Here's Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez appearing on Mad Dog Sports Radio on Sirius XM Thursday morning to discuss the immediate aftermath of Gary Andersen's decision to leave UW for Oregon State. The full audio is above; below, we've excerpted some notable parts.
How he found out Andersen was leaving
"One of my associates called. [Andersen] was sitting in the office. Gary came down to see me and sat in with one of my assistants and said he had to talk to me, it was very important. He wanted to talk to me face-to-face. I said, 'I'm stuck in the airport, my plane's delayed [in New York], I don't know when I'm going to get out of here. Put him on the phone.' That's when he told me.
We decided that when I got there, we would have a team meeting. He and I would meet, and then he would tell the team and I would meet with the team. And that's what we did."
His initial expectations for Andersen's call
"I did [think it was non-football related]. That's the first thing that goes through your mind, that we have an issue. Maybe one of the players -- you never know. And in this racket, you're open to anything. You don't know, so let's get the issue out there. If it's important, I need to know now. I'm not going to wait until I fly in and stew over it during the flight."
On if it's "annoying" to have to deal with an abrupt coaching change
"Well, this is my job. And in this job, things like this happen. When they do, you deal with it. You handle it, you know?. I don't feel it's annoying. It's my job, I have to do so something. I have to react, and I have to react positively and I have to do a good job in naming the next person. I have to be active in making it happen."
What was the team meeting like?
"Well I think they were in just as much shock as I was. They said as such afterwards. Then I talked to them, and the first thing I said, 'Some of you old-timers, you guys up in the front, you've been through this before. What I'm about to tell you is the same thing.'
"You know, it's a surprise to those kids. You've got young guys in the program that Gary and his staff recruited. You have an attachment, that's always difficult."
On the notion of coaches "running away" from him
"I really don't hear it much. All I told them at the press conference yesterday was we have a great situation here. As you said, we have a wonderful university, a world-class university. A city that wins honors every year, is one of the best cities in the United States. We have one of the most consistent football programs in the country year in and out. We just remodeled and have new facilities. So this is a very attractive job, and my phone's been ringing off the hook ever since it's been announced with people that are interested."
Is Wisconsin a "destination job?"
"I don't know that. In our business, you see a lot of movement. So I can't say that it is. Maybe it is for some people; it was for me and it was for Bo [Ryan]. Obviously for the last two guys, it wasn't. So I don't know destination jobs anymore. I see guys leaving some of the best programs in the country for other positions, whether it be the NFL or for another college job. I just want to find somebody that wants to be here. I owe it to the players. That's the most important thing to me."