Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen confirmed through the university on Tuesday that he interviewed for the Cleveland Browns' coaching vacancy this winter but said he decided not to pursue the job and remains committed to the Badgers.
The Browns eventually hired Mike Pettine on Jan. 23.
"Officials from the Cleveland Browns contacted me to talk about their head coaching vacancy," Andersen said in a statement released Tuesday by the school. "After our initial conversation, I decided not to pursue the position. I am committed to the University of Wisconsin and the student-athletes in our program. I love the city of Madison and am grateful for all the support from Badgers fans around the state and around the country."
Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said Andersen informed him of his contact with the Browns. It's unclear when the interview occurred.
"I'm appreciative that Gary handled all of this the right way," Alvarez said in his statement. "He alerted me immediately that he had been contacted by the Browns and affirmed his commitment to the University of Wisconsin. When you have talented coaches on your roster, there will always be people who want to talk to them. I think that Gary is one of the top coaches in the country and am glad that he is leading our team."
Andersen went 9-4 last season in his first year as coach of the Badgers, who lost to South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl. Andersen, who has spent his entire coaching career in college football, was given a one-year contract extension and $100,000 raise last month, which was part of a rollover clause that was included in his original deal with the school.