December 22, 2014

Anderson rounds out his UW coaching staff

New Wisconsin Badger football coach Gary Andersen is bringing in five new assistant coaches to join current UW staffers Thomas Hammock

Gary Andersen

Gary Andersen

and Ben Strickland for the 2013 season.

The new coaches are offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Andy Ludwig, defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, secondary coach Bill Busch, defensive line coach Chad Kauha’aha’a and offensive line coach T.J. Woods.  Hammock will continue to coach running backs while Strickland will remain and coach in the secondary.

Andersen has previously worked with the five coaches that he’s bringing in.

Andy Ludwig comes to Madison after having spent the last two seasons at San Diego State.  This year, the Aztecs went 9-4, including 7-1 in the Mountain West Conference.  The SDSU offense averaged 32.9 points per game and ranked 20th in the nation in rushing, with 220.7 average yards per game.

Ludwig just completed his 18th year as an offensive coordinator at the NCAA level and has 26 years of coaching experience overall.

Dave Aranda is following Andersen to UW after spending 2012 as the defensive coordinator at Utah State.  He oversaw an Aggies defense that ranks eighth in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 15.4 points per game.

In addition to scoring defense, Utah State also ranks among the top 15 nationally in sacks (eighth), pass efficiency defense (10th), rush defense (12th) and total defense (15th).

Prior to his season at Utah State, Aranda spent four years at Hawaii, the last two spent as the Warriors’ defensive coordinator.

Bill Busch, the co-Defensive Backs Coach of the Year by FootballScoop.com in 2012, joins UW after spending the last four years with Andersen at Utah State.  The last two seasons he served as associate head coach and special teams coordinator, as well as coaching the USU safeties.  Busch spent his first two seasons at Utah State as the defensive coordinator.

Busch also coached with Andersen at both Northern Arizona (1995-96) and Utah (2000-2003).  Busch spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Wisconsin under Barry Alvarez in 1993-94.

Chad Kauha’aha’a (pronounced cow-ha-a-ha-a) has spent the last two years at Utah, where he groomed one of the top defensive tackles in the country.  He mentored the highly decorated Star Lotulelei, the Utah defensive tackle projected by some to be the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.  Lotulelei was named a first-team All-American by Walter Camp and the Associated Press in 2012.

In his two seasons at Utah, the Utes ranked among the top 25 in the country in rush defense, finishing 20th in 2011 (113.5 ypg) and 23rd this past season (128.2 ypg.).

T.J. Woods is another member of Andersen’s original staff at Utah State.  He spent the last two seasons in charge of the Aggies’ offensive line after coaching USU’s tight ends and special teams his first two years.

The Aggies are 25th in the country in rushing this season (204.1 ypg) and are one of just four teams in the country (Wisconsin, Oregon and Western Kentucky are the others) to have a 1,500-yard rusher in each of the last two seasons.  Last year, Utah State’s offense led the WAC and ranked sixth in the FBS in rushing offense (282.7 ypg).  Over the last two seasons, Utah State has averaged 5.8 yards per carry over the last two seasons.  That ranks second in the country, behind only Oregon.

Thomas Hammock just finished his second season as the Badgers’ running backs coach.  In his first year, he saw his star running back Montee Ball, lead the nation in rushing, be named a Heisman Trophy finalist and tie Barry Sanders’ NCAA record for touchdowns scored in a season.

For an encore, Hammock helped Ball become the NCAA’s all-time leader in touchdowns and the Doak Walker Award winner while putting together one of the most prolific rushing attacks in the nation.

Beyond Ball’s record-setting season, Hammock also mentored junior James White and freshman Melvin Gordon to outstanding seasons this year.  Each of UW’s top three backs rushed for more than 600 yards this season.

Ben Strickland, a former Wisconsin defensive back who spent the last four seasons on the Badgers’ coaching staff, just completed his first year as a full-time assistant coach.  Strickland assisted co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash with the secondary this season and was heavily involved in special teams.  On the recruiting trail, Strickland has been invaluable in his home state, continuing the pipeline of Wisconsin players to UW.

With Strickland’s guidance, the UW secondary helped the Badgers’ defense become one of the nation’s top units.  Wisconsin ranks 23rd in the country in pass defense, allowing just 196.5 passing yards per game and 21st in the country in pass efficiency defense (112.6).  UW has allowed opponents to complete just 54.5% of their passes this season, good for a tie for 15th in the country.

Three of the Badgers’ four starters in the secondary received All-Big Ten honors.  Senior CB Devin Smith, who is tied for the Big Ten lead with four interceptions this season, was a second-team selection by the media.  UW’s other senior cornerback, Marcus Cromartie, was a consensus honorable mention pick, as was junior SS Dezmen Southward.