Settle Heads for the NFL

The offseason of change continues to hit the University of Wisconsin, as running back coach John Settle leaves for the NFL.

MADISON - John Settle, who coached the running backs for the Badgers for all five seasons under head coach Bret Bielema, was hired for the same job by new Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera.

Friday's move is a homecoming of sorts for the Reidsville, N.C., native and former Appalachian State star and fills one of the last openings on Rivera's staff.

Prior to coming to the Badgers, Settle spent eight seasons as running backs coach at Fresno State, but he got his coaching start in the NFL, from 1995 to 1998 as an offensive assistant for the Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens.

"John has been a valuable member of our football family for the last five years," Bielema said in a UW release. "He has a proven track record of developing productive running backs and was a big part of the success we've had at Wisconsin.

"This is a great opportunity for him and a chance for him and his family to get closer to home. I wish him the best of luck with the Panthers."

UW had at least one runner who reached the 1,000-yard mark in each of Settle's seasons on the staff. Last season, both freshman James White (1,052 yards, 14 TDs) and junior John Clay (1,012 yards, 14 TDs) broke the 1,000-yard mark.

Settle's departure leaves only offensive coordinator Paul Chryst and offensive line coach Bob Bostad from Bielema's original staff in 2006.

Settle played for the Mountaineers in the 1980s before becoming the first undrafted player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards with Atlanta in 1988. He was part of Washington's Super Bowl winning team three years later.

Settle is a former NFL running back for the Atlanta Falcons who made it to the Pro Bowl one season. He is the second coach to leave the UW staff since the end of last season, following defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Dave Doeren, who became the head coach at Northern Illinois. Bielema hired Dave Huxtable from Central Florida to coach linebackers and promoted defensive line coach Charlie Partridge and defensive backs coach Chris Ash to be co-coordinators on defense.

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