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UW’s Gary Andersen ‘secretly interviewed’ with Browns

Gary Andersen Getty Images

As the dumpster fire that is the Cleveland Browns continues to reach new and epic lows, there’s yet another report that connects my beloved but laughably embarrassing NFL team to the college game.

The NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport tweeted Tuesday morning that the Browns had “secretly interviewed” Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen during their search for yet another head coach.  The interview didn’t lead anywhere as the Browns ultimately hired Mike Petine as its latest head coach.

One day after Petine was officially introduced by the Browns, however, a new UW contract extension for Andersen was officially introduced as well.  While the financial particulars weren’t released, it’s believed a substantial bump to his $1.8 million salary in 2013 was included.

Shortly after the report surfaced, Andersen confirmed that he had a conversation with the NFL club.

“Officials from the Cleveland Browns contacted me to talk about their head coaching vacancy,” Andersen said in a statement released by the university. “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 around the country. I look forward to the start of spring football in a couple weeks and turning the focus to preparing for 2014.”

Andersen’s boss, athletic director Barry Alvarez, released his own statement, making it clear that he was aware of the Browns’ interest in his head coach.

“I’m appreciative that Gary handled all of this the right way.,” the AD’s statement read. “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.”

The fact that the Browns would have an interest in a coach at the collegiate level is far from surprising, even if Andersen’s name hadn’t previously been mentioned.

After the firing of Pat Shurmur following the 2012 season, the Browns interviewed Syracuse’s Doug Marrone, Oregon’s Chip Kelly and Penn State’s Bill O’Brien.  After the firing of Rob Chudzinski following the 2013 season, the Browns were connected to college coaches such as Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops, Vanderbilt’s James Franklin (before he replaced O’Brien at Penn State) and Auburn’s Gus Malzahn.

After Petine is fired following the 2014 season, I’m quite certain the woebegone franchise will sniff around the collegiate ranks yet again.

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7 Responses to “UW’s Gary Andersen ‘secretly interviewed’ with Browns”
  1. onbucky96 says: Feb 11, 2014 12:23 PM

    Bret Beilema would be a better choice. He knows losing, and the Browns excel at losing. #karma

  2. elwaysagenius says: Feb 11, 2014 7:02 PM

    Apparently not so secretly

  3. normtide says: Feb 11, 2014 8:31 PM

    That contract will keep him at UW until the SEC comes calling. $1.8 at the state’s only college football program. Once he proves himself, some program will offer him sine real money. Then Wisconsin can start all over again.

  4. packerbadger says: Feb 12, 2014 9:12 AM

    Why would Andersen leave a much better and more prestigious school for an $ECheat “school” such as Alabumpkin? Wisconsin is a much bigger school and so far beyond Alabumpkin academically its not even funny. Madison has been ranked as the #1 city to live in America numerous times and rated in the top 10 many more times. The same cannot be said for Tuscaloosa. Wisconsin has three times the endowment than Alabumpkin. Wisconsin has many prestigious academic awards such as Nobel and Pulitzer Prize awards; Alabumpkin does not. Wisconsin’s motto is “forward”, Alabumpkins is “backward”. Andersen is a class act; Saban is not. Why would Anderson want to settle for a hamburger when he has a prime steak?

  5. normtide says: Feb 12, 2014 2:59 PM

    Wisconsin’s most successful coach did. Brett is coaching in Arkansas, much better job and place to live

  6. packerbadger says: Feb 12, 2014 3:25 PM

    Hey, how did Bulemia do in Arkansas last yr? lmao! I think Alvarez was Wisconsin’s most successful coach. Most of the residents of Wisconsin said good riddance to Bulemia….arrogant jerk. Guess thats why he fit right in to the $ECheat eh? Besides, why would anyone want to leave a city like Madison for an intellectual and cultural vacuum? Aren’t the family trees in Arkansas stumps?

  7. normtide says: Feb 12, 2014 4:10 PM

    Northwest Arkansas trumped Madison. Better job, better place to live.

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