Vanderbilt offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig leaves for same position at Utah


Photo by Hunter Long

Cutler Klein, Sports Editor

Vanderbilt is in the market for an offensive coordinator.

Utah has hired Commodore offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig to the same position, the university announced Friday morning. Ludwig has spent the last four years on West End under head coach Derek Mason.

Ludwig returns to Salt Lake City after an 11-year hiatus. He was the Utes’ offensive coordinator from 2005 to 2008. Under Ludwig’s leadership, Utah went to four consecutive bowl games and beat Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl, finishing that season undefeated and ranked second in the country.

 “It’s great to have Andy back on our staff,” said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as a collegiate offensive coordinator, as well as being an outstanding quarterbacks coach and recruiter. Andy is obviously very familiar with our program which should make for a seamless transition.”

At Vanderbilt, Ludwig helped develop NFL-caliber talents, including quarterback Kyle Shurmur, running back Ralph Webb. This season, he saw running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn become a breakout star. While he drew the ire of fans for conservative play calls in certain situations, his offense still finished eighth in the SEC in total offense in 2018, which was higher than Fiesta Bowl champion LSU, Citrus Bowl champion Kentucky and Music City Bowl champion Auburn.

In his second season in 2016, Ludwig’s offense struggled to put up points, not scoring more than 17 points in SEC play until the final two weeks of the season. In those final two weeks, the Commodores put up 38 and 45 points against Ole Miss and Tennessee, respectively, en route to a bowl game. Since November 2016, the offense became far more potent. In 2017, the offense put up 21 or more points in five of eight SEC games despite finishing with a 5-7 record.

Whoever the Commodores hire to replace Ludwig will have plenty of weapons to work with. Vaughn has just announced that he will be returning for his senior season, wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb will be back as well, and the Commodores will get to break in a new quarterback in Deuce Wallace or grad transfer Riley Neal.

The Commodores will round out their recruiting class on February 6 on National Signing Day. Vanderbilt currently has 10 offensive players that signed during the early signing period in December.