<
>

Coaching changes recap: B1G West Division

2/16/2015

It's been quite an offseason already nationally and around the Big Ten. Earlier Monday, colleague Adam Rittenberg provided a rundown of the altered coaching landscape of the Big Ten's East Division.

We continue our recap of the coaching moves with a look at the West Division, featuring a mix of turnover at high-profile Nebraska and Wisconsin and longevity elsewhere:

ILLINOIS

Who's out?

Greg Colby, defensive line

Tim Salem, special teams

Who's in?

Mike Phair, co-defensive coordinator

Notes: Coach Tim Beckman remains in the market for an assistant coach to fill Salem's spot. The Illini got Phair from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He will run the defense with Tim Banks after Illinois ranked last in the Big Ten for the past two years in defending the run, a factor in Colby's removal. Before turning to Phair, Beckman attempted to hire Missouri defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski, but the longtime sidekick of Gary Pinkel opted to stay with the Tigers.

IOWA

Who's out?

No changes, though coach Kirk Ferentz made a few assignment shifts last week.

Promoted/moved

Brian Ferentz adds run-game coordinator to work with offensive line

Seth Wallace adds cornerbacks and nickelbacks to work as recruiting coordinator

LeVar Woods moves from linebackers to tight ends

Notes: Some have argued that Kirk Ferentz, set to enter his 17th season, should have made more significant changes after the Hawkeyes underachieved, especially on offense. Brian Ferentz has done nice work with the line. His promotion should allow offensive coordinator Greg Davis to focus more on the tenuous quarterback situation. Defensive coordinator Phil Parker can also focus on more big-picture work after the changes this month, and Jim Reid will alone handle the linebackers with Woods moving to the offensive side.

MINNESOTA

Who's out?

Are you kidding?

Notes: Status quo for the Gophers after two straight eight-win seasons. Coach Jerry Kill's staffers, including strength coach Eric Klein, have worked together for a combined 131 years, more than any staff nationally. Defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys has been with Kill for 20 seasons; offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover for 16 and so on. Their longevity pays obvious dividends. Little changes look big for the Gophers, such as the switch last year of Brian Anderson to coach receivers and Pat Poore to running backs.

NEBRASKA

Who's out?

Bo Pelini, head coach

Tim Beck, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks

John Papuchis, defensive coordinator

Ron Brown, running backs

Barney Cotton, assistant head coach/tight ends

Ross Els, linebackers

Rich Fisher, receivers

John Garrison, offensive line

Rick Kaczenski, defensive line

Charlton Warren, defensive backs

Who's in?

Mike Riley, head coach

Mark Banker, defensive coordinator

Danny Langsdorf, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks

Trent Bray, linebackers

Mike Cavanaugh, offensive line

Reggie Davis, running backs

Hank Hughes, defensive line

Bruce Read, special teams

Keith Williams, receivers

Notes: Riley brought Banker, Bray, Cavanaugh and Read straight from Oregon State, and added Langsdorf, a former OSU coordinator, from a one-year stopover as quarterbacks coach of the New York Giants. Davis, who came from Jim Harbaugh's staff with the San Francisco 49ers, is another former Riley assistant. Hughes came from Cincinnati, and Williams from Tulane. Riley retained Warren, but after two months with the new staff, he left last week for North Carolina, leaving the new coach to look for another man to coach the secondary -- Nebraska's fifth hire for the position in six years.

NORTHWESTERN

Who's out?

No changes.

Notes: Longevity reins in Evanston. Despite the Wildcats' struggles of the past two seasons, coach Pat Fitzgerald, entering his 10th season, has shown great confidence in his staff. Assistants Randy Bates (linebackers), Adam Cushing (offensive line), Matt MacPherson (running backs) and Jerry Brown (secondary) have been with Fitzgerald all the way. Brown, in fact, has coached at the school since 1993.

PURDUE

Who's out?

Kevin Sherman, receivers

Notes: Darrell Hazell remains in search of a replacement for Sherman, who spent two years with the Boilermakers before bolting for Pat Narduzzi's new staff at Pitt. The core of Hazell's staff has remained with him since the coach arrived from Kent State after the 2012 season.

WISCONSIN

Who's out?

Gary Andersen, head coach

Andy Ludwig, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks

Chris Beatty, receivers

Bill Busch, safeties

Jeff Genyk, tight ends/special teams

Chad Kauha'aha'a, defensive line

Ben Strickland, cornerbacks

T.J. Woods, offensive line

Who's in?

Paul Chryst, head coach

Joe Rudolph, offensive coordinator/offensive line

Inoke Breckterfield, defensive line

Chris Haering, special teams

Daronte' Jones, defensive backs

Tim Tibesar, outside linebackers

Mickey Turner, tight ends

Retained:

Dave Aranda, defensive coordinator/linebackers

Thomas Brown, running backs

Notes: Despite early reports that Matt House would come with Chryst from Pitt as defensive coordinator, Aranda remained, which was a popular move. Rudolph (a former Wisconsin player and assistant coach), Breckterfield, Haering and Turner did follow Chryst to his new job at his alma mater. Jones comes from Hawaii and Tibesar, the former Purdue defensive coordinator, comes from Northwestern where he served as a consultant last year. The Badgers also appear set to hire Ted Gilmore, who spent the past three seasons with the Oakland Raiders, as their receivers coach. Strickland looks in position to remain as an in-house recruiting coordinator.