College Football America’s 2015 Coaching Carousel update: Anderson off to Beavers

New Oregon State coach Gary Andersen.

New Oregon State coach Gary Andersen.

I’ve been keeping up with the FBS Coaching Carousel for four years now and I can’t remember a more out of the blue hire than this one.

When Wisconsin announced that Gary Andersen had taken the head-coaching job at Oregon State I thought I was being trolled by someone on Twitter. But I quickly learned it was true.

Andersen had a respectable two years in Madison, going 19-7 and leading the Badgers to a Big Ten West Division championship and an appearance in the Big Ten title game last weekend.

How out of the blue was this move? Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said he was “very surprised.” Alvarez said he had no idea it was in the works. Didn’t Oregon State have to ask for the school’s permission to speak to Andersen, since he was under contract, or am I missing something?

This might simply be a case where Andersen just wanted to get back out west Before moving to Madison two years ago he was primarily a West Coach coach, with assistant stints at Idaho State, Northern Arizona and Utah before taking over at Utah State in 2009. Perhaps he’s just not a Midwest guy.

So now the Badgers have an opening. The Badgers have an opening because Oregon State had an opening. Oregon State had an opening because Mike Riley left to take the head-coaching job at Nebraska. See how this works?

Meanwhile, UNLV has filled its opening with Tony Sanchez, the head coach at Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School. Yeah, um, I’m not a fan of this move. Yes, Sanchez could surprise us all and get the job done. But it’s rare to see a high school head coach move to the major college level with little to no experience at the collegiate level. The last one to do it was UNT’s Todd Dodge. He left a highly successful run at Southlake (TX) Carroll — where he went 98-11 and won three state championships. He lasted less than four seasons at UNT and went 6-37.

Yes, the deck is definitely stacked against Sanchez.

Five openings remain on the 2015 FBS Coaching Carousel, with Michigan still the marquee job left.


Buffalo Jeff Quinn Lance Leipold
Colorado State Jim McElwain TBD
Florida Will Muschamp Jim McElwain
Houston Tony Levine TBA
Kansas Charlie Weis David Beaty
Michigan Brady Hoke TBD
Nebraska Bo Pelini Mike Riley
Oregon State Mike Riley Gary Andersen
SMU June Jones Chad Morris
Troy Larry Blakeney Neal Brown
Tulsa Bill Blankenship TBA
UNLV Bobby Hauck Tony Sanchez
Wisconsin Gary Andersen TBA

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