Wisconsin Badgers

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Big news for Badgers: Melvin Gordon to return

Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon has announced that he will return for his redshirt junior season.

Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon will return to school for the 2014 season. (Photo: Andy Manis, AP)It’s big news for the Badgers — Gordon is 11th in the country in rushing yards (1,466) and fourth in yards per carry (8.1) this season.

With backfield mate James White (1,337 yards, 13 touchdowns) graduating, Gordon should be a serious candidate for the 2014 Heisman Trophy.

“After talking it over with my family and my coaches, I have decided to come back next year,” Gordon said in a statement. “I love the University of Wisconsin and feel that there is still a lot of room for growth.

“Academically, another year in school will help me get closer to completing my degree and on the field I hope to help my team get back the Big Ten championship,” he added. “With this decision out of the way I can now focus on helping my team prepare for the Capital One Bowl and a great opponent in South Carolina.”

The Kenosha, Wis. native led the nation with a 10.0 yard per carry average (62 rushes for 621 yards) as a redshirt freshman in 2012.

Photo: Andy Manis, AP

For an updated list of college underclassmen that have declared for the NFL Draft, click HERE.

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Closer Look: Wisconsin staff gets big pay bump

[dropcap]B[/dropcap]ret Bielema has cited a lack of funds for assistant coaches as one of the primary reasons he left Wisconsin.

Barry Alvarez and Gary Andersen

Barry Alvarez and Gary Andersen

But it doesn’t look like Gary Andersen will have that problem.

According to Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal, Andersen’s nine assistants will make combined $2.495 million – up from $1.973 million in 2012.

The $522,000 increase is a jump of more than 26%, and would have ranked third among Big Ten public universities trailing only Ohio State ($3.29 million) and Michigan ($2.93 million). Bielema’s 2012 staff ranked seventh in the Big Ten.

Back in December, Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez defended the assistants’ pay.

“Our pay scale for assistant coaches is more than competitive and fair,” Alvarez said. “As athletics director, I know what people are making, and every time someone has a hint that they may take another job, it’s not prudent to jump and throw a pile of money at them.”

Though in the aggregate it looks like Alvarez completely changed his tune, it’s really more like a tweak.

Bielema earned $2.6 million as the Badgers’ head coach last season, bringing total staff pay to nearly $4.6 million.

Andersen, on the other hand, will make $1.8 million, for a total on-field payout of approximately $4.295 million – $300,000 less than 2012.

Where it does look like Alvarez may have shifted his thinking is at the top of the assistant food chain.

Former Badger defensive coordinator Chris Ash, the highest paid member of Bielema’s staff, earned just $267,050 a year ago. Dave Aranda, Andersen’s defensive coordinator, will be paid $480,000.

It’s the same on offense. Matt Canada, Bielema’s offensive coordinator last season, made $265,000. New offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, will make $480,000.

Below is a breakdown of the 2013 Wisconsin, their salaries and what they earned in 2012:

Dave Aranda, Defensive coordinator, Linebackers: $480,000 (Utah State, $157,000)
Andy Ludwig, Offensive coordinator, Quarterbacks: $480,000 (San Diego State, $278,008)
Thomas Hammock, Ass. HC, Rec. coord., Running backs: $300,000 (Wisconsin, $230,950)
T.J. Woods, Offensive line: $250,000 (Utah State, $82,000)
Bill Busch, Secondary: $220,000 (Utah State, $112,000)
Jeff Genyk, Tight ends, Special teams: $220,000 (Cal, $201,150)
Chad Kauha’aha’a, Defensive line: $205,000 (Utah , $170,000)
Chris Beatty, Wide receivers: $200,000 (Illinois, $400,000)
Ben Strickland, Secondary: $140,000 (Wisconsin, $103,600)

For comparison sake, here’s a look at the salaries of Bielema’s 2012 staff:

Chris Ash, Defensive coordinator, Defensive backs: $267,050
Matt Canada, Offensive coordinator, Quarterbacks: $265,000
Mike Markuson, Offensive line: $255,000
Charlie Partridge
, Associate HC, Co-Defensive coordinator, Defensive line: $241,750
Thomas Hammock, Assistant HC, Rec. coordinator, Running backs: $230,950
Andy Buh, Linebackers: $215,000
Zach Azzanni, Wide receivers: $200,000
Eddie Faulkner, Tight ends: $200,000
Ben Strickland, Secondary: $103,600

Note: Bart Miller, who was promoted to offensive line coach when Markuson was fired in September, was paid $50,000.

Photo credit: AP

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The Coaching Wire: Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Former Cal assistant Jeff Genyk will be tight ends and special teams coach on Gary Anderson's staff at Wisconsin. (Photo: Daily Californian)

Former Cal assistant Jeff Genyk will be Wisconsin’s tight ends and special teams coach. (Photo: Daily Californian)

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]ormer Cal assistant Jeff Genyk will be the tight ends and special teams coach at Wisconsin.

