Wisconsin announces staff changes

Coach Paul Chryst has worked since the end of the season to put together his coaching staff and Wisconsin finally announced his moves Tuesday afternoon.

Among them is the hire of former Air Force coach Bill Sheridan as the team’s new inside linebackers coach.

“I’m thrilled to join the staff here at Wisconsin,” Sheridan said in a release from Wisconsin. “This is a program that I’ve admired for a long time, and now having the chance to work with Coach Chryst, Coach (Jim) Leonhard and this staff is an exciting opportunity for me. This team had the No. 1 defense in the country last season and has shown nothing but consistent excellence on defense under Coach Chryst and Coach Leonhard. I’m looking forward to helping sustain that success moving forward.”

Sheridan has an extensive coaching history in the NFL and college football. The past two years were spent leading the defensive line at Air Force after coaching the linebackers at Boston College for two seasons.

The 63-year-old spent 13 years in the NFL, the last four coming with the Detroit Lions. He was also the linebackers coach for the New York Giants when they won Super Bowl XLII.

A native of Michigan, Sheridan played linebacker at Grand Valley State. His first college coaching gig came at Michigan as a graduate assistant in 1985. He went on to spend time at Maine, Army, Michigan State and Notre Dame.

“Bill is a strong addition to our staff,” Chryst said in the release. “As we went through the hiring process, I was impressed by what he brings to the table in terms of his experience, his knowledge of the game and his ability to connect with players. Inside linebacker has been a strength for us over the last few years and I’m excited to see the impact of Bill’s coaching on what is a relatively young group as we look to maintain a high level of success from our linebackers.”

Sheridan will replace Bob Bostad, who is now back coaching the offensive line. It’s a spot he knows well, as he was considered among the best offensive line coaches in the country when leading the Badgers line from 2008 to 2011.

“It goes without saying that I’m proud to coach our offensive linemen once again,” Bostad said in the release. “There is a standard here that is well-known. I’m proud to have contributed to that in the past, but having the opportunity to work every day on elevating that standard even further is what has me excited about the future. Our group is talented and I’m looking forward to helping them reach their potential, individually and as a unit, to help our offense be all it can be.”

Bostad initially left Wisconsin to be Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator under Chryst before the NFL came calling. He spent two years as Tampa Bay’s line coach and another two in Tennessee.

“Bob has continually proven himself to be an outstanding coach, and you’ve seen it again in the job he’s done with our inside linebackers over the last few years,” Chryst said. “We had the need arise for an offensive line coach and, in Bob, I knew we had one of the very best in the business just down the hall. We have a tradition of strong play on the offensive line, and I know from experience that the tradition is in good hands with Bob. I’m excited for those players to have the opportunity to continue to grow with him as their coach.”

The final move has Mickey Turner heading to the recruiting department after coaching the tight ends for the last seven years.

“I’m excited for this new opportunity and excited to take on a new challenge,” Turner said. “As someone who lived it first-hand, I love sharing what makes this place and this program so special. I grew up out of state and knew very little about Wisconsin before my own recruiting process began, but this school and this program checked every box for me once I was exposed to it. Playing here gave me everything I needed to be successful on and off the field, and I’m excited to help the young men we’re recruiting to discover that for themselves.”

Wisconsin has not had a permanent recruiting director since Saed Khalif left last June for Michigan State.

“Mickey has the ability to make a major impact on our recruiting efforts as he moves into a role that allows him to focus on that aspect of our program,” Chryst said. “He has a track record as a strong recruiter and as someone who is honest and genuine in how he represents our program and builds relationships. I’m excited for him and the opportunity that he has to lead our efforts on that front.”

No replacement for Turner was announced, but new offensive coordinator Bobby Engram could be the answer. He spent the last three seasons in that role with the Baltimore Ravens.