New University of Wisconsin football coach Gary Andersen announced the hiring of seven assistant coaches on Thursday, five of whom have worked with him before and two holdovers from the previous staff.

The group includes offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Andy Ludwig, who spent the last two seasons at San Diego State, and defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Dave Aranda, one of three assistants to come with Andersen from Utah State.

The other members of Andersen's staff this season who will be joining him are secondary coach Bill Busch and offensive line coach T.J. Woods.

They will be joined by defensive line coach Chad Kauha'aha'a, who coached that position at Utah the last two years.

The two coaches retained from the staff of former UW coach Bret Bielema running backs coach Thomas Hammock and secondary coach Ben Strickland, were previously announced by Andersen.

"I am excited by the staff we have been able to assemble," Andersen said in a statement. "They are quality coaches who bring the experience and philosophies that will enable us to continue playing great offense and defense at Wisconsin. They are also individuals who take care of kids first and will coach them in the right way.

"These coaches have shown a lot of flexibility within their systems, and their main goal is to get the best 11 players on the field and build around their strengths."

Two positions remain unfilled — wide receivers and tight ends.

Here is a look at the new coaches:

Andy Ludwig: He has spent 18 years as a coordinator in college and has 26 years of coaching experience overall. He was the offensive coordinator at Utah in 2008, when Andersen was the defensive coordinator. The Utes went 13-0, averaging 36.9 points per game and finished No. 2 in the Associated Press poll.

Prior to San Diego State, he was the offensive coordinator at California (2009-10), Utah (2005-08), Oregon (2002-04), Fresno State (1998-01), Cal Poly (1997) and Augustana (1993-94).

Ludwig was a finalist for the 2001 Frank Broyles Assistant Coach of the Year award at Fresno State when coaching David Carr, a Heisman Trophy finalist and the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft.

This year, the Aztecs went 9-4 overall and 7-1 in the Mountain West Conference, averaging 32.9 points per game. They ranked No. 20 nationally in rushing (220.7 yards per game) and No. 103 in passing (175.9).

Quarterback Ryan Katz was having a career season, ranking No. 22 nationally in passing efficiency, before fracturing his left ankle in a 39-38 victory over Nevada in the eighth game.

Dave Aranda: He spent 2012 as the defensive coordinator at Utah State, which ranks No. 8 in scoring defense (15.4). The Aggies also rank in the top 15 in sacks (eighth), pass efficiency defense (10th), rush defense (12th) and total defense (15th).

He spent four years prior to that at Hawaii, the last two as defensive coordinator, after coaching the defensive line the year before.

Hawaii's defense in 2010 led the nation in turnovers caused (38) and tied a school record with five defensive touchdowns.

Bill Busch: He was a graduate assistant under Barry Alvarez in 1993 and 1994 and later was outside linebackers and safeties coach at Nebraska under Bill Callahan — a member of Alvarez's first staff at UW — from 2004 to 2007.

Busch spent the last four seasons at Utah State — the last two as associate head coach and special teams coordinator, as well as coaching the safeties — and was Andersen's closest friend on the staff. The two also coached together at Northern Arizona (1995-96) and Utah (2000-03). named Busch the co-Defensive Backs Coach of the Year this season. He spent his first two seasons at Utah State as the defensive coordinator.

T.J. Woods: Another member of Andersen's original staff at Utah State, Woods coached the offensive line the last two seasons after coaching tight ends and special teams the first two years.

The Aggies have had four first-team All-WAC choices along the offensive line in the past two seasons. Center Tyler Larsen was the first two-time first-team all-conference offensive lineman for Utah State since 1996-97.

Utah State is No. 25 in rushing (204.1 ypg) and is one of four teams (Wisconsin, Oregon and Western Kentucky are the others) to have a 1,500-yard rusher in each of the last two seasons.

In 2011, Utah State ranked sixth in rushing offense (282.7) and over two seasons averaged 5.8 yards per carry, which ranks second nationally behind Oregon.

Chad Kauha'aha'a: He groomed one of the top defensive tackles in the nation at Utah the last two seasons in All-American Star Lotulelei.

The Utes ranked among the top 25 in the country in rush defense in his two seasons. Prior to that, Kauha'aha'a (pronounced cow-ha-a-ha-a) was a member of Andersen's first staff at Utah State, coaching the defensive line in 2009 and 2010.

He grew up in Maui and is expected to be a key factor in Andersen's desire to recruit in Hawaii, along with Polynesian players from other locales.

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(7) comments


Dear Readers:

Anyone who thinks getting top talent out of the Mountain West and WAC conferences isn't any big deal, either doesn't know that area or they are simply unaware of the caliber of football played out there.

In other words, in the order of things (the football universe), the University of Wisconsin got a pretty good deal in hiring Gary Andersen, as its new Head Coach.

Case in point: For years the Western Athletic Conference, going back to the days when Arizona and Arizona State along with BYU, dominated, is and remains a football powerhouse.

For nearly every year, for the last two decades, there has been a WAC Team in the top ten ranked college football teams nationally.

Speaking of hard nosed football, that Mountain West Conference is filled with hard hitting teams like San Diego State, my friends.

That's why anyone who thinks these guys (Gary Andersen and his staff) are a bunch of cream puffs had better get educated and quick, because Gary Andersen isn't going to be f*cking around when the season starts for the Big Ten Crown race.

Stick around and you'll get a good idea of what I'm talking about this fall.



Coach Kauha'aha'a should inspire a good cheer based on his name.


I was a student at U.W. when Barry took over the program. I feel Coach Anderson is an upgrade over Bielema and the assistants all look promising...not to mention there should be great chemistry among the staff, which will help.

Regarding the comment about Urban Myer, he was in Utah before he went to the SEC. I would be willing to bet Florida fans were unhappy with his hiring, and probably used the same logic I see being used in comments here about Myer coming from a weak conference. I think a good coach is a good coach is a good coach, regardless of the conference he started in. Anderson was Myer's right hand man at Utah. He knows football, and from what I just read about his assistants, they do too.

I mean how can you not get excited about a Samoan as the D-line coach?! If I am excited as a fan, don't you think a recruit will be excited?

Go Bucky!!!


Bye the way I mean RPI Conference rankings: #1) SEC, #2) Big 12, #3) Pac 12, #4) Big Ten. #7) Mountain West, #9) WAC. Big East and ACC both ranked higher (as conferences) by RPI than Mountain West and WAC. Coach Ludwig does have a couple of years of Pac12 experience, but not sustained. Utah not in Pac12 when he and coach Andersen were there. I am hoping for the best.

Go Badgers!


I don't know...we are in The Big Ten conference, Wisconsin has been a very solid program for quite sometime and all we can get is a bunch of of guys from the Moutain West and WAC? I know that head coaches bring "their guys" with them and hire people they have relationships with etc., but it feels like a bit of a step down to me. Ohio State hired Urban Myer, a former SEC Coach and National Champion, Penn State hired a former NFL Coordinator. With such a great: town, University, fan base and existing football program to offer, seems like we could have dug a little deeper or a least gone up the RPI ladder to get a head coach and staff instead of down.


Somebody ought to show some love to the kid that took over as offensive line coach this year. After the horrible start, they did manage to run the ball effectively much of the time, and Ball got to almost 2,000 yards. Kid must have been doing something right.


All seem to have impressive backgrounds. I just hope that they are relentless on the recruiting trail. I am also hopeful that we can find a strength and conditioning coordinator with the knowledge and energy that Ben Herbert has. I'm not ready to think national title but there sure is reason for badger fans to remain optomistic. Best of luck Coach Anderson.

On Wisconsin!

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