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Badgers HC Gary Andersen takes Oregon State job

The Badger faithful must be sick of finding head coaches who get great results and then take off for jobs that are clear reclamation projects. For the second time in three years the University of Wisconsin is now searching for a new head coach.

On Wednesday afternoon rumblings of something big in Madison came our way, and late on Wednesday afternoon the athletic department confirmed that football head coach Gary Andersen was leaving to take the job at Oregon State.

Yes, that’s the Big Ten and Pac-12 trading coaches in a sense. Mike Riley left the Beavers to take over the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Andersen will replace him.

It’s a move that certainly has sent shockwaves around the state of Wisconsin and the rest of the Badger nation, as Andersen leaves with a 19-7 overall record in his two years in Madison. The players took to twitter to react, as did many of the recruits that were building in to perhaps the best overall class the Wisconsin Badgers have ever had.

The move was one that even caught his own family off guard, as Andersen’s son, Chasen, wasn’t informed of his dad’s choice until sitting in a team meeting with the rest of the guys.

While the feeling seems familiar to Badger fans, the ending is much different between this coaching move and the last. Bielema left just days after a massive upset of Nebraska in the Big Ten championship game and a trip to the Rose Bowl coming. Andersen, well he’s leaving on perhaps the worst note possible, a 59-0 drubbing by Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game.

Andersen sighted family reasons for wanting to make the move out West to Oregon State, and Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez appeared as stunned by this move as anyone.

Just one look at the expression on his face showed this was surprising and took a personal toll on him.

Alvarez also indicated that there was never any personal talk of Andersen being homesick or feeling like the Badgers weren’t a fit for him.

No matter the shock or surprise or whatever emotion is going on around the program, the Badgers now have the task of finding a third head coach in as many offseasons.

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball


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