MANHATTAN, Kan. – One of the nation’s top offensive innovators has joined the Kansas State football staff as Utah offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig has been named the Wildcats’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, head coach Bill Snyder has announced.
Ludwig, who has helped lead the ninth-ranked Utes to an undefeated season in 2008 and a berth in the Sugar Bowl, has earned an impeccable reputation for developing quarterbacks and for his adaptability on offense during his 22-year coaching career, including the last four at Utah.
This season at Utah, Ludwig, who earned his 10th bowl appearance as a coach, tutored quarterback Brian Johnson to Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year honors and spear-headed one of the nation’s most prolific offenses.
Ludwig, who is one of five finalists for the FootballScoop Offensive Coordinator of the Year award, helped Utah finish the regular season as the No. 6 team in the BCS rankings, which is the best ever by a non-automatic qualifying conference. Furthermore, Utah is riding the longest win streak in the nation (13 games) heading into its Sugar Bowl matchup against No. 4 Alabama.
Ludwig’s offense ended the 2008 regular season first in the Mountain West and 15th nationally in scoring offense (37.4 points per game), while the Utes were second in the MWC and 18th nationally in pass efficiency (149.7) and third in the MWC and 31st nationally in total offense (405.2 yards per game).
Under the tutelage of Ludwig, Johnson had one of the best seasons by a quarterback in school history as he completed 241-of-353 passes (68.3-percent) for 2,636 yards, while throwing 24 touchdowns as opposed to just nine interceptions.
Johnson is 18th nationally in pass efficiency at 148.34, while he is fourth in the MWC in both passing yards per game (219.7) and total offense (231.58). Furthermore, Johnson became the winningest quarterback in Utah history this season at 25-7, breaking the record by Alex Smith who was 21-1 from 2003-04.
Injuries cost Utah its starting quarterback at times during Ludwig’s first three years as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Each time, Ludwig plugged in second string quarterbacks, modified the offense to suit his strengths and kept the offense moving the chains.
His modifications included using All-America defensive back Eric Weddle to run a spread option package in 2006, and creating option plays for true freshman Corbin Louks last fall after an injury to Johnson limited his run game.
Ludwig's coaching versatility allowed Utah to rank among the league's offensive powers. In 2005, Utah led the league in total offense - averaging 473.0 yards per game - and finishing 12th nationally. Also that year, Utah led the MWC and placed 10th in the nation in pass efficiency offense. In both 2005 and 2006, Utah placed in the top-two in the league in pass offense - finishing 12th in the nation in 2005. The 2007 Utes finished second in the league in rushing offense.
While best known for his success with quarterbacks - Ludwig coached David Carr, a Heisman Trophy finalist at Fresno State and the 2002 No. 1 NFL Draft pick - he has also incorporated a strong run game. In stints at Fresno State (1998-2001), Oregon (2002-04) and Utah, Ludwig has produced six 1,000-yard rushers and has coached two of the nine Utes ever to rush for 1,000 yards in a season: Quinton Ganther (1,120 in 2005) and Darrell Mack (1,204 in 2007).
The Ogden, Utah, native was a 2001 Broyles Award finalist - awarded to the nation's top collegiate assistant coach – while he was the offensive coordinator at Fresno State. That season, Fresno averaged 40 points and nearly 500 yards per game - finishing fourth in the nation in both categories. Fresno State became the first school in NCAA history to feature a 4,000-yard passer, two 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher in a single season.
Ludwig shaped the career of Carr, who led the nation in passing yards (4,839) and touchdowns (46), was a Heisman Trophy finalist and won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm and Sammy Baugh awards. Ludwig also mentored Billy Volek, who set the NCAA record for lowest career and season interception percentage.
Under Ludwig, Kellen Clemens had the best sophomore season ever by an Oregon quarterback. He would later go in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft to the New York Jets. Wide receiver Sammie Parker set Oregon game, season and career records for receptions, while Ludwig also showcased 1,000-yard rushers Onterrio Smith and Terrence Whitehead.
Cal Poly ranked seventh in the country in total offense in 1997, when Ludwig led the Mustang offense, averaging 455.0 yards per game and quarterback Alli Abrew led the nation in passing efficiency.
Prior to his stint at Cal Poly, Ludwig had stops at Boise State (quarterbacks, 1995-96), Augustana (offensive coordinator/QB/WR, 1993-94), Utah (graduate assistant, 1992), Idaho State (QB/WR, 1989-91) and Portland State (WR, 1987-88).
Ludwig played wide receiver at Snow College from 1982-83 before transferring to Portland State, where he earned two letters in 1985 and 1986. He then went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in exercise science in 1988 when he served as the Vikings’ wide receivers coach.
Ludwig is married to the former Jill Moller, and the couple has two children, Joseph and Delaney.
– k-statesports.com –