MADISON, Wis. (AP) Wisconsin football’s assistant coaches will be working on New Year’s Day not knowing if they have a job next season under new coach Paul Chryst.
Chryst said in his introductory press conference Wednesday that he was going to meet this week with staff members who wished to remain with the school.
But university hiring policies prohibit Chryst from making any offers to assistant coaching candidates until the application deadline of Dec. 29 passes. A Wisconsin spokesman said there are no plans to make any official announcement on assistants until some point after the bowl game.
The process isn’t the coaches’ priority right now, anyway. The No. 17 Badgers are preparing for the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1 against No. 19 Auburn.
”The focus is on Sammie Coates, Nick Marshall and everybody else,” said defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. ”Decembers used to be fun when I was a kid growing up. They’ve gotten harder the older I get.”
Coaches who worked under Gary Andersen, who bolted this month for Oregon State, essentially would have to reapply for their jobs.
Athletic director Barry Alvarez confirmed that offensive line coach T.J. Woods and defensive counterpart Chad Kauha’aha’a will join Andersen at Oregon State, but Alvarez said they will coach the bowl game.
Most assistants wouldn’t discuss their plans but several, including Aranda, made it clear they would like to remain with the program.
”I love it here; I love the players number one,” said Aranda. ”I love their attitude, their work ethic, how they approach their business. They are what I see as being the biggest plus of this place.”
Aranda helped guide the Badgers (10-3) this season to the fourth ranked defense (283.2 yards per game), fifth in pass defense (164.3) and second in third-down percentage (28.1 percent).
Aranda was included in a group of four candidates Alvarez interviewed for the vacancy that went to Chryst.
”I’m impressed with Dave Aranda,” Alvarez said. ”He’s very quiet but when you talk football with him and you talk kids with him, he gets very talkative and very knowledgeable.”