According to a tweet from Jeff Potrykus and confirmed by other sources, new Badgers head coach Gary Andersen is set to hire San Diego State offensive coordinator to the same position at Wisconsin. Ludwig has an extensive background as an OC and has a working relationship with Gary Andersen.
Both Ludwig and Andersen were members of the 2008 Utah team that went 13-0 and won the Sugar Bowl, capping off a magical season in Salt Lake City. If that's any indication of how these two could work together this team could be in great hands. Let's remember both were coordinators on that team with Andersen directing the defense.
If there would be one word to describe the offenses that Ludwig has put together it would be – Explosive – the exact word that Andersen used to describe how he wants his offense to look when he was introduced as the UW's newest head coach.
Ludwig's experience is extensive as we've mentioned and it includes stops as the OC at Fresno State (1998-2001), Oregon (2002-2004), Utah (2005-2008), Cal (2009-2010), and San Diego State (2011-12).
One of the keys to a coaching staff is surrounding yourself with coaches you feel comfortable with and luckily for Andersen he's got direct knowledge of how good this coach can be. He's also hiring a coach that isn't married to a spread system in the least and in fact you could say he's a bit of a QB friendly kind of guy.
Why? Well, names like David Carr, Billy Volek, and Kellen Clemens should ring a bell. Carr was a No. 1 overall NFL draft pick (yes, his career was a bust, but that's not Ludwig's doing), and Volek and Clemens both saw time as starters in their careers as NFL QB's.
If you have any questions at all about what kind of an offensive style Ludwig likes using just look at the 2011 offense at San Diego State. It was an offense that featured NFL draft picks Ronnie Hillman at RB and Ryan Lindley at QB. That offense set school records for most yards in a season at 5,500 and they had the most rushing yards since the days of Marshall Faulk (1995).
He had a 3,000 yard passer in Lindley and a 1,000 yard back in Hillman.
With those two gone things were a bit different for SDSU this past season as they struggled to find consistent play at the QB position and were forced to rely heavily on the ground game. SDSU ran for 3,199 yards as a team and averaged a healthy 5.0 yards a carry this past season.
Ludwig has been a bit nomadic in terms of his lifespan as an offensive coordinator and that can be a bit worrisome for a program already reeling form back-to-back seasons as well as the performance, or lack thereof, of his team in the recently completed Poinsettia Bowl that saw his team rack up just six points.
In part 2 of this look at the new man in charge of the offense we'll look in depth at what his offenses have looked like and just how explosive they really have been. So, look for that coming to a computer screen near you soon!!