Gary Andersen Staring At Rapid Fall From Coaching Relevancy

    Gary Andersen is staring in the face of one of Oregon State's worst seasons in recent memory. His surprise move to the Beavers has resulted in a rapid fall from coaching relevancy.

    November 20, 2015

    After going 11-2 as head coach at Utah State in 2012, Gary Andersen was lured to Madison to coach the Badgers. Andersen’s hire was interpreted as a promotion for a guy who, at the time, had yet to coach at a Power 5 program. It was also a deserved step for Andersen after turning around Utah State. One Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter said that the move demonstrated a desire to “hire a coach dedicated to treating UW as a destination job.”

    Andersen succeeded in his brief stint in Madison, going 19-7 and appearing in last year’s Big Ten title game with the nation’s eleventh-ranked team. He seemed to be getting comfortable at Wisconsin as he headed towards his third season.

    But then there was a surprise move.

    Shortly after last season ended, Andersen announced that he would be leaving for Oregon State, a school that last had a meaningful postseason appearance in the 2001 Fiesta Bowl. The move was puzzling to many. Speculations swirled around Andersen’s departure. Some thought he may have left because of low assistant salaries. Others believed he may have left because of geography. And there was the sentiment that he may have left because of his relationship with Athletic Director Barry Alvarez. Whatever the reason was, it hasn’t worked in Andersen’s favor.

    Andersen’s opening campaign at Oregon State has been a rough transition, to say the least. At 2-8, the Beavers are currently the Pac-12’s worst team. Even by Oregon State’s non-glorified standards, the Beavers are struggling.

    The school has only finished with fewer than five wins twice since 1997, with the first time coming when the Beavers went 3-9 under former head coach Mike Riley in his first year. While Riley eventually found his footing at Oregon State, leading the school to eight bowl games in his 14 years at the helm, Andersen may not get the same chance in today’s cutthroat college football world.

    Andersen will be on the hot seat going into next year, looking to rebound from a disastrous first season. If he can’t find his way, it will be one of the most rapid falls from coaching relevancy in recent memory.

    MORE: Pac-12 Championship Game Tie-Breakers For 2015


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