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B1G 2018: The Secret To Wisconsin Coaching Wizardry

It’s simpler than you might think. Yes, even you.

NCAA Football: Wisconsin Badgers-Training Camp Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY NETWORK

Another kickypunt offseason is rapidly coming to a close and all remains calm on the Badger coaching front. No more are the days of Gary Andersen’s regime skipping town after pretending quarterbacks should punt and Badger linemen should be tiny and nimble. Long gone is the annual anguish accompanied by the Bret Bielema era, constantly losing assistants in the name of impoverished pay, but in actuality because maybe, just maybe, he is a horrific fuck. Here to stay is the age of Chryst, and with it comes boring, predictable, scrumtralescent stability. This man looks like the guy that only brings napkins and condiments to a potluck and he talks just as much. He is mayonnaise on Wonder bread. And he keeps his staff intact because he understands the secret behind what makes a top-quality, loyal coach: being from Wisconsin.

It starts with Paul Chryst himself, a Madison native that played quarterback at Wisconsin in a primitive version of football resembling the modern-day game that would be invented a few short years later in 1993. Chryst has returned to Wisconsin several times, with his most prominent run prior to becoming the head coach occurring from 2005-2011 as offensive coordinator. Chryst oversaw some of the most prolific offenses in Wisconsin history and celebrated many Saturday wins by introducing pepper into his diet. Chryst enters his fourth season as UW head coach and looks to maintain his perfect streaks of 10+ wins, bowl victories, and Making Offense Mean Again.

His associate head coach is Joe Rudolph, who also oversees the offensive linemen and, believe it or not, previously played for and coached the Badgers. Rudolph served as team captain on Wisconsin’s wildly successful inaugural 1993 Rose Bowl championship campaign. In his fourth year in this most recent stint with UW, Rudolph is the reason there are body shape differences between the linemen and receivers. With Wisconsin in Year 4 of Chryst’s rebuild, this is the first year Chryst and Rudolph have fully-developed seniors on the OL and depth behind them, so expect some fireworks in the trenches. Rudolph is also great with the ‘crootz, which is nice.

Jim Leonhard runs the defensive side of the ball. Leonhard took over the defensive coordinator role last season after only one year of any coaching experience. This meteoric rise has Wisconsin counting its lucky stars, as Leonhard defied the odds to return to that role again this year instead of following his career trajectory to become the NCAA Chairman or something. Leonhard famously walked-on at UW after receiving zero offers out of high school, only to become a three-time All-American and carve out a 10-year NFL career. He hopes to navigate high turnover on the defensive roster and maintain the bar his unit has set as a top-5 defense.

So they return everyone that brings home the free range, organic, all-natural, farm-to-table $13 bacon; were there even any coaching changes to speak of? I’m glad you asked, Me-from-five-seconds-ago. Let’s peep under the hood real quick once yah?

Jon Budmayr- Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Budmayr officially joins the Wisconsin coaching staff after previous stints there as a player and coach. Budmayr is a former quarterback that isn’t a household name to B1G fans outside Wisconsin because injuries suck a whole bunch. Budmayr transitioned from player to student assistant coach during his undergraduate career, and he’s been developing and scouting for quarterbacks ever since. Once the NCAA decided to let teams hire a 10th assistant coach, Budmayr was promoted from graduate assistant to grown ass man. Wisconsin hopes Budmayr continues his strong output developing UW’s stable of quarterbacks and nabbing prized recruits like Graham Mertz, the #4 QB recruit in the nation for the Class of 2019 and a Wisconsin commit. 2019 is coming up soon isn’t it? Good lord.

Bobby April- Much to my chagrin, April was hired in February. Timing aside, April replaces Wisconsin’s lone departure, outgoing outside linebacker coach Tim Tibesar. Tibesar applied for the defensive coordinator job ninety dozen times and never got it so he opted to pursue new opportunities. Readers with corporate gigs understand that grind. Despite not having ties to Wisconsin and therefore ruining the perfection of this article’s theme, April brings with him six years of NFL experience, most of them coaching linebackers like All-Pros Lorenzo Alexander and Zach Brown Band. Is being a proven NFL coach on par with going through the Wisconsin system at some point? The world may never know. Or we’ll just see what April does.

And that’s it. That’s all for turnover. So there you have it: Wisconsin had a bunch of solid coaches last season and virtually all of them came back, so expect similar styles/results this time around too. I know you animals only read the article title and jumped straight to the comments so I’m stopping this here. Let us know your thoughts on UW’s X’s and O’s or, dare I say, ask questions. Don’t forget to vote in the poll! It boosts my bonus pay.


How many Wisconsin coaches do you wish were on your coaching staff?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    (38 votes)
  • 5%
    (13 votes)
  • 5%
    (13 votes)
  • 71%
    All of them because we’re a disaster and gophers can’t row things
    (161 votes)
225 votes total Vote Now