Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Badgers get a new offensive line coach
After each of the first two games of this season, redshirt junior center Travis Frederick said the offensive line was struggling to find its way more than he expected it to, despite working in new regular starters at three positions.
In the aftermath of Bret Bielema’s decision to fire first-year offensive line coach Mike Markuson Sunday, it appears the marching orders have been cleared up a bit: Do things the way that they were done when Bob Bostad was in charge.
Bostad oversaw the Badgers’ frontline for four seasons and was a UW assistant for six years before departing in January. He originally took a job on former offensive coordinator Paul Chryst’s staff before being hired as the offensive line coach for the National Football League’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Bielema said Monday he promoted little-known graduate assistant Bart Miller to “bridge a little bit of what we had last year to where we are now.”
Tuesday, the Badgers began their preparation for Saturday’s home contest against Utah State (2-0) with their second offensive line coach in nine months. That is sure to reset the transition period, even if the transition is now to try to re-apply, rather than learn anew.
“You just have to have a plan, work the plan and plan for the unexpected,” first-year offensive coordinator Matt Canada said Tuesday. “We’re going to drive forward and make the best of a difficult situation, as you would in life when a lot of things come your way.”
Usually, reporters are able to interview up to four offensive players and assistant coaches Tuesday evening, but this week the list was restricted to five players and four assistants. Redshirt senior left tackle Rick Wagner was the lone offensive lineman available and Miller was the only assistant not made available.
Miller is in his second year in the program after serving as a quality control coach a season ago. He played for Bostad at New Mexico in 2005 and graduated in 2007. Miller worked for the National Hockey League’s Chicago Blackhawks for two years before returning to college football as a graduate assistant at New Mexico State in 2010. In his weekly press conference on Monday, Bielema said he would not have made the change if Miller were not so familiar with the program. Wagner reiterated those sentiments Tuesday.
Let's hope it makes a difference.