Wisconsin coach Andersen turns down Browns
MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen says he was contacted by the Cleveland Browns about their head coaching vacancy and decided not to pursue the job.
Anderson released a statement Tuesday. The Browns hired coach Mike Pettine last month after a 25-day search; Pettine, Buffalo’s defensive coordinator, signed a five-year contract to replace Rob Chudzinski, fired after his lone season ended with a 4-12 record.
Andersen says he decided not to pursue the job after a “conversation” with the Browns.
“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,” Andersen said.
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.
Athletic director Barry Alvarez says “there will always be people” who want to talk to talented coaches like Andersen.
“He alerted me immediately that he had been contacted by the Browns and affirmed his commitment to the University of Wisconsin,” Alvarez said.
The Browns announced Tuesday a front office shake-up that included the departure of CEO Joe Banner and general manager Mike Lombardi.
Ray Farmer will take over as general manager and lead the team’s football operations during free agency and the NFL Draft. Team president Alec Scheiner will remain in charge of business operations.