Bret Bielema looking forward to game preparation with new staff
Posted by: Chris Vannini on August 9, 2012
Programs have to deal with player turnover every year. But coming off back-to-back Rose Bowls, Bret Bielema not only has to replace about half his starters, but he lost six assistants after Paul Chryst took plenty of Badger coaches to Pittsburgh.
While Bielema is finding new players to promote to the top of the depth chart, he's also learning to work with a new staff.
"I'm excited. I've been in meetings with them now, these last couple weeks, really juicing up, getting ready for what's going on," Bielema said. "I'm excited to see them get ready for a game, game-week preparation. I'm really probably looking forward to Sept. 1 just as much as anything to see my staff work. Obviously I want to win the game and see our players work well, but I want to see how that staff works together on game day."
The six replacements are the most changes in Madison since 2006, when Bielema was promoted to head coach and hired seven new assistants. Among the new additions are Matt Canada, who takes control of the offense and quarterbacks, and Mark Markuson, who takes over Wisconsin's bread and butter: the offensive line.
Asked how long it would take to find the "personality" of the 2012 Badgers, Bielema said three or four games, like most coaches would. While the players blend with new faces in new places over camp, the coaching staff will be doing the same. The hope is everything will be on track by the start of Big Ten play.
"We've got to go to Oregon State, see where we're at on the road, play in a night game here," Bielema said. "Then you get a true feeling walking out of that locker room to face Nebraska."
Wisconsin opens the season against Northern Iowa.
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Chris Vannini is a lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to email@example.com