Barry Alvarez asks departing coaches to stay away from Wisconsin commits
University of Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez has asked departing assistant coaches not to poach any of the 2013 recruits who have already committed to the Badgers, according to Tom Mulhern of Madison.com.
Newly hired head coach Gary Andersen is retaining two of nine assistants — running backs coach Thomas Hammock and secondary coach Ben Strickland — who worked under Bret Bielema, before he was hired by Arkansas on Dec 4. Andersen is also considering offensive line coach Bart Miller for the tight ends job.
Alvarez has been happy with the work of the outgoing assistants preparing the Badgers for their Rose Bowl game against Stanford on Jan. 1. But he reminded them to continue their professionalism when it comes to recruiting for their new employers.
“I just told the coaches (Saturday), I wished them all well. I told them I appreciated all of the efforts they’ve given us,” Alvarez said. “I think they’ve been very professional.
“When it’s time to practice and meet for the Rose Bowl, I expect — and they’ve given us — their full attention. They’ve been good with the kids. On your free time, if you want to work with the other school you’re going to, that’s fine. I just asked them, ‘Don’t recruit the guys who are committed.’ ”
Alvarez said wide receiver coach Zach Azzanni, who will join Tennessee’s staff after the Rose Bowl, notified him that the Vols were recruiting a Wisconsin commit — but not through him.
“Zach came to me the other day and told me Tennessee was calling one of the kids that committed to us,” Alvarez said. “He told me it wasn’t him, he wasn’t involved in that, didn’t like that action.”
Safety Tiquention Coleman, from Georgia Military College, has been the only 2013 recruit to rescind his commitment since Bielema took the Arkansas job. Coleman signed with Arkansas during the early signing period for junior college transfers.
Bielema told the State Journal on Saturday he would not recruit players committed to the Badgers unless those players approached him first, which Coleman apparently did.
“I’m not going to touch anybody, but if they reach out to me, I will respond back,” Bielema said.