Genyk, who was head coach at Eastern Michigan from 2004-08, spend the past three seasons on Jeff Tedford’s staff in the same roles that he will serve for the Badgers.

He replaces Jay Boulware, who was hired in January and left last week for Oklahoma.

Genyk is very familiar with the Big Ten having worked at Northwestern from 1992-2003. He worked his way up from defensive graduate assistant (1992-93) to director of football operations (1994-96) before moving to an on-the-field position as outside linebackers coach in 1997.

In his last five seasons with the Wildcats, Genyk served as running backs and special teams coach and recruiting coordinator.

A native of Milan, Mich., Genyk played quarterback and punter at Bowling Green from 1978-81.

Grambling names Dennis Winston defensive coordinator

Grambling has named Dennis Winston as its new defensive coordinator. Winston coached at the school twice before from 1992-94 and 1995-97. He spent the past three years at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, who won the SWAC championship and was named the Black College National Champion by the American Sports Wire.

Winston has coached previously at Toledo, Norfolk State, and Arkansas, his alma mater. Heplayed 11 seasons in the NFL, winning two Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1978, 1979).

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Chris Beatty to be Wisconsin receivers coach

Former Illinois co-offensive coordinator Chris Beatty has been hired at Wisconsin. (Photo: AP File)

Chris Beatty, who has coached at Illinois, Vanderbilt and West Virginia, has been hired at Wisconsin. (Photo: AP File)

[dropcap]E[/dropcap]x-Illinois co-offensive coordinator Chris Beatty will be the new wide receivers coach at Wisconsin.

Beatty joins Gary Andersen after spending last year on Tim Beckman’s staff. He was fired after just one season, as the IIllini averaged just 16.7 points per game last season, last in the Big Ten during a 2-10 year.

Prior to Illinois, Beatty was wide receivers coach and offensive recruiting coordinator at Vanderbilt in 2011. Before that, he spent three seasons as running backs and slot receivers coach and director of recruiting at West Virginia.

Beatty was co-offensive coordinator with Billy Gonzales who accepted a position at Mississippi State yesterday. Gonzales was thought to be in consideration for the Wisconsin position, but he and Dan Mullen had coached together previously at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida.

Beatty said that he was not surprised by the firing at Illinois.

“Not really,” Beatty told IlliniHQ.com. “After the year we had, you know there are going to be some changes. Having said that, it’s disappointing. It is what it is. Accept it and move on.

“You never know in this business what’s going to happen day to day, much less week to week or year to year. Hopefully, my resume prior to this stop kind of speaks for itself because we’ve been successful wherever we’ve been. Everything will work out. Everything happens for a reason.”

Beckman hired former Western Michigan coach Bill Cubit as his offensive coordinator last month.

There is one open spot on the Illinois staff, as Beckman hired ex-Millersville (Pa.) head coach Greg Colby to the defensive line. Colby replaced Keith Gilmore, who left for North Carolina.


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Former Wisconsin OL coach Miller hired at NMSU

Bart Miller named New Mexico State offensive line coach. (Photo: Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports)

Bart Miller will be New Mexico State o-line coach. (Photo: Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports)

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]ormer Wisconsin offensive line coach Bart Miller has been named offensive line coach at New Mexico State.

Last season, Miller was in his second year as a graduate assistant at Wisconsin when he was promoted to offensive line coach.

The Badgers had one of their worst rushing performances in years against Oregon State in week two, gaining just 35 yards on 23 carries and scoring only seven points in a 10-7 loss.

Bret Bielema promptly fired coach Mike Markuson and promoted Miller.

“There wasn’t a lot of time to think about it,” Miller said. “We had to get ready to go.”

Slowly but surely the Badgers’ line came around.

Wisconsin gained 467 yards on the ground vs. Purdue and a few weeks later rushed for a school-record 564 yards and seven touchdowns at Indiana. In the Big Ten title game, Wisconsin piled up 539 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns in a 70-31 rout of Nebraska.

“He got us all back on one page, got us all together as a unit instead of five individuals, which we lost there for a little bit,” sophomore offensive tackle tackle Rob Havenstein said. “We started getting back to trying to be the best in the country.”

The turnaround helped Miller earn the title of Big Ten’s Best Assistants by ESPN.com.

“Obviously, with his experience in taking a team all the way to the Rose Bowl is a big plus for our program,” interim NMSU head coach Doug Martin said in a release. “We are excited to have Bart (Miller) as a member of our staff.”

A native of Omaha, Neb., Miller played his college ball at the University of New Mexico. He worked in the Chicago Blackhawks’ front office before becoming a graduate assistant at New Mexico State in 2010.

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