After nearly two weeks full of speculation, crappy rumors becoming reports, and a whole lot of unknowns Wisconsin is expected to formally announce Gary Andersen as their next head coach. So, you'd think we'd all take a break and enjoy what could be an excellent hire, right?
Nah, what fun would that be? Instead it's time to take another ride on the speculation and information train as we try and piece together what a potential staff at Wisconsin would look like for Gary Andersen. Luckily, we know a few of the pieces that will be coming and possibly staying.
Before we go there some of the details of Andersen's contract will be 5 years starting at $1.8 million in 2013 with $100,000 raises each year until year five hits $2.2 million.
Enough of that, right? Tell me who's going to be on the staff…. So, here we go!!
Quarterbacks – Your guess is as good as mine on this one. The only way we have a clue would be if Matt Wells, the OC at Utah State comes along. Then he'll coach QB's as well, which is something he did at USU. Otherwise look for this to be a hire from somewhere in the Midwest to help in smoothing over that transition in the recruiting world.
Offensive Line - T.J. Woods: He served as the OL coach at Utah State and it has been reported he's coming with Andersen to Wisconsin. The Aggies rushing attack has been very good as of late and a lot of the credit goes to Woods for getting that going. You have to think being comfortable with your staff is of utmost importance to Andersen and Woods is a proven position coach.
Wide Receivers – Jovon Bouknight: Bouknight has been with Andersen during his entire 4 year stint at USU and unless he's in line to move up to OC should Matt Wells become the head coach we can fully expect Bouknight (pronounced Juh-vonn Bo-night) to be the newest WR's coach at Wisconsin. He would also help in recruiting the Florida area for the Badgers as that was his main area of concern at USU. All of that fits with what Wisconsin would need on this staff.
Tight Ends – Bart Miller: This young coach deserves to stay on at Wisconsin. He clearly can coach, but Andersen may want to bring in his own guy at the OL position and that would necessitate a move by Miller who could gain some valuable experience by coaching the tight ends.
Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs – Thomas Hammock: Is there anyone more deserving of a crack at play calling than the man that has stuck by the Badgers through thick and thin? Now this will all hinge on what happens at USU with their current OC, who is a candidate to take over as head coach to replace Andersen. If they don't hire him he very well could come to Wisconsin and Hammock stays as RB's coach.
Defensive Coordinator – Dave Aranada: He's been on the staff for just one season at Utah State, but it was a heck of a season and if you don't believe me just take a look back at the Utah State defensive performance against the Badgers. The interesting thing is Aranda ran the 3-4 last year, but Andersen has run the 4-3 more than he did the 3-4 in the past. Expecting the Badgers to go 3-4 is a bit much, but he's a great defensive coordinator and smart enough to get the most out of his talent. He's a trusted coach for Andersen as well.
Defensive Line - Chad Kauha'aha'a: O.k., this one isn't going to be easy to remember or pronounce… so here's how they put it on the Utah website: pronounced cow-ha-a-ha-a). According to multiple reports he will be coming from Utah, having coached at USU under Andersen before moving to the Utes for more money. He's got a connection to Gary Andersen in knowing how good of a coach he is on the defensive line. Kauha'aha'a coached one of, if not the best, defensive lineman in the country this season - Star Lotulelei so this could be a fun one. Just call him Coach Chad – that's what most call him out west anyway.
Linebackers – Kevin Clune: This is a man who's been at USU for 4 years and he may be in line to become the DC at USU should Aranda move on. If not expect him to come along for the ride with Andersen. Clune's main recruiting area was in Texas, so he could bring a different dynamic to recruiting for the Badgers, but from what we are hearing he is a major recruiting guy and Andersen will likely want him at Wisconsin with him. If it's not Clune this one will be an interesting hire because we know Andy Buh isn't coming back after taking the DC job at Cal recently.
Secondary/Special Teams – Ben Strickland: Strickland is probably No. 2 on the list of people that should be kept over from the last staff because of his Midwest recruiting ability and his ties to the program. That will help Andersen in his transition, but more importantly the secondary is going to undergo a lot of personnel changes and Strickland knows this group inside and out at this point. Andersen would be wise to keep him on. If not, look for the name Kendrick Shaver to be in play as well since he was the cornerback's coach at USU.