Wisconsin And Utah State Coach Gary Andersen Are In "Serious Talks"

Here is the latest information according to my sources on Utah State coach Gary Andersen leaving to take the Wisconsin job:

12/19/12 (2:38pm):
-Sources tell me Gary Andersen is in Madison this afternoon. He is expected to meet with Barry Alvarez and members of the board of regents and athletics board. It was expected the regents would approve the deal Thursday morning and then a press conference would follow. Some reports now say that press conference will happen Friday.

-According to sources the contract is pretty much done and now needs to be approved by the regents. It’s a five year deal worth about $2 million per season. Andersen will make $1.8 million in year one, year two-$1.9 million, year three-$2 million, year four-$2.1 million and year five-$2.2 million. He also has modest incentives built in where he can make as much as another $500,000 per season. In addition, if certain minimum requirements are met each season the contract rolls over giving Andersen another additional year on the deal with an increase in the base salary.

12/19/12 (11:30am MST):
-Word is Utah State offensive coordinator Matt Wells wants the head coaching job and could be interviewing as early as today. That makes sense since I’m sure he’ll have to make a decision on whether to leave with Gary Andersen ASAP. Financially, Well will have an interesting decision considering the Wisconsin OC position would pay as much if not more than the Aggies head coaching position. Hiring within would help with the continuity of the program and definitely appease star quarterback Chuckie Keeton. However, Wells has only one year of experience as a coordinator and no experience as a head coach.

-As of this morning Utah defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake still had not been contacted by Utah State but it is known he’s on the short list. I had multiple sources last night tell me Sitake has very strong interest in the job. If he would get the position, Sitake would bring Aaron Roderick up with him as the offensive coordinator. He would also retain all USU assistants that don’t go with Andersen to Wisconsin.

-Source tells me Gary Andersen was up early this morning continuing to call his Utah State players to explain the situation. His goal was to talk to every single one of them. Not many coaches would take the time and effort to do that when leaving for another job.

12/18/12 (11:35pm MST):
-Interesting note. To get a reference on Gary Andersen, Barry Alvarez talked with Ohio State coach Urban Meyer. Meyer hired Andersen at Utah as defensive line coach and remain close friends.

12/18/12 (11:18pm MST):
-Have been told by a source close to the situation that discussions will continue Wednesday on contractual terms. The plan is then for Andersen to meet with Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez and members of the university’s board of regents and athletics board.

-Since it’s a state run university the board of regents needs to approve the deal. First step is to schedule an emergency board meeting which 24 hours notice must be given. That means the meeting will be scheduled first thing Wednesday morning. On Thursday morning the board will meet and approve the contract that Alvarez presents to them. A press conference should immediately follow.

-Had another source say that Gary Andersen has already reached out to Utah defensive line coach Chad Kauha’aha’a and plans to hire him once the Wisconsin deal is finalized. Kauha’aha’a is very highly thought of and would be a big gain for Wisconsin and a huge loss for Kyle Whittingham’s program.

12/18/12 (9:24pm MST):
-While multiple reports say the deal is done, I am told Gary Andersen and Wisconsin are in “serious talks.” No deal has been completed but most likely will get done in the next 36 hours.

-Most, but not all, of the current Utah State coaching staff would join Andersen. On the defensive side of the ball, coordinator Dave Aranda and associate head coach/special teams coordinator/safeties coach Bill Busch would definitely leave. I’m hearing linebackers coach Kevin Klune and defensive line coach Frank Maile would most likely be left behind. Word is Andersen would hire Utah defensive line coach Chad Kauha’aha’a who had served on his staff for two years before joining the Utes.

The majority of the offensive coaching staff would go as well although it’s unclear whether Matt Wells would stay if Utah State pursues him as their next head coach.

-Based on the information I have received my educated guess is the deal from Wisconsin will be in the $2 million per year range. The previous Badgers coach Brett Bielema was making around $2.5 million.

-As for candidates to replace Andersen, Wells would be one of the leading candidates if he chooses not to go to Wisconsin. Utah defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake, a Andersen protege would also be a strong candidate. In fact a source close to Sitake told me he would have serious interest in the position if contacted.

For more updates follow me on Twitter @KevinGrahamKFAN.

Tags: Football Gary Andersen Utah State Aggies Utah Utes Wisconsin Badgers

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