Some eyebrows were raised Tuesday morning when Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen “secretly interviewed” for the head coaching position for the Cleveland Browns.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 11, 2014
After the report from Rapoport made the rounds on social media, both Andersen and Alvarez released statements, confirming that Andersen indeed spoke with the Cleveland brass, but he ultimately decided to stick around in Madison.
“Officials from the Cleveland Browns contacted me to talk about their head coaching vacancy,” Andersen said. “After our initial conversation, I decided not to pursue the position. I am committed to the University of Wisconsin and the student-athletes in our program. I love the city of Madison and am grateful for all the support from Badgers fans around the state and across the country.”
Alvarez said that Andersen informed him after the Browns reached out and that Andersen handled the situation “the right way.”
“I’m appreciative that Gary handled all of this the right way. He alerted me immediately that he had been contacted by the Browns and affirmed his commitment to the University of Wisconsin,” Alvarez said. “When you have talented coaches on your roster, there will always be people who want to talk to them. I think that Gary is one of the top coaches in the country and am glad that he is leading our team.”
The Badgers finished 9-4 in Andersen’s first season at the helm and ended the season with a loss to South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl. Andersen has never coached in the NFL and came to Wisconsin after leading a turnaround at Utah State.
Andersen received a one-year contract extension and a $100,000 raise from the school last month.
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