Andy Ludwig is one of the best offensive coordinators in college football.

On that, national pundits and publications are largely agreed, whether it be Pro Football Focus, On3 Sports, Mike Farrell Sports, ESPN ... the list goes on and on.

During his latest stint at the University of Utah, Ludwig has helped the Utes to multiple Pac-12 titles, with an offense that has ranked among the best in all of FBS in EPA (expected points added).

Last season, Utah ranked No. 11 in the nation in points per game, averaging 38.6 ppg, and ranked No. 17 in total offense with 466.9 yards per game.

It was enough that Ludwig was courted by Notre Dame, one of the most storied programs in college football.

Ludwig ultimately turned down the opportunity to head to South Bend, choosing instead to remain in Salt Lake City now, and, as he expressed to the Deseret News, for the foreseeable future.

‘I’m a Utah Man’: Why Utah OC Andy Ludwig returned to the Utes after Notre Dame came calling
Utah’s Andy Ludwig ranked a top-3 offensive coordinator by Pro Football Focus

“I’m a Utah Man. I came back in 2019 to finish my career with coach (Kyle Whittingham),” Ludwig told the Deseret News’ Jeff Call. “There was some intrigue with that position but as all things were measured out, I made the decision, the commitment here, to the coach, to the administration, to the players and just fired up to get this spring ball and this march for a championship repeat repeat going.”

What makes Ludwig so highly respected? Why is he roundly considered one of the best play-callers in the sport?

It is a combination of on-field success/production, years of experience and development of high end players.

Per On3 Sports: “Utah was the only team to beat USC twice in 2022, doing so in both the regular season and the Pac-12 Championship. The Utes — again led by Cameron Rising — ranked No. 11 in the nation with 38.6 points per game and No. 17 in total offense with 466.9 yards per game in Ludwig’s system.

“He was in strong consideration for the offensive coordinator job at Notre Dame, even attending a hockey game with Marcus Freeman, before his buyout led the Fighting Irish to back off. As a result, he’s back at Utah this year.”

Per Pro Football Focus: “Last season, Ludwig orchestrated one of the most efficient offenses in college football. ... The Utes have fielded a top-20 offense in EPA per play in three of Ludwig’s four years as offensive coordinator. In the last two years, Utah’s offense has placed in the top 10. Last season, Ludwig’s offense finished fifth in the country in terms of positive EPA percentage (51.7%).

“And before he was hired at Utah, he led Vanderbilt’s offense to a top-30 finish in EPA per play in 2018 — the Commodores’ best finish in the four years since is 97th, which came last past season. Notre Dame nearly poached Ludwig this offseason but balked at his contract buyout.”

Per Mike Farrell Sports: “Ludwig is a veteran at Utah. He’s in his third stint there and second as OC. His impressive resume includes OC stints at Cal, Fresno, Oregon, San Diego State, Wisconsin, and Vanderbilt, before ending back in Salt Lake City in 2019. Since his return, the Utes have been an impressive 34-13 and won the last two Pac-12 titles.

“His mix of run and pass has led to versatile players on the line, as well as at RB and TE. I have praised Kyle Whittingham’s ability to create a consistent, stable, and winning culture, and Ludwig has played a huge role in that.”

Per Saturday Down South: “Ludwig was HC Kyle Whittingham’s first OC at Utah from 2005-2008, then returned a decade later. In the past 3 seasons, Utah’s offense has become more dynamic and QB Cameron Rising last year developed into the best QB in the Pac-12.”

While Ludwig was being courted by Notre Dame, ESPN senior writer Heather Dinich described him as “a coordinator who ... highlights their tight ends ... also add creativity to the formations. ... (Is) a candidate who can quickly install a system and teach it to the staff and players.”

Ludwig isn’t considered an assistant to watch this upcoming college football season, per ESPN senior writer Adam Rittenberg, but that is because he has already arrived.

Ludwig is great at what he does and is where he wants to be. To Utah’s benefit.

“I’m going to finish my football career at Utah, yes,” Ludwig told Call. “... That’s a big part of this profession. There was some intrigue. But when all the chips were on the table and you’re measuring the pros and cons, this is the place, coach Whitt is the guy I want to work for. The Utah players, the Utah culture, is what I want to be a part of.”