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Reports: Gary Andersen to be hired at University of Wisconsin

Published: Sunday, Aug. 30 2015 4:58 p.m. MDT

Utah State Aggies head coach Gary Andersen as Utah State University and Toledo play football in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012,in Boise, Idaho. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) Utah State Aggies head coach Gary Andersen as Utah State University and Toledo play football in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012,in Boise, Idaho. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

LOGAN — After declaring publicly that he will be staying at Utah State, head football coach Gary Andersen may very well be on the move.

Both ESPN and Wisconsin State Journal are reporting the University of Wisconsin is set to hire Andersen to be the next Badger football coach.

Phone calls to Utah State athletic department were not immediately returned.

Prior to Wisconsin, Andersen had reportedly turned down previous offers from Kentucky, Colorado and California.

Andersen has been a hot commodity on the coaching carousel this season after leading the Aggies to an 11-2 mark, the best in school history. Utah State just finished its season with a 41-15 thumping of Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, just the second bowl victory in Utah State school history.

To quiet the rumors, Andersen and Utah State issued a press release on Nov. 30 announcing that Andersen would not be leaving the school.

“I plan to remain the head football coach at Utah State University,” Andersen stated in the press release. “The interest I have received is a compliment to the quality young men in this program. Their hard work and dedication has built a culture that will enable us to continue to be successful at a very high level moving forward."

Andersen’s top assistants, offensive coordinator Matt Wells and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, reportedly turned down offers in the last week to stay with Andersen and the Aggies. Wells was a candidate for the North Carolina State offensive coordinator position, while Aranda reportedly was looked at by Cal and Texas Tech for their defensive coordinator spot. If Andersen does leave for Wisconsin it is likely that one or both assistants would follow.

Wisconsin is familiar with Andersen. The Aggies nearly beat the Badgers this year, losing 16-14 when a 37-yard field goal attempt with six seconds remaining went wide.

See players reactions on Twitter to Coach Andersen's possible decision.

Kraig is a 2010 Utah State University graduate and regular Deseret News sports blogger. He can be followed on Twitter at DesNewsKraig.

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