Saturday State Sports Briefs: UW's Andersen has introductory press conferenceWisconsin Sports
-- The University of Wisconsin’s new football coach vows to create a pressure-packed defense on every down. Gary Andersen says he also wants to continue the Badgers’ tradition of a solid running game from multiple sets – and to create an explosive passing game so the option play can be more of a threat.
MADISON - The University of Wisconsin’s new football coach vows to create a pressure-packed defense on every down. Gary Andersen says he also wants to continue the Badgers’ tradition of a solid running game from multiple sets – and to create an explosive passing game so the option play can be more of a threat.
Andersen talked about some of his philosophies to UWBadgers.com, before he was introduced at a late morning news conference yesterday. Athletic director Barry Alvarez hired the 48-year-old Andersen on Tuesday, just two months after he accepted a contract extension at Utah State through 2018. Andersen reportedly turned down three other job offers, including one at California. But he said that after Badgers’ coach Bret Bielema left, he was contacted by Alvarez – and he said the Wisconsin opening intrigued him. He said he knew Wisconsin was a special place, and his job interview confirmed it.
Meanwhile, the Badgers continue to get ready to play Stanford in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day. The players insist they’re focused on the game, even with all the hype over the coaching situation. Alvarez, a former Badgers’ football coach, is leading the team to Pasadena.
University of Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez says he never offered the head football coaching job to anyone else but Gary Andersen. And the former Utah State coach said he did not hesitate to accept it. The UW introduced the 48-year-old Andersen today as the replacement for head coach Bret Bielema. Andersen said his first priority is to help the players in his program. And for now, he’ll do it by getting out of the way and letting Alvarez do what he promised to do – coach the Badgers in the Rose Bowl against Stanford in 11 days. Andersen said he’d be a “fly on the wall” to see how the team prepares. But he said the players need to win the game and quote, “The last thing they need from me is to hang around them.” The new coach said his other priorities are to reach out to those who’ve committed to the Badgers over the next two seasons, once he gets approval from the NCAA to do so. And finally, Andersen said he wants to start recruiting as soon as possible and do the best job he can of securing the top talent from Wisconsin. He also mentioned his playing philosophy – a constantly aggressive defense, a physical running game with multiple sets, and just enough option passes to get defenders honest.
Wisconsin’s new football coach had his new contract finalized Thursday. The Executive Committee of the UW Board of Regents approved the details of Gary Andersen’s new deal. The word leaked out on Tuesday that the 48-year-old Andersen – the head coach at Utah State for the last four years – would replace Bret Bielema. He’s expected to be introduced at a news conference tomorrow, but that’s not official yet. And officials for both the Regents and the athletic department were confirming anything earlier today. Media reports from both Madison and Salt Lake City said Anderson would get a five-year contract and $1.8 million dollars next year, plus raises of $100,000 in each of the other four years.
It appears that Utah State’s fans and reporters were just as surprised as Wisconsin fans when their coach decided to leave town. Gary Andersen, the head coach at Utah State for the last four years, has reportedly accepted the vacant coaching job in Madison. And the news appeared to come out of nowhere – just as Bret Bielema’s sudden resignation from the UW 15 days ago to become the new coach at Arkansas. Wade Denniston of the Logan Herald-Journal in Utah said he was shocked to hear the news. And it caught him off guard to see Andersen go just two months after he took a long-term contract extension through 2018. Salt Lake City sports radio program director Kevin Graham said he was surprised to see Andersen leave, after he turned down recent offers to coach at Kentucky, California, and Colorado. Denniston told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that Badger fans can expect a dedicated, passionate, energetic coach who will do things the right way and put an exciting brand of football on the field. Denniston said Andersen’s teams are tough-minded and physical. Graham said Wisconsin is one of the best jobs in the country and quote, “Most fans realize he had to take it.”
School officials aren’t being specific, but Stanford nose tackle Terrence Stephens won’t be eligible for next month’s Rose Bowl game against Wisconsin. The senior defensive lineman was also held out of the regular season finale and the Pac-12 championship victory over UCLA. It’s being called a secondary violation of NCAA rules related to his rental of off-campus housing. The 6-foot-2, 305-pound athlete anchors the team’s run defense. He is scheduled to earn his degree in psychology this spring. He’s been a big part of the reason Stanford leads the nation in tackles for loss at more than nine per game. The team also has the nation’s third-best rushing defense at a little under 88 yards per game.
Former Milwaukee Brewers’ third baseman Casey McGehee will play in Japan next year. He signed a one-year deal to play for the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japanese Pacific League. CBS Sports said the contract is worth one-and-a-half million dollars, and there are easily attainable incentives which would kick up his pay past two-million. The Brewers claimed McGehee off waivers in 2008 from the Chicago Cubs – and he led the team with 104 RBI’s in 2010. But in 2011, his production fell sharply when he batted .223 while losing his third base spot in the playoffs. McGehee was traded to Pittsburgh. He batted .230 in 92 games with the Pirates before being traded to the New York Yankees – where he hit .151 in 22 games before the Yanks let him go.
