Utes' Ludwig leaving to run Kansas State offense
Utah's football team will have a new coach calling the offensive plays next year, but don't expect much change in Utah's overall offensive philosophy, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said Wednesday.
Offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, who was Whittingham's second hire four years ago, is leaving the staff to become the offensive coordinator at Kansas State.
Whittingham said his search for a replacement starts immediately and that he will look at coaches on his staff as well as national candidates.
"We need someone to continue what we are already doing, not someone who is going to come in and retool the offense," Whittingham said.
Ludwig will coach the Utes through the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2, which is what outgoing defensive coordinator Gary Andersen is doing. Andersen was Whittingham's first hire when Whittingham replaced Urban Meyer as the Utes' coach four years ago, the last time Utah's staff went through major changes.
Also leaving is graduate assistant Ilaisa Tuiaki, who is joining Andersen's staff at Utah State.
Ludwig's offense averaged 37.4 points in 2008 to lead the conference and averaged 405.2 yards in total yards a game, ranking third. While there were times that Utah's offense wasn't as consistent as he wanted it to be, Whittingham said that overall he was happy with the offense.
"We don't want to lose Andy," he said. "We led the league in scoring and we've done some very good things on offense and we certainly made a pitch to try to keep him, but we ultimately couldn't match what Kansas State was able to offer him."
Ludwig made $177,500 this season as Utah's offensive coordinator. He was the only coach who didn't receive a raise after the 2007 season, when the Utes' offense didn't perform as well as hoped even with injuries to several key offensive players.
Ludwig, who served as Oregon's offensive coordinator from 2002-04 before joining Whittingham's staff, coached the Utes to a league-leading 473.0 yards-per-game average in 2005. Utah also led the conference in pass efficiency that season.
Utah was fourth in passing offense (236.8) and fifth in rushing offense (168.4) this season.
"I really appreciate Andy's service and dedication to the program over the last four years," Whittingham said.
Whittingham said he doesn't expect to name a replacement before the bowl game.
1998-01: Fresno State
1997: Cal Poly-SLO
Total yards: 405.2