To find their new director football of operations, the Wisconsin Badgers looked no further than the school where they got their head coach, Utah State.
Wisconsin announced Wednesday that they would be hiring the Aggies’ assistant athletic director, Jason Thomas, to fill the vacant position.
Over his eight years at his alma mater, Thomas served in several roles. He spent the past six years as an academic counselor for the football team, including the entirety of Andersen’s four-year tenure with the Aggies, and helped manage gameday and travel operations for the team as well.
“Jason is perfect for this position,” head coach Gary Andersen said in a statement. “We worked together during my four years at Utah State and he was instrumental in the success we had there, both on and off the field. He brings a lot of experience in athletic administration, which will serve him well. Having worked with him closely, I know he will be a good fit with the young men on our team.”
Thomas joined the Student-Athlete Academic Services staff in May of 2008, working as the sport counselor for men’s & women’s track and field, men’s & women’s tennis, women’s basketball, and football on his way to being promoted to Assistant Athletics Director of Student-Athlete Academic Services.
The football team has been largely successful in the classroom under his watch, reflected in the NCAA’s recently-released annual academic progress rate. Utah State’s football team finished tied for fourth among FBS schools with an APR of 988, just one point behind Wisconsin, who ranked third with a score of 989.
Thomas played football at Utah State, spending three years as a wide receiver (2001-03) and another one (2004) as a student-assistant coach working with wide receivers, following a knee injury. He graduated from the school in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Human Resource Management and a master’s degree in Corporate Wellness.
Thomas will replace former Wisconsin director of football operations Zach Nyborg, who left UW in April to accept the same position at his alma mater, BYU.