Utah State head coach Gary Andersen led the Aggies to an 11-2 record and Idaho Potato Bowl win in 2012, one of the best seasons in school history.Utah State’s Gary Andersen will be the next head coach of the Wisconsin football program, according to an initial report from the Wisconsin State Journal Tuesday night that was later confirmed by several other reports and Utah State players via Twitter. News broke earlier Tuesday that Andersen – who had not previously been linked to UW’s head coaching vacancy – had already interviewed for the job. Andersen is in his fourth year leading the Aggies and is fresh off a 41-15 victory over Toledo in the Idaho Potato Bowl Dec. 15 that improved No. 18 Utah State’s record to 11-2 record on the year.The Salt Lake Tribune later reported that Andersen started informing his players he was heading for Wisconsin Tuesday night. According to the Tribune, Utah State defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and offensive coordinator Matt Wells are both likely to follow Andersen to Madison, but Wells may be a candidate to succeed his boss in Logan. Ironically, Cal reportedly offered Aranda its defensive coordinator spot before he turned it down and UW linebackers coach accepted the position with the Bears. Wells also apparently earned an offer for the offensive coordinator job at N.C. State before Wisconsin offensive coordinator Matt Canada took that job on former UW defensive coordinator Dave Doeren’s staff. Andersen will also pry away second-year defensive line coach Chad Kauha’aha’a – who coached the Aggies’ defensive line from 2009-10 – from Utah to join him with the Badgers, according to multiple reports. Utah State went undefeated (6-0) in the Western Athletic Conference in 2012 and took home the conference title, with the rout of Toledo marking the program’s first bowl win in 19 years. One of the best seasons in Aggies history, it marked the first time in over 50 years that Utah State finished the season ranked in the AP Top 25.Andersen’s name comes as a surprise partially because the 48-year-old has no clear ties to the Big Ten or even the Midwest. He played at Utah in the mid-’80s before serving as the Utes’ defensive coordinator from 2004-2008 and spent a year as the head coach at Southern Utah in 2003.The offense he ran in Logan, Utah, is also a far cry from the Badgers’ run-heavy, pro-style attack as dual-threat quarterback Chuckie Keeton led a spread-type system in 2012.Andersen visited Madison earlier this fall when Utah State nearly pulled off an upset over the Badgers Sept. 15, but the Aggies missed a potential game-winning field goal and allowed UW to escape with a 16-14 win.His only two losses this season came by a combined five points against Wisconsin and BYU. In his four years at Utah State he collected a 26-22 record and was rumored as a candidate for recent openings at Colorado, California and Kentucky.In the four years before he arrived, Utah State won a total of just nine games. The Aggies would made modest improvements in his first two years with back-to-back four-win seasons in 2009 and 2010, before Andersen started turning the program around. In 2011 Utah State finished 7-6 and lost in the Idaho Potato Bowl, the school’s first appearance in a bowl game in 14 years. Athletic Director Barry Alvarez said he had interviewed two candidates Sunday evening, one of them believed to be Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator and former Badger defensive back Mel Tucker. Tucker seemed to have his sights set on a head coaching job in the NFL, but it is not clear if Alvarez ever offered him the job.Many Wisconsin fans were growing anxious as the coaching search lingered on for two weeks with no clear leading candidate after Bret Bielema left the Badgers for the same position at Arkansas Dec. 4. The deadline to apply for Wisconsin’s head coaching job is tomorrow, so Alvarez could make an official announcement on who Bielema’s successor will be very soon. In accordance with state law, the university had to keep the application process open for two weeks.At Utah, Andersen served as defensive coordinator under Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer for a season before spending four more years under current Utes coach Kyle Whittingham. In his final year on Whittingham’s staff in 2008, Andersen helped guide the Utah to an undefeated 13-0 record that included a victory over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and a No. 2 ranking at season’s end.For more updates on the Wisconsin coaching situation, follow @BHeraldSports on TwitterFollow Ian on Twitter
The AL Central race that seemed on its way to becoming a joke six weeks ago now looks like it might become one of the best races in baseball down the stretch.The Indians’ 8-0 win over the Tigers on Tuesday, combined with the Twins’ 3-2 loss to the Mets, moves the Indians within five games of Minnesota in the AL Central. That’s the smallest deficit the Indians have faced since they were 4 1/2 games back on May 19. And it’s a far cry from the 11 1/2-game lead the Twins held over Cleveland on June 2. MLB trade rumors: Royals focused on moving Billy Hamilton, Ian Kennedy, other veterans MLB trade rumors: Phillies have been ‘in contact with every team that has pitching available’ Oscar Mercado’s two-run homer sparked a five-run second inning that put the Indians in front for good, and Francisco Lindor also had two RBIs.Oscar Mercado homers (7) on a fly ball to right off Ryan CarpenterExit Velocity 92 MPHDistance 330 FTLaunch Angle 35.5#MotorOn vs #RallyTogether pic.twitter.com/hBxLiThcso— Strand Sport Stats (@StrandStats) July 16, 2019Yes, there’s a long way to go, and no one even knows what will happen heading into the trade deadline, as the Indians are said to be shopping pitcher Trevor Bauer. But Cleveland’s outlook is certainly much rosier than it was just six weeks ago.Studs of the nightRoyals right hander Glenn Sparkman pitched one of the rarest of events in MLB today — a nine-inning, complete-game shutout. Sparkman gave up five hits and walked one while striking out eight in an 11-0 win over the White Sox.Marlins first baseman Garrett Cooper homered and had three runs scored and three RBIs in a 12-7 win against the Padres.Christian Yelich hit a grand slam and scored three runs in a 13-1 victory over the Braves.Duds of the NightPadres starter Logan Allen got roughed up for seven earned runs in 2 1/3 innings in the loss to the Marlins.Rays DH Tommy Pham and Diamondbacks catcher Alex Avila both struck out in all four at-bats Tuesday. HighlightsBryce Harper walks it off for the Phillies in a crazy 9-8 win over the Dodgers. The Indians were 29-30 at the time, but have gone 24-10 since, winning three straight and nine of their last 11. Both the bats and arms have stepped up: Cleveland led the majors in team OPS for the month of July entering play Tuesday, and the pitching staff has yielded only 32 runs in the past 11 games.Both components showed up in the win over the Tigers. Right-hander Zach Plesac, recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Columbus, pitched three scoreless innings to start things off and Tyler Clippard, Nick Goody and Tyler Olson completed the shutout. Related News Willson Contreras injury update: Cubs catcher placed on IL as ‘precautionary’ move WALK-OFF!!! @bryceharper3 delivers and the @Phillies pull off a thrilling comeback win!#MLBNShowcase | #RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/HKLkuDeLuN— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) July 17, 2019Brett Gardner makes this difficult home run robbery look almost routine.Gard that wall. pic.twitter.com/CG99vw8xCB— MLB (@MLB) July 17, 2019Is there anything more anticlimactic than an inside-the-park home run where the runner is initially called out? But the Royals’ Whit Merrifield clearly is safe on the slide.🚨 INSIDE-THE-PARK HOME RUN 🚨 pic.twitter.com/85aM5INoGv— MLB (@MLB) July 17, 2019What’s NextBraves (58-38) at Brewers (49-47), 2:10 p.m. ET — The Braves are opening up some daylight between the rest of the pack in the NL East, while the Brewers are in a dogfight in the NL Central. After a rocky start in his first two outings with the Braves, Dallas Keuchel has gone 2-1 with a 2.11 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in his last three games. Right hander Chase Anderson (4-2, 4.27 ERA) will go for the Brewers.