The Milwaukee Brewers could make their latest acquisition official soon. Left-handed reliever Tom Gorzelanny is scheduled to have a physical from the Brewers’ medical staff – and once he passes, an announcement is expected. Fox Sports says Gorzelanny agreed to a two-year contract worth around six-million dollars. He’s been both a starter and a reliever, but general manager Doug Melvin is indicating that the 30-year-old Gorzelanny will have a spot in the Milwaukee bullpen. He would become the team’s only left-handed reliever at the moment. Last year in Washington, he went 4-2 in 44 relief outings and one start for the Nationals, with 62 strikeouts in 72 innings and a two-point-eight-eight ERA. In seven Major League seasons, Gorzelanny is 44-45 with a 4.41 ERA with Pittsburgh, the Chicago Cubs, and the Nationals.
The Milwaukee Brewers have signed right-hander Alfredo Rigaro to a minor league contract, with a chance to make the Brewers’ Opening Day roster at Spring Training. The 28-year-old Figaro has spent the last two years in Japan with the Orix Buffaloes of the Pacific League. He went 0-5 in 11 starts this year, with a 3.09 ERA. The previous year in Japan, Figaro was 8-6 in two dozen starts with a three-point-four-two ERA. Before that, he spent six years in the Detroit Tigers’ organization. And he played in 14 games for the Tigers in 2009 and 2010 with a pair of starts. He went 2-4 with Detroit in those games, with an ERA of just over six-and-a-half. He’s currently pitching in winter ball in the Dominican Republic – where he’s 0-1 in three starts and three relief appearances with an ERA of just under two-and-two-thirds. Figaro is the eighth non-roster player signed by the Brewers for evaluation next spring.
The top two teams in the Major Indoor Soccer League will square off in Milwaukee tonight when the second-place Wave hosts the front-running Baltimore Blast. Baltimore is 9-0, with a three-and-a-half game lead over 4-2 Milwaukee. The Wave is coming off a 9-2 rout of the Chicago Soul last Friday night. Milwaukee goal-keeper Nick Vorberg was named the league’s player-of-the-week for getting 30 saves in that contest.
Marquette University men’s basketball guard Todd Mayo has been cleared to return, after he sat out the Golden Eagles’ first 10 games because he was academically ineligible. The sophomore guard will be in uniform tomorrow, when the Eagles host LSU. Coach Buzz Williams said he met with Mayo’s family before reinstating him because quote, “I wanted his family to understand exactly where he is with all his academics.” Mayo averaged almost eight points a game in his freshman year at Marquette. He’s expected to be a back-up guard behind Vander Blue.
--Division III Men
Aurora (Ill.) 74, UW-Oshkosh 70
Lakeland 98, Martin Luther (Minn.) 93
North Park 84, UW-La Crosse 82
St. Thomas (Minn.) 68, UW-Stevens Point 63
--Division III Women
Dakota Western 85, Lakeland 60
Trine (Ind.) 65, Edgewood 54
UW-Oshkosh 66, Adrian (Mich.) 58
College scores from Thursday
--In men’s college basketball…
UW-Oshkosh 65, Washington-and-Jefferson 53
Milwaukee School of Engineering 56, Beloit 52
Concordia-Mequon 60, Bates 58
--In women’s college basketball…
Marquette 70, Dartmouth 52
John Carroll 59, Lakeland 51
UW-Oshkosh 95, North Central of Illinois 7
AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE
Milwaukee 2, Rockford 1
Wisconsin boys' high school basketball from Thursday
Amery 51, Baldwin-Woodville 48
Boyceville 50, St. Croix Central 34
Drummond 58, South Shore 32
Edina, Minn. 72, Hudson 53
Grantsburg 57, St. Croix Falls 44
Ladysmith 54, Chequamegon 48
Luck 44, Frederic 16
Milwaukee Career & Technical 74, Milwaukee St. Anthony 22
Milwaukee Pulaski 74, Milwaukee Young-Coggs Prep 71
Prairie Farm 76, Cameron 64
Prentice 67, Lake Holcombe 23
Prescott 80, Ellsworth 38
Somerset 62, New Richmond 57
Girls' high school basketball from Thursday
Bloomer 60, Cumberland 13
St. Paul Christ's Household of Faith, Minn. 47, Ellsworth 37
Clayton 50, Prairie Farm 25
Fall Creek 51, Chippewa Falls McDonell 40
Hayward 77, Maple Northwestern 14
Ladysmith 46, Barron 23
Luck 59, Frederic 45
Minong Northwood 49, Turtle Lake 24
Racine Prairie 61, Somers Shoreland Lutheran 40
Racine St. Catherine's 61, Burlington Catholic Central 25
Siren 65, Webster 34
Stanley-Boyd 56, Cadott 51, OT
Unity 42, Cornell 34