Thursday, September 24, 2009

Register Guard: Rising Cal tide buoys Ludwig, too

George Schroeder

The call came right on time Wednesday morning from the 510. Except Andy Ludwig wasn’t on the other end.  Instead, a California official was explaining how the Golden Bears’ offensive coordinator had decided he didn’t have time to talk, that he was sorry but there was so much work to do. Would Bob Gregory do? Well, no thanks. Like so many others at Cal, Gregory once coached at Oregon. But the topic was Ludwig’s return to Eugene, where he spent three years as Oregon’s offensive coordinator. And also, all that good work he’s doing at California. So we’ll just have to go on without Ludwig. Which, of course, is what Oregon fans gladly did when he left after the 2004 season. And what Utah fans were only too happy to do when he left Salt Lake City last winter.

But check out this nugget from Wednesday’s edition of the San Francisco Chronicle: “The win against Minnesota also showed the impact of offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig. His creative play-calling was on full display in the first half, when the Bears mixed (Jahvid) Best runs with long passes, reverses, fake reverses and even a quarterback draw on third down.” Right now, you’re wondering: Who is this guy?

When he was here, Ludwig drew fire because the offense wasn’t dynamic enough. More important, after two of the best seasons in the history of the program, the Ducks descended into mediocrity. During Ludwig’s three seasons, Oregon was 20-17 — 12-12 in Pac-10 play. If anyone had gotten the idea back then, they’d have been sending Ludwig invoices, requesting refunds. Coordinators are easy targets. Just ask Nick Aliotti. But when Ludwig left, there weren’t tears shed on either end.


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