This Saturday, Meyer and Andersen will coach against each other for the first time as Meyer's Ohio State Buckeyes take on Andersen's Wisconsin Badgers in Madison.
"We'd like to deflect any of the talk about us and our prior history coaching together and our relationship," Andersen said. "It's an important relationship to me, but this is about the kids that are playing the football game."
Before the 2004 season, Meyer was approached by then defensive coordinator Kyle Whittingham about hiring Andersen to be the Utes defensive line coach. Meyer was hesitant.
"Kyle Whittingham came into my office and said I need to have Gary Andersen," Meyer said. "I wasn't going to go in that direction. I had a another guy I was going to hire. But I went to have dinner with Gary and his wife and was completely blown away. Gary was arguably one of the most important hires we ever made."
That's high praise from a guy that led Utah to an undefeated season, won two national titles at Florida, and now has Ohio State ranked 3rd in the nation headed into Saturday's colossal showdown. Meyer knows in the years to come that he's going to have tough times against Andersen's teams.
"The people of Wisconsin are going to find out not just what a great coach he is, but a great guy he is," Meyer said. "He's a great person, a great family man. I love Gary Andersen."
Andersen, who is 2-1 in his first year at Wisconsin, still talks to Meyer on a regular basis, but he's putting his friendship on hold this week.
"Obviously Urban is a good friend," Andersen said. "We talk, but we won't talk this week, I can guarantee you that much. But this is about the kids and it always will be. I'm sure he would say the exact same thing."