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MADISON - The exodus continues for the coaching staff of the University of Wisconsin.
"I am excited to welcome Charlie to our staff here at Arkansas," Bielema said in a statement. "He brings a great amount of experience on the defensive side of the ball and in special teams, as well as a strong recruiting background in Florida. Charlie has been part of our staff for the last five years, and his knowledge of the way we run our program and specifically the defense will be valuable as we move forward in our transition. He will also be a key asset in developing our student-athletes."
Partridge is the fourth assistant to leave the program in the last 11 days, joining defensive coordinator Chris Ash (Arkansas), receivers coach Zach Azzanni (Tennessee) and offensive coordinator Matt Canada (North Carolina State). All four will remain with the Wisconsin program through its appearance in the Rose Bowl.
Partridge spent the last five seasons at Wisconsin and helped the Badgers win three straight Big Ten championships. Before the 2011 season, he was promoted to associate head coach, co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach after three seasons as the Badgers' defensive line and specialists coach.
In 2012, Wisconsin led the Big Ten and ranked third in the NCAA with a three-and-out percentage of 41.72, and the Badgers' 5.23 three and outs per game topped the Big Ten and was fourth in the country. The Badgers' defense was 13th in the NCAA in total defense and tied for 19th in the country in scoring defense. Wisconsin also ranked 21st in the nation in third-down conversion defense in addition to being third in the conference in sacks and ranked 21st in the NCAA in rush defense and pass efficiency defense and 23rd in the country in pass defense.
Partridge's loss is huge for Wisconsin on the recruiting front. In the 2013 class, Partridge served as the lead recruiter for Plantation (Fla.) cornerback Sojourn Shelton – who is expected to enroll for spring semester - and was also heavily involved with in-state standouts Alec James (Brookfield East) and Chikwe Obasih (Brookfield Central) along with West Des Moines defensive tackle Sam Raridon, who Partridge offered at camp.
Shortly after the announcement, Shelton tweeted, ‘Wait to find out who the new coach is & go from there #NoPressure.'
Remaining on Wisconsin's coaching staff include linebackers coach Andy Buh, tight ends coach Eddie Faulkner, running backs coach Thomas Hammock offensive line coach Bart Miller and defensive backs coach Ben Strickland,, but that number may dwindle, as well. Buh has interviewed for a position at California and may also have an opportunity to join Bielema in Arkansas. Hammock has been rumored in Texas' search for a running backs coach.