Wisconsin Badgers Coaching Staff 2023

Wisconsin hasn't won the Big Ten since 2012 and hasn't won the division since 2019. The Badgers turn to Luke Fickell to bring championships back to Madison.

Luke Fickell’s coaching career has been highlighted by unexpected opportunities and achievements, making him one of the most interesting coaches in college football.

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Wisconsin Badgers Coaching Staff 2023

Head Coach, Luke Fickell

Luke Fickell entered his seventh season as co-defensive coordinator and 10th season overall at Ohio State when head coach Jim Tressel quickly resigned days after his announced suspension. Fickell was called upon to be the interim head coach for the 2011 season.

Fickell played defensive line for four seasons at Ohio State, then spent two seasons at Akron as the defensive line coach before returning to Ohio State as the special teams coordinator. He was part of Ohio State’s 2002 National Championship staff. In his interim season as head coach, he had a disappointing 6-7 record. Fickell returned to his co-defensive coordinator role the following year and was there for Ohio State’s 2014 National Championship season.

In 2017, Fickell became the head coach at the Cincinnati Bearcats, where he later achieved what many thought was impossible: getting a Group of 5 program into the 4-team College Football Playoff.

He orchestrated back-to-back 11-win seasons in 2018 and 2019, winning AAC Coach of the Year in 2018. The 2020 campaign would be Cincinnati’s second undefeated regular season in school history, and they went on to win the AAC Championship game.

Then, in 2021, he led the Bearcats to victories over Notre Dame, the Big Ten’s Indiana, and Houston in the AAC Championship game. He won six national Coach of the Year awards. Cincinnati landed in the College Football Playoff alongside Alabama, Georgia, and Michigan.

What he did at Cincinnati played a major role in the university receiving an offer to join the Big 12 conference.

He took over at Wisconsin at the end of the 2022 regular season and had the opportunity to start 1-0 with a win over Oklahoma State in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.

  • Cincinnati (Head Coach, 2017-2022)
  • Ohio State (Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers, 2012-2016; Head Coach, 2011; Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers, 2005-2011; Linebackers, 2004; Special Teams Coordinator 2002-2003)
  • Akron (Defensive Line, 2000-2001)
  • Ohio State (Graduate Assistant, 1999)

Offensive Coordinator/ Quarterbacks Coach, Phil Longo

Longo brings offensive firepower to Madison. Last season at North Carolina, Longo’s offense finished with the 15th-most plays per game, 76.6, and the 20th-quickest offense, running a play every 23.4 seconds.

The 2022 Tar Heels finished 23rd in the nation with 37.5 pass attempts per game, with quarterback Drake Maye winning ACC Player of the Year and ACC Offensive Player of the Year.

Longo spent four seasons at North Carolina after two seasons at Ole Miss, also as Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach. Wisconsin is Longo’s ninth different offensive coordinator role in college football and his third at the Power Five level.

  • North Carolina (Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks, 2019-2022)
  • Ole Miss (Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks, 2017-2018)
  • Sam Houston State (Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks, 2014-2016)
  • Slippery Rock (Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks, 2012-2013; Wide Receivers, 2011)
  • Youngstown State (Wide Receivers, 2010)
  • Southern Illinois (Offensive Coordinator, 2008-2009)
  • Minnesota Duluth (Offensive Coordinator, 2006-2007)
  • La Salle (Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator, 2002-2003)
  • William Paterson (Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator, 2000-2001)

Defensive Coordinator/ Inside Linebackers Coach, Mike Tressel

Mike Tressel follows Luke Fickell from Cincinnati, and yes, he is the nephew of Jim Tressel. In 2022, Tressel helped coach the #4 overall pick in the NFL draft, Sauce Gardner, and he went on to win the 2022 AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year award.

Tressel has previous Big Ten experience as a position coach and defensive coordinator at Michigan State. Tressel looks to bring his 3-3-5 defense to Wisconsin.

  • Cincinnati (Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers, 2021-2022)
  • Michigan State (Safeties, 2020; Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers, 2018-2019; Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers, 2016-2017; Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers, 2007-2015)
  • Cincinnati (Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers, 2004-2006)
  • Ohio State (Graduate Assistant – Linebackers, 2002-2003)
  • Wartburg (Offensive Coordinator, 2001; Offensive Line, 1998-2000)
  • South Dakota (Graduate Assistant, 1996-1997)

Offensive Line Coach, Jack Picknell Jr.

Jack Picknell Jr. follows Phil Longo from North Carolina. He brings a variety of Power Five experiences, spending time at Ole Miss and Auburn in the SEC, Louisville and North Carolina in the ACC, and this will be his first job in the Big Ten.

Associate Head Coach/ Wide Receivers Coach, Mike Brown

Mike Brown follows Fickell from Cincinnati, where he served as the Wide Receivers coach and Passing Game Coordinator. Brown played FCS football at Liberty as a quarterback and wide receiver. He played three seasons in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Cornerbacks Coach, Paul Haynes

Paul Haynes has nearly 30 years of coaching experience. He spent most of his time coaching the defensive side of the ball, including a year in the NFL. He also served as the head coach of Kent State for five seasons.

Co-Defensive Coordinator/ Safeties Coach, Colin Hitschler

Hitschler heads to Wisconsin, following Defensive Coordinator Mike Tressel and Head Coach Luke Fickell from Cincinnati.

He quickly climbed the coaching ladder at Cincinnati. He started as a defensive quality control coach in 2018, then became a senior defensive analyst. He spent two seasons as the safeties coach before being promoted to co-defensive coordinator in 2022.

Tight Ends Coach, Nate Letton

Letton is another coach following Fickell from Cincinnati. He played linebacker at Centre College, where he would later begin his coaching career in 2015.

Outside Linebackers Coach/ Special Teams Coach, Matt Mitchell

Matt Mitchell has been at Grand Valley State since 2004, serving as a defensive backs coach, linebackers coach, and then head coach since 2010. He played defensive line at Cornell College in the late ’90s.

Defensive Line Coach, Gregg Scruggs

Gregg Scruggs spent four seasons with Fickell at Cincinnati, then spent the 2022 season as the assistant defensive line coach in the NFL with the New York Jets. He played defensive tackle at Louisville, graduating in 2011.

Running Backs Coach, Devon Spalding

Spalding was at Youngstown State as the running backs coach for three seasons. He had spent one season at Cincinnati as a Graduate Assistant under Luke Fickell. He played at Central Michigan as a running back and wide receiver from 2014-2018.

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