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UW coach Gary Andersen recently sent care packages to former players.
MADISON - Late last week and over the weekend, tweets from former members of the University of Wisconsin football team started popping up. They were thanking UW coach Gary Andersen and the equipment staff for care packages that were sent to them that included a note along with numerous items of Badgers apparel.
The gesture is not uncommon for a coach to do, but it’s something that hits home for guys that have had very little or no interaction with the new coach, which was Andersen’s goal.
“It's something that we can just sit back and say, ‘Hey, we're thinking about you. We're with you’,” said Andersen, who admitted they couldn't send the packages to every former player. “I hope they enjoy it, and I hope it's something they wear in those NFL locker rooms that they're proud of. They wear it around their communities. ‘You know I'm a Badger.’ They remember where they came from. It's a good thing for those kids to have.”
Andersen said the care packages are also a way of making the former players feel like they can come back to Madison anytime they want and be a part of the program. Not just to watch the team but to be in front of the them, talking and interacting with the current players.
“I can't wait to shake all their hands,” Andersen said. “I've got a great deal of respect for those guys. I know very few of them, but I'm excited about getting to know them and let them know that, ultimately, this is their program. They built it, and I'm here to be the coach now, but I want them involved in the program as much as I can.”