Moments before Gary Andersen made his entrance, the anticipation had built to a fever pitch.
Fans packed the dining room on third floor of the Valley Football Center to meet Oregon State University’s new football coach Friday afternoon.
Music blared from the OSU band; cheerleaders yelled and shook pom-poms, and Benny Beaver danced.
The band broke into the OSU fight song, bringing the fans to their feet to greet Andersen as he entered the room along with OSU president Ed Ray and OSU director of athletics Bob De Carolis.
Andersen’s hire has brought a buzz of excitement throughout the OSU fan base.
Andersen spent the past two seasons at Wisconsin and led the Badgers to 10-3 record this season before taking the offer to coach at OSU.
“I think Bob and his staff when they came and we communicated did a great job of showing me the vision,” Andersen said. “The facilities are outstanding. They’re a big part of it.
“The vision is growing, the facilities are great. But to me, it’s the people who are behind the doors that matter the most.”
De Carolis said there still are details to be worked out on Andersen’s contract, which is a six-year deal worth $2.45 million a season with a yearly increase of $100,000.
Mike Riley was scheduled to make $1.6 million next season at OSU.
De Carolis said OSU is working on how to get the extra money for the contract and the buyout from Wisconsin.
“That will be a discussion between the university, donors and some other things we’re looking at,” he said. “We’ll probably be announcing a plan pretty soon because it might be something that involves an investment fee as it relates to tickets.”
Some of the extra incentives on Andersen’s contract are similar to that of Riley’s contract, but with some additions:
An extension for reaching six wins a season was not included.
“There’s one for winning eight, nine or 10 games; there's one for winning the Civil War, there’s one for getting to the conference championship game; there’s one for the final four, the six top bowls,” De Carolis said.
Assistants probably will get two-year deals similar to how Wisconsin has put together its contracts.
“They’re on two-year deals, but it’s tied to the coach. So if the coach leaves, the deal goes away,” De Carolis said. “We’ve never done anything like that. That doesn’t mean we can’t, we’ve just got to figure it out with the general counsel.”
Andersen made an introductory speech and then answered questions from the media for nearly 30 minutes.
As far as the fans were concerned, he slipped only once. There were quite a few groans when Andersen said he had to get all of his ducks in a row.
He quickly backtracked.
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