Ducks Lure Fresno State's Ludwig to Coordinate Offense
Jan. 30, 2002
EUGENE - Andy Ludwig, who helped orchestrate one of the nation's top offensive arsenals at Fresno State over the last four years, has been chosen as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Oregon according to the Ducks' head coach Mike Bellotti.
The 37-year-old Ludwig has served in that same capacity at Fresno State since taking over for former Oregon offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford prior to the 1998 season. He again succeeds Tedford, who departed the Ducks' post to assume the role as head coach at the University of California earlier this month.
Over the course of his 15-year collegiate coaching career, he has earned the reputation as an offensive innovator who not only has excelled in the development of numerous quarterbacks on a variety of levels but has utilized offensive talent at multiple positions. Last year's Fresno State offense featured the play of a 4,000-yard passer, two 1,000-yard receivers and one 1,000-yard rusher for a team which averaged over 40 points per game, while he has helped tutor four 1,000-yard rushers and three 1,000-yard receivers over the past five seasons. Wide receiver Rodney Wright finished this year ranked ninth in the country in receptions (7.4 avg.) and receiving yards per game (102.3 avg.).
The Bulldogs capped their 11-3 season with a 44-35 loss to Michigan State in the Silicon Valley Football Classic.
A finalist for this year's Broyles Award (presented annually to the nation's top collegiate assistant coach), Ludwig masterminded an offense which ranked third in the country in 2001 in passing efficiency as well as fourth in scoring offense (40.4 avg.) and total offense (497.2 avg.). He played an instrumental role in the development of quarterback David Carr, who threw for 4,839 yards and 46 touchdowns this season while earning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award as the nation's top senior quarterback. Carr completed the year second in the country in passing efficiency and third in total offense (338.2 avg.), while leading the nation in average points responsible for per game (22.0 avg.).
'The reasons I hired Andy are threefold,' Bellotti explained. 'One, he was one of the most impressive quarterback coaches I have met or interviewed during the course of my head coaching career. His last three quarterbacks have all been ranked among the top five in the nation in passing efficiency. In terms of a quarterback coach and teacher, I think he is going to be excellent. The second factor was his impact as an offensive coordinator in terms of productivity and helping teams win at both Cal Poly and Fresno State has been exceptional. My third reason is that obviously since he took over for Jeff Tedford at Fresno State and continued that same style of offense and success, I believe he can do the same thing here. I think the continuity factor will be very, very good for our entire team.
'He has accumulated a variety of experiences which have prepared him well for this opportunity and was the overwhelming choice of our players who took part in the interview process,' Bellotti said. 'It's apparent that the diversity of his offenses and his teams' abilities to put points on the scoreboard also are consistent with the philosophies and success we have been able to cultivate here in the last seven years.'
After earning an undergraduate degree in exercise science from Portland State in 1988, Ludwig's career has included stints as offensive coordinator at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo (1997) and Augustana (S.D.) College (1993-95) in addition to his four seasons at Fresno State. In addition, the former Vikings' wide receiver (1984-86) served tenures as quarterbacks coach at Boise State (1995-96) and Idaho State (1989-91), where he also coached wide receivers in his latter stay, in addition to a year as a defensive graduate assistant at Utah (1992). He broke into the coaching profession at his alma mater in 1987.
Prior to Carr's rise in 2000, Ludwig aided in the emergence of current Tennessee Titans' signal-caller Billy Volek, who finished fifth in the country in passing efficiency in 1999 while the Bulldogs accounted for 32 touchdown passes and only three interceptions. At Cal Poly, he guided an offensive attack which completed the year seventh in the country (NCAA I-AA) in total offense (455.0 avg.), with quarterback Alli Abrew looming as the nation's passing efficiency leader in 1997. He also headed an offense which ranked 16th in the nation (I-AA) in passing at Boise State in 1995 while quarterback Tony Hilde finished 21st in the country in total offense in the school's first year at the I-A level in 1996.
'This a great opportunity for me, professionally, to come work at the University of Oregon,' Ludwig said. 'The football tradition which has been established at Oregon - the offensive tradition - really speaks volumes, and myself and my family are thrilled with the chance to become a part of that program.
'I think there are a lot of similarities in the style of play at Fresno State the last several years and the style of play at the University of Oregon. The philosophy that has been in place at Oregon and my own philosophy is a great mesh. The key thing I am going to look for is to make it as smooth of a transition as possible. Obviously the things that are working at Oregon right now don't have to be reinvented. I'm anxious to get in there and go to work and learn the system and master what already is in place. Once I have a great feel for the system, the terminology and the players, then you can start adding a little of your own personality to it.'
The 1982 graduate of Bonneville High School in Ogden, Utah, migrated to Snow (Utah) Junior College for two years before completing his playing career at Portland State in 1986.
Ludwig assumes the reigns of an Oregon offense which has averaged in excess of 400 yards per game each of the last six years while ranking 16th in the country in passing efficiency and 19th in scoring offense (34.0 avg.). However much like Fresno State, he will be faced with the task of replacing one of the nation's top quarterbacks in Joey Harrington.
The Ducks completed last season with their best record in school history and an unprecedented national ranking of second in the country, with their 11-1 record highlighted by a 38-16 Fiesta Bowl win over Colorado.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, he and his wife, Jill, are the parents of one son, Joseph (12-6-88), and one daughter, Delaney (10-3-01).