- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Wisconsin's search for a head coach remains somewhat mysterious at the end of its second week, but there is some news about the school's assistant coaches.
Defensive coordinator Chris Ash recently accepted the same position on Bret Bielema's staff at Arkansas, but reports surfaced Friday that Ash is considering applying for Wisconsin's head-coaching vacancy. Although athletic director/interim coach Barry Alvarez said he planned to target sitting head coaches for the job, he didn't rule out qualified coordinators. Ash has done a nice job in his three seasons on Wisconsin's staff, the past two as defensive coordinator.
Wisconsin reportedly will lose wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni to Tennessee, where he'll rejoin former boss Butch Jones with the Vols.
Two other top Badgers aides, offensive coordinator Matt Canada and co-defensive coordinator/defensive line coach Charlie Partridge, are reportedly weighing offers from other programs. Both men appear to want to wait for Wisconsin's head coach search to play out before making their decisions.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also reports that Wisconsin linebackers coach Andy Buh has interviewed for the defensive coordinator job at Cal.
It's not surprising that the assistants have other offers, and it's likely others will leave. But it's also notable that several assistants want to wait on the Wisconsin search, indicating their desire to stay.
Coaches like Miami's Al Golden and Oregon State's Mike Riley aren't candidates for Wisconsin's vacancy, and Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said he spoke with Alvarez but isn't interested in the job. Is Toledo's Matt Campbell a candidate? We could find out after Toledo's bowl game today.
One possibility I wouldn't dismiss is Alvarez naming himself coach for a year and bringing in a coach-in-waiting, which could help stabilize recruiting. It's probably not the first option, but I've heard all week that this isn't out of the question.
4hMax Olson and Brian Bennett