Wisconsin approves pay raise for Gary Andersen

The University of Wisconsin will increase the football coach's salary to $2.2 million for 2014, with a $100,000 annual increase during his five-year contract.

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MADISON, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents approved a new compensation package for football coach Gary Andersen on Monday that will increase his salary to $2.2 million for 2014, with a $100,000 annual increase during his five-year contract.

The move represents a $300,000 salary increase for Andersen, who was scheduled to make $1.9 million for the upcoming season. It also comes more than a month after Andersen was considered for the head coaching position with the Cleveland Browns.

The increase will not be funded with tax or tuition dollars, a university release announced.

"I first began to consider an adjustment to coach Andersen’s compensation package toward the end of the 2013 season," Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said in a statement. "I felt then, and now, that he did an excellent job not only with the team’s on-field performance, but also in developing a program that puts the student-athletes first in all aspects. He has quickly become someone that Badgers fans have rallied around and identified with.

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"Then some weeks later, as has been reported, the Cleveland Browns approached coach Andersen about their vacant head coaching position. Gary did not ask directly or even imply that his salary should be increased, but that only re-affirmed my thoughts about adjusting his compensation."

Andersen is set to begin his second season at Wisconsin after guiding the Badgers to a 9-4 record and a spot in the Capital One Bowl.

Andersen’s base salary still ranks well below that of other Big Ten coaches. Last month, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio received an increase in his annual compensation from just under $2 million to $3.64 million. That amount ranked Dantonio third among Big Ten coaches, behind Ohio State’s Urban Meyer ($4.6 million) and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz ($3.875 million).

"I’ve always believed that we should do what we can to keep good coaches in our department," Alvarez said, "and that is why I wanted to take this proactive approach with coach Andersen."

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