By: Bill Scott-Wisconsin Radio Network
Wisconsin football coach Gary Andersen talked with the Cleveland Browns about their vacant head coaching position before the Browns hired Mike Pettine.
Ian Rapoport from NFL.com tweeted that the Browns tried it all during their coaching search. Rapoport said, ”Source says they secretly interviewed #Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen, who got a raise on 1/25.”
The University quickly responded with statements from Andersen and Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez.
Andersen said, “Officials from the Cleveland Browns contacted me to talk about their head coaching vacancy. 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 the Badgers fans around the state and around the country. I look forward to the start of spring football in a couple of weeks and turning the focus to preparing for 2014.”
Alvarez said, “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. 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.”
Andersen led the Badgers to a 9-4 record in his first year in Madison. The Badgers fell to No. 9 South Carolina 34-24 in the Capital One Bowl.