price for getting too close to Obama
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down
- HURT: The cost of 'free' water in Detroit
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq