It appears that Vanderbilt is now in the market for a new offensive coordinator.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported on Thursday night that Vanderbilt offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig is expected to be the new offensive coordinator at Utah, a position he previously held from 2005-08. Ludwig was in his fourth year as Vanderbilt’s offensive coordinator.
Ludwig took over after the disastrous 2014 season under Karl Dorrell, and his units showed steady improvement in terms of putting points on the board: from 15.2 ppg in 2015, to 23.0 ppg in 2016, 24.6 ppg in 2017, and most recently 28.5 ppg in 2018. That progress closely followed the progression of Kyle Shurmur, who replaced Johnny McCrary midway through the 2015 season and started every game from 2016 through 2018. Yards per play moved steadily upward as well, from 4.5 in 2015 to 5.2 in 2016, to 5.6 in 2017 and 6.3 in 2018.
In spite of all that, though, Ludwig was a target of criticism from fans over alleged conservative playcalling and, in 2018, underuse of star RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn (who announced his return for the 2019 season.) Even with that, it was difficult to argue with the results on the field.
It’s not clear what direction Vanderbilt will move with its new offensive coordinator. Vanderbilt will have a new starting quarterback in 2019 — Ball State graduate transfer Riley Neal is the early favorite, though Deuce Wallace and Allan Walters will also compete for the job — and having a quarterback more mobile than Shurmur could open up possibilities for the offense.