Alvarez considered coaching next year to keep assistants - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Alvarez considered coaching next year to keep assistants


MADISON (WKOW) -- It's been a rough week for UW athletic director Barry Alvarez.

He's lost nearly his entire football coaching staff, and as the list began to grow by the day of the assistants leaving UW, Alvarez considered making a bold move of his own.

"I was thinking about doing it myself just to keep them but if I did it for another year, we'd be in the same situation next year," Alvarez said. 

But Alvarez said he didn't consider a return to the sidelines for very long.

"Like a day. Until I got home and my wife said, 'Are you sure?' And I said, 'No, I'm not sure, let me think about this.' But I did consider it," Alvarez said.

There are now six UW assistant coaches who have taken other jobs, in addition to head coach Bret Bielema. Both defensive coordinators Chris Ash and Charlie Partridge will join Bielema at Arkansas. Offensive coordinator Matt Canada and tight ends coach Eddie Faulkner are headed to NC State to join former UW defensive coordinator Dave Doeren. Receivers coach Zach Azzanni took a job at Tennessee and linebackers coach Andy Buh is going to California.

What's more, running backs coach Thomas Hammock is weighing an offer to go to Arkansas, as well.

If Hammock leaves, that means there will be just two assistant coaches left at Wisconsin: Bart Miller, who started the season as a grad assistant before taking over as offensive line coach, and Ben Strickland, who coaches the Badgers' secondary.

Alvarez says he is disappointed so many assistants are leaving, but says he understands they have to do what's in their best interest.

"They couldn't delay their decision because the other coaches were putting pressure on them, giving them 24 hours to make a decision," Alvarez said. "I'd like for them to stay but they had to protect their families. And a coach says, 'You've got 24 hours to make this decision or the job isn't there.' They had to do something because I couldn't promise them that the next coach would retain them."

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