Wisconsin Football: Badgers Hire Utah State's Gary Andersen

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IDecember 18, 2012

UPDATE: Thursday, December 20 at 7:04 p.m. ET by Rick Weiner

The Badgers have made the hiring of Gary Andersen official, according to NBC Sports' College Football Talk (via Twitter): 

Wisconsin officially announces Gary Andersen as its new head coach.

— CollegeFootballTalk (@CFTalk) December 20, 2012

---End of Update---

The University of Wisconsin is reportedly set to hire current Utah State head coach Gary Andersen for its football program. 

News of the hire comes from Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal:

#Badgers set to hire Utah State's Gary Andersen. Source confirms he's the choice.

— Tom Mulhern (@TomMulhernWSJ) December 19, 2012


So, from the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl to the head man of a legitimate Top 25 program. That's not a bad step up for the head coach. 

Andersen, who led Utah State to an 11-2 record and a dismantling of Toledo in the Potato Bowl this season, was the Aggies' head man for four years. After struggling to two 4-8 records in his first two years, he quickly turned the program around. Andersen won seven games last season before this year's successful campaign. 

Before his time with Utah State, the 48-year-old Andersen spent one season as head coach of Southern Utah after working for several programs as an assistant. He played center at Utah in the mid-80s. 

The Badgers will be hoping Andersen has the same success in Madison that he found in Logan. 

After recording double-digit win totals over the past three seasons, Bret Bielema's squad took a significant step back in 2012.

The Badgers secured a Rose Bowl appearance, but only because Ohio State and Penn State were banned from postseason play. When it comes down to it, an 8-5 season and a disappearance from the Top 25 after starting the season No. 12 was disappointing to watch for the folks in Madison.

To make matters worse, Bielema took the head coaching job at Arkansas, leaving a significant void. 

Nonetheless, his departure is Andersen's gain, and it will be interesting to see how the veteran coach fares as the leader of a major Big Ten program.