Badgers make hire of Bobby Engram official

Wisconsin has its new offensive coordinator.

UW confirmed to multiple outlets the Badgers have brought in Baltimore tight ends coach Bobby Engram to take on the role held officially by no one in 2021 and previously by Joe Rudolph from 2015 to 2020. Engram’s contract was approved Friday.

The 49-year-old has a connection to coach Paul Chryst, having served as the wide receivers coach under Chryst at Pittsburgh in 2012 and 2013. He then left to lead the Ravens wide receivers for five seasons before taking over the tight ends in 2019.

Baltimore boasted one of the best tight ends in the NFL in 2021 with Mark Andrews. In his fourth year, including third with Engram as his coach, he posted a Ravens record for yards with 1,361 and catches with 107. He added nine touchdowns, giving him 29 in his career.

Wisconsin also has a familiar face for Engram on the roster with his son, Dean. As a sophomore, he played a vital role for the top defense in the country. The younger Engram was the Badgers nickel back, finishing with 20 tackles, one interception and three passes defended.

Prior to going into coaching, Bobby Engram played in the NFL for 14 seasons with Seattle, Chicago and Kansas City. He caught 650 passes for 7,751 yards and 35 touchdowns. That came after a college career at Penn State that saw him win the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s best wide receiver.

It’s unclear what position Engram will coach in addition to being the offensive coordinator. Wisconsin already has a wide receivers in Alvis Whitted and a tight ends coach in Mickey Turner, while it is moving inside linebackers coach Bob Bostad to replace Rudolph as the offensive line coach. Running backs coach Gary Brown missed the bowl game due to an illness and his status moving forward is up in the air.

Another significant question is whether Engram will call the plays. It’s something he’s never done in his coaching career, while between Chryst’s time as offensive coordinator at Wisconsin (2005-2011), head coach at Pittsburgh (2012-2014) and head coach with the Badgers (2015-present) he has done it every year but one (2020).