Former Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen is returning to his pre-Wisconsin roots after electing to part ways with Oregon State during the 2017 season. He’s headed back to Utah as an associate head coach and defensive assistant, the program announced Tuesday. Andersen’s hire will be official on Jan. 9, when teams are officially allowed to hire a 10th assistant coach.
This is Andersen’s third stint at Utah. He served as defensive line coach from 1997 to 2002, and added assistant head coach to his title for the final two seasons. He returned after one season as head coach of Southern Utah to coach the defensive line, and held titles as associate head coach, defensive coordinator and defensive line coach. He’s also a Utah grad, having played for the Utes in 1985 and 1986 after transferring from Ricks College. In total, this will be Andersen’s 12th season as a Utah coach.
“Returning to the Utah football family is something my wife Stacey and I are very excited about,” Andersen said in a release. “Having an opportunity to coach at your alma mater is somewhat unusual and having the opportunity to do it again is certainly special. Kyle Whittingham is a great coach and I look forward to working alongside him again. I am fired up to meet the players and go to work.”
His tenure at Oregon State ended in October when Andersen and the program “mutually parted” after a 1-5 start. In a rare move, Andersen agreed to release Oregon State from any further compensation.