Dave Aranda Brings Stability to Wisconsin Football Program in Flux


Wisconsin football is going through a change. A new head coach, several new assistants, and a huge roster loss when Melvin Gordon meets his new NFL teammates. One major constant helping the transition will be Dave Aranda.

2015 will only be Aranda’s third season on staff at Wisconsin, but already the defensive coordinator has elevated the defensive play, and brought a toughness to the team.

As the Badger Football tweet suggests, Aranda’s defenses have been stellar, giving up 299.4 yards per game over his two seasons at the helm, the third best mark in all of college football in that period.

He’s coached a pair of first team All-Big Ten linebackers – Chris Borland (2013) and Derek Landisch (2014) – and all of his starting linebackers in 2014 – Landisch, Marcus Trotter, Joe Schobert and Vince Biegel – earned some form of All-Big Ten honors following this season.

Heading into the 2015 season, Aranda remains as one of the few coaching holdovers from a season ago.

Gone is head coach Gary Anderson. Enter Paul Chryst.

Gone is offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig. Enter Joe Rudolph.

A bevy of new coaches, like Rudolph, followed new head coach Paul Chryst over to the Badgers from Pittsburgh, but the turnover stopped at the defensive coordinator as Aranda decided to remain with the Badgers.

Speaking with members of the media last week, Aranda was highly praised by new head coach Paul Chryst, who said he felt the fit was good between the two coaches.

"“…Dave has a great reputation as a football coach, and then knew enough people that knew him as a person, people that I know and trust, that I was really excited.All of this is not just a one sided deal. As much as, when we had time to visit, I thought it was as important not just for me to get to know Dave, but for Dave to get to know me. So when he came in and thought that it would be a good fit, I was really excited.”"

Aranda reaffirmed his decision to stay in Madison after passing up offers for other jobs.

"“No, this is something I wanted to do right from the start. My family is awfully comfortable here. My wife loves it here. Kids have a great school environment. They have friends over to the house about every other day. I know that I love the kids here, especially the group that’s coming up. I’m excited about their potential and what we can accomplish. So I’m very happy that it worked out.”"

The defense loses several key players this season, from linebackers Landisch and Trotter, defensive back Peniel Jean, and defensive linemen Warren Herring and Konrad Zagzebski.

Still, it’s a young group with lots of experience, and Aranda has high expectations for the 2015 squad.

"“We can improve in all areas, and I say that with full confidence. We’ve got the ability to do that. I look back at whatever success that we’ve had, and we can build on those things. Whether it was being a stout front without a lot of movement, without a lot of pressure the first year, and then this past year movement every snap, the ability to create pressure. You’d like to have a balance somewhere there in between to where we can dictate that as opposed to, at times, that being dictated to us. Then, two, the ability to create takeaways. I feel I have failed in that area the last two years. We can be better in that area.”"

Next: Joe Rudolph Officially Announced New Wisconsin Offensive Coordinator