Asmussen: Andersen, Hazell solid hires
Now that Wisconsin has picked Utah State’s Gary Andersen as its next football coach, the Big Ten has all of its spots filled. Here is Bob Asmussen’s reaction to the two new hires:
Darrell Hazell and Gary Andersen were destined to move on from Kent State and Utah State. How do we know this? Because they rebuilt programs that looked almost beyond repair. Kent State hadn’t been to a bowl since the Nixon administration and Utah State won more games this season (11) than in the three years before Andersen arrived (nine). On the surface, you would think Hazell has the tougher job at Purdue. The Boilermakers had to scramble to get into a bowl and don’t have the recent success of Wisconsin. But at Kent State, Hazell showed he can turn a program in a short time, which had to figure into Purdue’s decision to hire him. The bigger trick might be keeping him at Purdue after he gets to a New Year’s Day game in a couple of seasons. At Wisconsin, Barry Alvarez is tinkering with success. Andersen used a spread offense at Utah State. But he played the Badgers this season and knows what will work best in Madison. Look for him to adapt to the Wisconsin Way and become a perfect follow to Bret Bielema.