The Vanderbilt offense was exciting for all of four weeks from 2015 to 2016. That was enough to make offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig a commodity on the coaching market.
FoxSports’s Bruce Feldman reports Ludwig is expected to meet with University of Nevada officials Tuesday regarding the school’s vacant head football coach position. Ludwig, a Utah native, has been an assistant coach across the NCAA since 1987.
Nevada parted ways with Brian Polian this fall after four years and a 23-27 record with the program. Feldman hinted former head coach Chris Ault, who raised the program to prominence and now has the university’s football field named in his honor, is a supporter of bringing the Vandy OC to Reno. With that kind of influence in his corner, Ludwig could be packing his bags for the desert by the end of the week.
It took a while, but Ludwig was able to find success with the Commodores despite a tumultuous start. Vanderbilt was held to 17 points or fewer in 12 of his first 14 SEC games before exploding for 38 and 45 against Ole Miss and Tennessee, respectively, to end 2016. He often had a difficult time reconciling an All-SEC tailback with a talented but inexperienced passing game, leading to several frustrating performances before this November breakout.
But Ludwig had plenty of success before coming to Nashville. He was one of the architects behind Utah’s 13-0 season in 2008 — a season that ended with a 31-17 stomping of Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. He also coached very good teams at Fresno State, San Diego State, and Wisconsin. In all, he’s spent time at three of the 12 Mountain West programs, giving him an extensive background within one of NCAA’s top Group of Five conferences.
Ludwig has a background coaching FBS programs in the west, and it makes sense a rebuilding program like Nevada would want him. It would be a shame to see him go so soon after finally making the Commodores a dynamic offense, but the Wolfpack can offer something Vanderbilt cannot; a chance to run his own team after 30 years as an assistant.