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In a move that may be as surprising as the departure of Mike Riley to Nebraska, Oregon State has hired Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen as Riley's replacement.
Andersen, 50, will be introduced at a press conference on Friday per the Portland Tribune.
Riley, the long-time coach of Oregon State, was hired by Nebraska last week. During Nebraska's search, Riley wasn't mentioned as a candidate. And during Oregon State's search, Andersen wasn't thought to be one of Oregon State's top targets.
Andersen, who signed an extension with Wisconsin in the offseason, replaced Bret Bielema as the Badgers' coach in 2013. He had a record of 19-7 in Madison though his final game will be the 59-0 loss that the Badgers suffered at the hands of Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday.
Bielema, as you likely know, left Wisconsin to go to Arkansas.
Wisconsin announced that Andersen informed the team of his decision in a Wednesday afternoon meeting and the school said a search was already underway for his replacement. Will the Badgers be targeting some of the potential (non-Jim Harbaugh) candidates that Big Ten rival Michigan is looking at?
Or maybe Wisconsin just needs to stay in-house? Wisconsin's basketball Twitter account has a fun – if not-possible – idea.
Because he left within two years of his deal, Andersen's buyout is a reported $3 million.
Andersen is a native of Salt Lake City and went to Utah, another Pac-12 school. Before arriving at Wisconsin, he coached at Utah State for four seasons. In 2012, his Aggies went 11-2 and almost beat Wisconsin that season. Before he was at Utah State, he was the defensive coordinator for Utah.
Oregon State was 5-7 in 2014. In Riley's 12 seasons with the school, Oregon State went to eight bowl games.
Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, the Badgers' coach before Bielema, said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon that Wisconsin's seniors had asked him to coach the Outback Bowl against Auburn. After Bielema left for Arkansas, Alvarez coached the Rose Bowl and said he'll decide Wednesday night if he'll coach the game.
For more Oregon State news, visit BeaverBlitz.com.
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