Wisconsin Badgers

MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 27:  Wisconsin Badgers cheerleader waves the flag after the team scores a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the South Florida Bulls on September 27, 2014 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin Badgers defeated the South Florida Bulls 27-10. (Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Report: Wisconsin DBs coach Daronte Jones leaving for Miami Dolphins

Leave a comment

The post-National Signing Day coaching carousel is now in full tilt.

According to a report from Adam Caplan of ESPN, Wisconsin defensive backs coach Daronte Jones is leaving to become the assistant defensive backs coach for the Miami Dolphins.

The Badgers already endured a significant loss this winter after defensive coordinator Dave Aranda took a lateral position with LSU. He was replaced in January by former USC defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox.

Jones spent but 13 months in Madison, a January 2015 addition to Paul Chryst‘s first staff after spending three seasons at Hawaii.

Wisconsin possessed one of college football’s top pass defenses in 2015; the Badgers ranked seventh nationally in pass defense, tied for sixth in yards per attempt allowed, placed third in opponent completion percentage and finished second in pass efficiency defense.

Former USC defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox joins Wisconsin staff

Wisconsin's Mike Taylor (53) carries the Paul Bunyan Axe after Wisconsin beat Minnesota 38-13 in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
AP Photo/Andy Manis
1 Comment

Wisconsin’s defensive coordinator role is no longer vacant. The Badgers have announced the hiring of Justin Wilcox to be the new defensive coordinator under Paul Chryst. The hiring is pending approval from the Board of Regents, which is just a formality at this point. Wilcox spent the past two seasons as the defensive coordinator at USC, the program the Badgers beat in the Holiday Bowl last season.

“During my many conversations with numerous football people that I trusted, one name kept surfacing, Justin Wilcox,” Chryst said. “I am very happy that we were able to get a quality coach like Justin to join our staff. I think he’s a great fit for Wisconsin and this program is a great fit for him. His addition makes us better. He has tremendous experience at some big-time schools and has coached some really good players. He does a great job putting his players in the best situations so they can be successful.”

Wilcox will replace Dave Aranda, who was hired by LSU to fill the same role in Baton Rouge. Wilcox will take over a Wisconsin defense that has tended to be very solid over the years but always seems to be overlooked by splashier teams. Wisconsin ranked second in the nation in total defense and led the nation in scoring defense last season. Wisconsin’s defense may not have many household names, but the Badgers have established a track record of having solid defensive skills, although those defenses have been overpowered against top opponents like Ohio State in the 2014 Big Ten Championship Game and by Alabama in the 2015 season opener. Wilcox should be able to do some good things in Madison though, and he should manage to have some early success in the Big Ten West Division.

Wisconsin adds an experienced defensive coordinator in Wilcox as well. Wilcox has served as a defensive coordinator for the past 10 years between four programs; Boise State, Tennessee, Washington and USC.

Reports: Wisconsin taps ex-USC DC Justin Wilcox to lead Badgers’ defense

TUCSON, AZ - OCTOBER 11:  Defensive Coordinator Justin Wilcox of the USC Trojans during warm ups to the college football game atagainst the Arizona Wildcats  Arizona Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Tucson, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Getty Images

On Dec. 30 of last year, Dave Aranda helped Wisconsin to a 23-21 victory over USC in the Holiday Bowl. By Jan. 7, Aranda was gone to LSU. And now, it appears the Badgers will turn to the defensive coordinator they defeated that night for Aranda’s replacement.

According to a report from FootballScoop, Wisconsin is close to naming former USC defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox as its defensive coordinator. (Disclosure: I also write for FootballScoop.)

Wisconsin’s 247 site also reported the Wilcox hiring, and added that the new hire is already on the recruiting trail for the Badgers.

Wilcox, 39, landed his first defensive coordinator job at the age of 29, helping Chris Petersen post an undefeated debut and a landmark Fiesta Bowl victory at Boise State in 2006. Wilcox remained at Boise State through 2009 before landing defensive coordinator jobs at Tennessee (2010-11), Washington (2012-13) and USC (2014-15).

Wilcox will inherit one of the most accomplished defenses in college football. Wisconsin finished the 2015 season as the nation’s top scoring defense while placing second in total defense.

Wisconsin will hope Wilcox will continue to contribute to Badgers victories — though in a much more direct capacity moving forward.

SEC, Ohio State tops on Carolina, Denver Super Bowl rosters

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 29:  Former Tennesse quarterback Peyton Manning and current quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts is honored alongside his former college coach Phillip Fulmer before the start of the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks on October 29, 2005 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Cam Newton may be hurtling toward history, but the former Auburn quarterback will not be the lone player representing the SEC in next month’s Super Bowl.  In fact, he’s far, far from it.

As you may have heard, Newton’s Carolina Panthers are set to square off with Peyton Manning‘s Denver Broncos in the 50th Super Bowl Feb. 3.  Manning and Newton are two of and FBS-best 30 former SEC players who are on the two teams’ rosters, which includes those on the 53-man, reserved/injured list, practice squad, reserved/suspended by commissioner and reserve/future squad.

The Pac-12 is next with 23, followed by the Big Ten (21) and ACC (17).  The final Power Five conference, the Big 12, has 10, three less than the Mountain West’s 13.  The AAC, with eight, is the only Group of Five league to come close to double digits.  The MAC, meanwhile, is the only conference to be shutout, while all of the other divisions in the NCAA combined for 18 players.

Nearly every SEC team is represented in this year’s big game, the lone exception being Vanderbilt.  Of the dozen schools in the Pac-12, only Arizona and Washington State are missing.  Both the ACC and Big Ten have 11 of their 14 teams in the game, the lone exceptions being Clemson, Louisville and Virginia Tech for the former and Illinois, Minnesota and Rutgers for the latter.

One of those B1G schools that’s in, Nebraska, has had at least one player on a Super Bowl roster for 23 straight years, the longest active streak for any FBS program.

Ohio State easily outdistances individual schools with seven, three more than the four each for Auburn, Georgia Tech, Oregon State and Tennessee.  Alabama, Arizona State, Colorado State, Georgia, Nevada, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas A&M, USC and Utah.

A total of 20 schools have two players each, including Coastal Carolina, the only non-FBS program in the group.  The other 19 includes Arkansas, Boise State, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, San Diego State, South Carolina, Stanford, Troy, Tulane, Washington and Wisconsin.

Paul Chryst gets year tacked on to Wisconsin contract

MADISON, WI - OCTOBER 31: Head Coach Paul Chryst of the Wisconsin Badgers celebrates on the sidelines during the second half against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Camp Randall Stadium on October 31, 2015 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)  *** Local Caption *** Paul Chryst
Getty Images

In a contractual move, Paul Chryst has seen his (potential) time at Wisconsin extended.

At a meeting Friday,  the UW athletic board unanimously approved the recommendation of the athletic department that Chryst’s contract be extended by one year.  Chryst was one of four coaches to receive one-year extensions, the others being volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer.

Chryst’s five-year contract now runs through Jan. 31, 2021.

There was no word on what if any raise was included in the extension.  In 2015, Chryst’s $2.3 million salary was ninth of the 13 Big Tn coaches listed in the USA Today database.

Per the terms of Chryst’s contract, and with the board’s approval, he has a clause that calls for a one-year extension of his deal annually.  Chryst’ just completed his first year as head coach of the Badgers.

In that first season, Chryst led the Badgers to a 10-3 record and a second-place finish (tie) in the Big Ten West.  Chryst, who came back to UW after three seasons as Pittsburgh’s head coach, capped off that first season with a Holiday Bowl win over USC.