Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez will coach the team during its bowl game in the wake of Gary Andersen leaving the school after only two seasons to become the head coach at Oregon State, the school announced Thursday.
ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit first reported the news.
Wisconsin will play in the Outback Bowl against Auburn on Jan. 1 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
Alvarez said he was "very surprised" by Andersen's departure and that he had no idea the coach was planning to leave. He also said the seniors on the team asked him to coach in the bowl game.
One of the members of the College Football Playoff Committee, Alvarez coached Wisconsin for 17 seasons, compiling a 118-74-4 record and leading the program to three Rose Bowl victories.
He also coached the team on an interim basis in 2012, when Bret Bielema left the Badgers to take the Arkansas job. Wisconsin lost 20-14 to Stanford in that Rose Bowl appearance, its third straight bowl defeat. He was paid approximately $118,000 for that game, but as of yet there's no word if he'll be compensated for his Outback Bowl coaching appearance.
- Scooby Axson