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December 23, 2011
Bielema talks Chryst departure
MADISON - Make no bones about it.
If all goes according to Bret Bielema's plan, the sixth-year head coach would like for his new offensive coordinator to be hired from within. And he'd like to do so sooner rather than later.
He also knows that more than one of his assistant coaches (most likely Bob Bostad, Joe Rudolph and Charlie Partridge) has been approached about a possible job on Chryst's new staff at Pitt.
Bielema, who's been looking forward to this date for quite some time simply because it represents the end of finals and hopefully, for his cause, the end of an up-in-the-air coaching staff.
Both Bielema and his team can now look forward to heading to Pasadena - - the team leaves Monday afternoon - - and their upcoming Rose Bowl game against Oregon.
"This is my program," Bielema said. "What I have to do is what I have to do. There are certain things within the university's structure. I have to post a job for an 'X' number of days before you can get it done.
Though Bielema was adamant about hiring from within for the vacant offensive coordinator job, he did make it clear that he was looking outside the program for the school's next quarterback coach.
"There is nobody here in our program that can coach quarterbacks," Bielema said. "Somebody is going to have to come in and do that."
One name that has sprung out of the woodwork is former Badgers quarterback Brooks Bollinger. One of UW's all-time greats, Bollinger just finished his first season as a head coach at Hill Murray (MN), where he led his team all the way to the state championship game.
Bielema has reached out to Bollinger recently, although the point of that conversation had everything to do with a speaking engagement this spring, not the vacant quarterback coach opening.
"I have a huge amount of respect Brooks ever since he went here," Bielema said. "Coach Alvarez obviously thinks the world of him. He's a guy, that because of his dad's background you'd think he'd be a guy that would naturally have that transition.
"When I first took over he kind of reached out about the possibility of being a graduate assistant and getting into that role."
Preventing a distraction:
Though it may not be intentional, and though the coaches involved would probably tell you otherwise, the fact there's an outgoing coach currently on the Wisconsin staff makes it difficult to keep your mind absolutely clear entering the Rose Bowl.
When asked about the possibility of his team falling victim to the distraction of a coaching change Bielema seemed optimistic.
"I don't think Dave Doeren's situation was a distraction last year," Bielema said. "I thought Paul said some good things today to the group. I think that meant a lot to them and the kids reacted very, very favorably.
"If anything it might be a bonus because it's his last game."
Don't expect a big name splash:
Bielema has never been one to hire a big name to fill an open spot on his assistant coaching staff. He prefers finding guys that he's not necessarily familiar with, due his research and get to know them.
Based upon that interview philosophy, Bielema then decides who may be the best suited to coach his program at whatever given position is in need of a coach. So to assume he would opt to hire a big name coach from somewhere outside the program to fill his offensive coordinator position would be a bit of a stretch.
"I think you know my track record," Bielema said.
Peter Konz traveled to Charlotte earlier this week to seek a second opinion on his ailing left ankle. Following that quick trip the junior center was cleared to play in the upcoming Rose Bowl.
Though he has yet to practice with the team, Bielema fully expects Konz to be ready to participate once the squad gets to Pasadena. He'll start out working with the second string offense. Should he get back into the swing of things in relatively quick fashion Konz will be back in the starting lineup.
The following is the audio file from Friday afternoon: