Wisconsin's Andersen spoke with Browns

Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen interviewed with the Cleveland Browns during their monthlong search for a head coach that ended with the hiring of Mike Pettine last month.

The NFL Network reported Tuesday that Andersen had a "secret" meeting with the Browns but that nothing came of it. A day after Pettine was introduced as Cleveland's new coach, Wisconsin announced a contract extension for Andersen.

Anderson and Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez confirmed Tuesday that the interview took place.

"Officials from the Cleveland Browns contacted me to talk about their head coaching vacancy," Andersen said in a statement. "After our initial conversation, I decided not to pursue the position.

"I am committed to the University of Wisconsin and the student-athletes in our program. I love the city of Madison and am grateful for all the support from Badgers fans around the state and around the country. I look forward to the start of spring football in a couple weeks and turning the focus to preparing for 2014."

Alvarez was aware of the conversation with the Browns from the outset.

"I'm appreciative that Gary handled all of this the right way," Alvarez said in a statement. "He alerted me immediately that he had been contacted by the Browns and affirmed his commitment to the University of Wisconsin.

"When you have talented coaches on your roster, there will always be people who want to talk to them. I think that Gary is one of the top coaches in the country and am glad that he is leading our team."

Pettine, formerly the Buffalo Bills' defensive coordinator, took the Browns' job in January after Rob Chudzinski was fired after one season as coach.

Andersen's name did not surface during the coaching search as a potential candidate, but several college coaches were mentioned, including Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and Auburn's Guz Malzahn.

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