- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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At his introductory news conference a week ago, new Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen described the team's offensive coordinator post as a great job, not merely a good one.
"They'll line up a thousand deep if you want them to," Andersen said.
Andersen likely didn't interview 1,000 candidates for the post. Instead, he will reportedly turn to a familiar name in Andy Ludwig, who served as San Diego State's offensive coordinator the past two seasons.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported that Wisconsin is set to hire Ludwig as its new offensive coordinator. Because of hiring rules for state employees, Ludwig won't be officially on board until the job posting expires. He attended Wisconsin's pre-Rose Bowl practice Friday in Los Angeles.
Andersen and Ludwig served as Utah's coordinators -- Andersen defense, Ludwig offense -- from 2005-08, helping the Utes to a 13-0 season and a Sugar Bowl championship in 2008. While Andersen moved onto the top job at Utah State, Ludwig went to Cal, where he struggled as offensive coordinator for two seasons before taking the same post at San Diego State.
Ludwig has bounced around quite a bit, serving as offensive coordinator at San Diego State (2011-12), California (2009-10), Utah (2005-08), Oregon (2002-04) and Fresno State (1998-2001). He initially went to Kansas State after Utah but was hired away by Cal before coaching a game.
The guy is clearly in demand as an offensive mind and runs a pro-style system, but he hasn't led a top-25 offense since the 2005 season (Utah finished 12th nationally). His San Diego State offense ranks 38th nationally in scoring (32.9 points per game) and 64th in total offense (396.6 yards per game) this season. As someone who follows Cal football somewhat closely from a distance, I wasn't overly impressed by Ludwig, but he definitely brings experience to the position and inherits a talented group in Madison.
Andersen wisely is retaining running backs coach Thomas Hammock, and it would be a smart move if he kept offensive line coach Bart Miller as well. Wisconsin has lost three offensive assistants in recent weeks: coordinator Matt Canada (NC State), tight ends/fullbacks coach Eddie Faulker (NC State) and receivers coach Zach Azzanni (Tennessee).
4dBrian Bennett and Josh Moyer