New Cal offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig had been on the job five days when he jokingly was asked why he wasn't completely up to speed yet. "Well, it's not the end of the fifth day yet," he said. "I've got a couple of hours left." Ludwig's eagerness is apparent. The Danville native couldn't be happier about his move to Berkeley, partly because of his East Bay roots and partly because of his longstanding relationship with coach Jeff Tedford. "We've talked different times about job opportunities," Ludwig said. "When this one came up, I felt like it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up."
But the Cal job wasn't a slam dunk. Two months earlier, Ludwig left Utah to become the offensive coordinator at Kansas State. He barely had time to learn the Wildcats' personnel when Tedford came calling.
"It was very difficult to leave the way I did," Ludwig said. "This is where I wanted to be, but it was a tough circumstance. I knew I would have to work through that." Ludwig has spent much of his career following Tedford. When Tedford left his job as offensive coordinator at Fresno State to go to Oregon, Ludwig replaced him. When Tedford left Oregon to become Cal's coach, Ludwig took his job again. Even though they never actually worked on the same staff, Tedford and Ludwig developed a relationship. "We've been around the same offenses and we talk a lot," Tedford said. "I've always really respected everything that he's done. He continues to do a great job. He's a really knowledgeable guy, a really poised guy — a guy that I think is really going to take great command of the offense. I have a lot of confidence in him." Tedford said he considered Ludwig last year before ultimately hiring Frank Cignetti, who was considering another job. That forced Tedford into a quick decision. Cignetti left Cal last month to become the offensive coordinator at Pittsburgh.
"It was just a timing issue," Tedford said. "If there would have been more time, I probably would have went into the process a little bit more. I had to make a decision before I really got a chance to go through the whole process." Ludwig spent the past four years at Utah, where he helped the Utes become the nation's only undefeated team last season and earn a No. 2 ranking in the final national polls. The Utes employ the spread offense, but Ludwig said his philosophy is simply implement the offense best suited to his personnel.
"At Cal, they have a style of play that I haven't been involved with the last couple of years," Ludwig said. "But I think Coach Tedford and I have a common philosophy. It's more about the players than the plays. You put together an offense that highlights the guys' skills and abilities."