The Wisconsin football team has been without an offensive coordinator and an offensive line coach since Joe Rudolph left the Badgers for the offensive line coaching job at Virginia Tech. There are plenty of rumors flying around about what Paul Chryst is going to do with the Wisconsin coaching staff.
We got a little bit of clarity when the University of Wisconsin posted a job opening for the offensive coordinator position.
There was no posting for an offensive line coach, which means they are probably going to do an internal hire, or just move coaches around. The most likely scenario is that they move linebackers coach Bob Bostad to the offensive line job. He coached the Badgers’ offensive line from 2008-2011 and was then an offensive line coach in the NFL for four seasons with the Buccaneers and the Titans. He is perfectly qualified for the position.
I would assume they would take OLB coach Bobby April and put him in charge of all of the linebackers.
That would leave Chryst having to fill the offensive coordinator spot. There’s also an opening with the quarterbacks too, but with the limit on the number of staff you can have, it wouldn’t surprise me if Chryst just handled the quarterbacks.
There are a lot of ways Chryst can go with the offensive coordinator opening. There are a lot of names being tossed around all over the internet as well. But here are four candidates that have had some smoke behind their names.
Bobby Engram – Baltimore Ravens tight ends coach
This may seem random, but when you dig into it, you’ll understand why Bobby Engram would be a good hire for the Badgers. First off, he has a history with Paul Chryst. While Chryst was the head coach at Pitt, Engram was wide receivers coach from 2012-2013. From what I understand, Engram was a pretty good recruiter during his short time at Pitt. He was the lead recruiter for Jordan Whitehead, Tyler Boyd, and Adonis Jennings, all 4-star recruits. He was also the recruiter for running back Rachid Ibrahim, who ended up transferring to Wisconsin later on.
Engram is also the father of current Wisconsin football player Dean Engram. I doubt that role plays a whole lot in Bobby getting the job, but I’m sure Chryst’s connection to Bobby is a big reason Dean is in Madison.
And finally, Engram has roots in the DC area. Who else is from DC and also went to the same high school as Dean Engram? Just the top quarterback in the transfer portal right now, Caleb Williams, who the Badgers are rumored to be targeting.
Now I’m not saying that Chryst should hire Engram just to get Williams to Wisconsin, or if Williams would even come to Wisconsin even with Engram here, but if it helps it sure is a nice positive on the side.
Darrell Bevell – Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator/interim head coach
I like the idea of Darrell Bevell coming back to his alma mater and coaching the offense for the Badgers. He has had a successful career in the NFL, leading the offenses for the Vikings, Seahawks, Lions, and Jaguars. He earned a Super Bowl ring with the Seahawks in 2013 with Russell Wilson as his quarterback.
He has also spent time as the quarterback coach for the Green Bay Packers as well. So he’s had multiple stints with Brett Favre as well.
If Bevell were to join the Wisconsin football program I think he would be a great candidate to take over the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for the Badgers. That would take more off of Chryst’s plate and let him focus on being the head coach.
The question is, does Chryst want less on his plate? Does he still want to call the plays? I think Bevell is already a long shot because he could have a chance at getting the Jaguars head coaching job. If not that, I’m sure he’ll get another job in the NFL. Would he want to give that up to have the same position in college football?
If he does, I’m sure he’ll want to be the one calling the plays and running the offense. I’m not sure Chryst is ready to give that up yet.
Scott Tolzien – Dallas Cowboys coaching assistant
Scott Tolzien might be the perfect choice for Chryst if he still wants control of the offense and to call plays. Tolzien is still a very green coach. In 2019, he was hired by Chryst as an analyst. Then after a year with the Wisconsin football team, Tolzien was hired by Mike McCarthy as an assistant for the Dallas Cowboys.
Tolzien knows Chryst well from his time at Wisconsin and knows Chryst’s offense too. As such a young coach, I think he would do well in the role of offensive coordinator and probably the quarterback coach as well. This hire would also allow Chryst to call the plays as well.
I’m not sure how Wisconsin football fans would feel about this hire though. Sure, they’d love to have an alum come back to the program and coach. But he isn’t a proven coach in college yet, let alone running an offense. How is he as a recruiter?
Granted, Chryst knows more about what Tolzien is capable of than fans, but this hire wouldn’t be the big splash, flashy hire that I’m sure some fans would like to see, but I still think this would be a solid hire for Chryst as well.