Will he stay at Utah, or will he go to Notre Dame?
That question has been weighing heavily on Utes fans’ minds over the past few days regarding offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, who was reported to be the frontrunner to take the same job in South Bend.
As of Monday evening, there appears to be an answer to the question.
ESPN’s Pete Thamel first reported that Ludwig will remain at Utah, and thus Notre Dame’s search for its new OC after Tommy Rees went to Alabama will continue.
Thamel, as well as his ESPN colleague Adam Rittenberg, reported that Ludwig’s buyout at Utah was a key reason why he and Notre Dame didn’t come to an agreement on a deal.
Thamel wrote that his buyout “proved an obstacle” for Notre Dame, with Rittenberg adding that it was north of $2 million and that “Utah wasn’t going to budge” in terms of letting Ludwig leave at a lower dollar figure.
“Ludwig is extremely valuable for Utes,” Rittenberg wrote.
Buyout was around $2 million (more with the tax paid). Utah wasn’t going to budge. Ludwig is extremely valuable for Utes. https://t.co/6MOWUHGxjR— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) February 14, 2023
Indeed, Ludwig is an extremely valuable member of the Utah coaching staff for head coach Kyle Whittingham.
The 58-year-old Ludwig is in his second stint as the Utes’ OC. The first one came from 2005-2008, Whittingham’s first years as head coach.
Over the next decade, Utah went through a whopping seven OCs before Ludwig returned in 2019 following OC stops at Cal, San Diego State, Wisconsin and Vanderbilt.
In this latest tenure, the Utes have become very good offensively and are primed for a big year in 2023, even as it’s not a total certainty that quarterback Cam Rising will be ready to go at the beginning of the season after he tore his ACL in the Rose Bowl last month.
Losing Ludwig would have been an even bigger hit to a team that has College Football Playoff aspirations, particularly at this point in the year with spring ball just about a month away.