Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema just finished his season, but his work is only beginning. Bielema is watching his coaching staff fall apart. Offensive coordinator Paul Chryst has taken the Pitt job and reportedly will take Wisconsin offensive line coach Bob Bostad with him.
There also are reports that Badger linebackers coach Dave Huxtable is headed to Pitt to be defensive coordinator. And receivers coach DelVaughn Alexander is headed to Arizona State. Bielema already has said he will promote tight ends coach Joe Rudolph to line coach.
These are critical hires, particularly the offensive coordinator spot. Two names that are buzzing: Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell and former Kansas offensive coordinator Chuck Long.
Norvell is a native of Madison who played at Iowa, as did Long and Bielema. Norvell was on Barry Alvarez’s Badger staff from 1989-94 as receivers and special teams coach. Norvell also has been an offensive coordinator at Nebraska and UCLA and has worked in the NFL with the Colts and Raiders.
Long was head coach of San Diego State from 2006-08 before coming to Kansas, where he was part of Turner Gill’s staff. Long also was on the Oklahoma staff from 1999-2005 as quarterbacks coach, passing game coordinator and offensive coordinator, helping the Sooners win the 2000 national title and developing some top quarterbacks like Josh Heupel and Jason White.