Big Ten: Jay Boulware

Big Ten lunch links

March, 7, 2013
First half in the books, 21-0-3. Light the lamp.
Like any new coach, Wisconsin's Gary Andersen wanted a full staff of assistants in place for the start of spring practice.

Andersen still has that goal five days before the Badgers hit the practice field, but Jay Boulware has made things a bit tougher. Boulware, hired in January to coach Wisconsin's tight ends and special teams, left Friday for the same post at Oklahoma.

The decision isn't sitting well with Andersen. At all.

"It's upsetting," Andersen said Monday at his pre-spring news conference. "I brought the wrong guy in here. ... I don't like the timing of it. I don't like the situation at all."

Andersen was completely caught off guard by Boulware's departure, learning of it just hours before Oklahoma made an official announcement. The Badgers coach took full responsibility saying, "I failed the kids in this situation. It's important. We talked about building a family environment."

Asked if Boulware provided an explanation for his departure, Andersen replied, "Jay's got his world. I don't want to get -- I don't want to start all that stuff. I'll probably say something I shouldn't say."

Andersen said plenty, and it was refreshingly honest. These moves seem to be happening more and more in college football -- Jim Bollman spent barely a month at Purdue before moving to Michigan State as co-offensive coordinator and tight ends coach -- and they shouldn't always be greeted with politically correct responses and fake well wishes.

Boulware's replacement will hold the same title, and Andersen hopes to have him in place before Saturday. Although secondary coach Bill Busch has experience coaching special teams, Andersen noted that there are only four defensive assistants, and he doesn't want to add to Busch's plate.

Other items of note:
  • Quarterback Jon Budmayr has decided to end his playing career and become a student coach with the Badgers. He'll remain on a medical scholarship. Budmayr has battled nerve issues in his throwing elbow since August 2011 and has missed the past two seasons.
  • Andersen expects the quarterback competition to last through the spring and into preseason camp. He pointed out that junior-college transfer Tanner McEvoy, who arrives this summer, will have a legitimate shot at the job. Andersen mentioned leadership and consistency as two traits he's seeking from the quarterbacks.
  • Andersen said the cornerbacks and wide receivers likely will be making the biggest adjustments this spring. Cornerbacks will play more man coverage than before, and wide receivers will have a bigger role in the passing game and must create separation in man coverage. Andersen also mentioned the center spot as an intriguing position as Wisconsin must replace Travis Frederick.
  • Like most coaches, Andersen opposes increasing the Big Ten schedule to 10 games, noting that it would be "very difficult" on the players' bodies. He can see a move to nine games, which is likelier.

Big Ten lunchtime links

March, 4, 2013
Send it in, Jerome!

Big Ten lunch links

January, 22, 2013
Bryan Bennett reportedly is headed to SEC country. Brian Bennett, thankfully, is staying put.

Big Ten lunch links

January, 15, 2013
Glad my eyes still work after watching the Atlanta Hawks last night.

Big Ten lunch links

January, 9, 2013
Happy hump day.
New Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell is starting to hire assistants for the Boilers, while the Big Ten's other new boss, Wisconsin's Gary Andersen, is putting the finishing touches on his staff.

Two coaching tidbits to pass along:
  • There's no official announcement from Purdue, but Hazell reportedly will hire Florida State assistant Greg Hudson as the team's defensive coordinator. Hudson recently completed his third season as the Seminoles' linebackers coach. He has Big Ten experience after serving as Minnesota's defensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator and linebackers coach from 2002-04 under Glen Mason. Hudson was defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at East Carolina from 2005-09. We'll have more on Hudson once the hire becomes official. Hazell also is expected to bring several Kent State assistants, including linebackers coach Marcus Freeman, the former Ohio State player, with him to Purdue.
  • Wisconsin will name Auburn assistant Jay Boulware as its new tight ends coach. Boulware has coached tight ends and special teams at Auburn since 2009. He and Andersen coached together at Utah from 2005-2006, when Boulware served as the Utes' tight ends coach and special teams coordinator. Boulware will be making his Big Ten coaching debut with the Badgers, although he has coached in the Midwest before at Northern Illinois (1997-2000) and Iowa State (2007-08). He has been a special teams coordinator for nine of the past 10 seasons, so there's a good chance he retains the title with Wisconsin. Andersen has just one assistant left to hire. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, he's targeting Utah receivers coach Aaron Roderick for the same position with the Badgers.