Oregon State Tabs Wisconsin’s Gary Andersen As Next Football Coach


The Oregon State Beavers announced that Wisconsin’s Gary Andersen would succeed Mike Riley as the 28th Head Coach in Beaver football history. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

In a move thats abruptness and surprise was rivaled only by the departure of long-time Coach Mike Riley last week, The Oregon State Beavers announced that Wisconsin’s Gary Andersen will accept the position of Head Coach in Corvallis. Riley had announced his hire by Nebraska just five days earlier.

Andersen is a multi-dimensional coach with strong west-coast ties. Having played college ball in Idaho and Utah; Andersen began his coaching career as an assistant for Urban Meyer’s during his time at Utah. Serving as the Utes Defensive Coordinator, Andersen helped coach the Utes to a #2 finish and a Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama in 2008.

Andersen was hired by a struggling Utah State program in 2009. After back to back 4-8 records, Andersen led the Aggies to their first bowl game in 14 years in 2011. In 2012, Andersen’s last year with the Aggies, Utah State finished the season 11-2, ranked #16 in the AP Poll, and #22 in the BCS.

In December of 2012, Bret Bielema left Wisconsin for Arkansas, leaving a void that Andersen would fill for his first Power-Five-Conference Head Coaching gig. Andersen finished 19-7 in two years as the Badger’s lead, finishing in the Top 25 both years.

Andersen’s departure still has many scratching their heads. Wisconsin appears, on the surface, to be one of the premier coaching jobs in the country; Corvallis is, well, not. The move doesn’t seem to add up, but it does serve as a poignant reminder that the constantly evolving world of college football is as chaotic and unpredictable as ever.

Coming on the heels of a 42 million dollar renovation of Valley Football Center, Oregon State has a lot to be excited about in 2015. Andersen’s coaching prowess will be tested as he inherits a depleted defensive unit, a new quarterback era, and a fan base desperate for wins both within the boundaries of the Pac-12 Conference and the borders of Oregon.