Badgers reportedly have settled on new offensive coordinator and offensive line coach

Wisconsin’s next offense is going to look quite a bit different than what fans have come to expect from the Badgers since Barry Alvarez arrived as coach in 1990. That’s after The Athletic was the first to report Wednesday afternoon that new coach Luke Fickell had settled on North Carolina offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Phil Longo to man the same role on his staff.

Longo led the Tar Heels offense the last four years and the result was some of the best units in school history. They finished in the top 15 in total offense in the country all four seasons, and behind strong play from star quarterbacks Sam Howell and Drake Maye, they averaged 36.3 points per game.

The offense is a version of the Air Raid that features a prolific passing game and plenty of three and four wide receiver sets, which will be a departure from Wisconsin’s tight end and fullback heavy looks. However, that doesn’t mean the power running game will go away, as Longo’s offense featured two near 1,000-yard backs in 2019 and then the same two guys each had at least 1,100 yards in 2020.

Considering the success skill players have had in the offense — six have been taken in the last two NFL drafts — the hire would suggest Wisconsin would be an attractive spot for quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers currently in the transfer portal or in high school.

Prior to his time in Chapel Hill, the 54-year-old Longo was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks at Ole Miss for two seasons. He held the same roles at Sam Houston State the three years prior to that.

Longo, who originally from New Jersey, wasn’t the only hire reported Wednesday. Feldman also reported North Carolina offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. will follow Longo to Madison. Bicknell Jr. has extensive experience in the NFL and college football, coaching the offensive line for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs, along with Auburn, Ole Miss and Louisville.

Those two are the latest reported additions to Fickell’s staff. The others are Fickell’s co-defensive coordinators at Cincinnati — Mike Tressel, who coached linebackers, along with Colin Hitschler, who coached safeties. Wide receivers coach Mike Brown is also expected to join Fickell in Madison.