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Andersen: 'Browns contacted me'

After the Cleveland Browns announced front-office changes, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted that the Browns interviewed Wisconsin’s Gary Andersen for the head-coaching job.

Wisconsin quickly released statements from both Andersen and athletic director Barry Alvarez confirming a conversation. Andersen received a raise on Jan. 25.

“Officials from the Cleveland Browns contacted me to talk about their head coaching vacancy,” Andersen said in the release. “After our initial conversation, I decided not to pursue the position. I am committed to the University of Wisconsin and the student-athletes in our program. I love the city of Madison and am grateful for all the support from Badgers fans around the state and around the country.

"I look forward to the start of spring football in a couple weeks and turning the focus to preparing for 2014.”

The Browns hired Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine on Jan. 23.

Alvarez made a point to emphasize that Andersen was up front with him about everything. If you remember, Alvarez was not pleased with the way Bret Bielema left for Arkansas.

“I’m appreciative that Gary handled all of this the right way,” Alvarez said in the release. “He alerted me immediately that he had been contacted by the Browns and affirmed his commitment to the University of Wisconsin. When you have talented coaches on your roster, there will always be people who want to talk to them. I think that Gary is one of the top coaches in the country and am glad that he is leading our team.”

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