Wisconsin’s Andersen says Browns contacted him

Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen directs his team during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Indiana Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin won 51-3. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen directs his team during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Indiana Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin won 51-3. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

MADISON — Wisconsin head football coach Gary Andersen says he was contacted about the Cleveland Browns head coaching position.

“Officials from the Cleveland Browns contacted me to talk about their head coaching vacancy,” Andersen said in a statement from the school Tuesday morning.  “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.”

Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez expressed gratitude for the way Andersen handled the situation.

“I’m appreciative that Gary handled all of this the right way,” Alvarez said in the statement. 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.”

Andersen agreed to a five-year deal worth $10 million when he arrived from Utah State a year ago. He received an extension through January 2019 after Wisconsin finished 9-4 in his first season.

The Browns hired Mike Pettine as head coach on January 23rd.  Pettine replaced Rob Chudzinski, who was fired after going 4-12 in his only season as head coach in Cleveland.

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