Starting to fill out his first staff, defensive line coach Chad Kauha’aha’a and offensive line coach T.J. Woods will be a part of his first staff in Corvallis, according to a source close to the hiring process.
Both assistants are expected to join Andersen after coaching No.17 Wisconsin in the 2015 Outback Bowl against No.19 Auburn in Tampa, Fla., January 1.
The same source also indicated that defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and safeties coach Bill Busch will likely remain at Wisconsin if retained by the new coach, a major coup for the Badgers in terms of keeping the continuity of their defense and retaining two of their strongest recruiters. No other staff updates are known.
Kauha’aha’a was one of the key factors in helping Wisconsin’s defense transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense last season and not see a drop off in production. Despite a handful of players playing brand new positions, Wisconsin finished sixth in scoring defense (16.3 ppg) and No. 7 in total defense (305.1 ypg).
On average, the Badgers held FBS opponents 12.1 points below the scoring average of their other games and just 4.73 yards per play, the eighth-best mark of any defense in the country.
Wisconsin finished fifth nationally in rushing yards allowed per game (102.5) and held each of its 13 opponents below their season rushing average last season. Not having All-Big Ten selections this season, Wisconsin’s defensive line ranks 17th in the country against the run, allowing only 118.9 yards per game.
Despite working with a lack of numbers throughout two seasons, Woods pieced together an offensive line that helped junior Melvin Gordon rush for 2,336 yards and 26 touchdowns, stats that earned the tailback to Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top tailback, and a runner-up finish for the Heisman Trophy.
As a team Wisconsin is rushing for 314.0 yards per game, third best in the country. All five linemen were recognized on All-Big Ten teams, including seniors Kyle Costigan and Rob Havenstein being consensus first-team selections and sophomore center Dan Voltz being named to the media’s second team.
Behind Woods' offensive line last year, the Badgers' running back duo of Gordon (1,609) and senior James White (1,444) broke the NCAA record for rushing yards by a pair of teammates by running for a combined 3,053 yards. The duo also became the first in FBS history to each rush for 1,400 yards in the same season.
With three All-Big Ten picks leading the way, Woods' offensive line plowed the way for a school-record 480.8 yards per game and an average of 34.8 points per contest, the third-highest total in UW history. This year the Badgers enter their bowl game averaging 464.8 yards and 36.4 points per game.
Woods wasn’t the staff’s strongest recruiter, but did have a hand in the Badgers landing four-star offensive lineman David Moorman (Northville, MI), four-star athlete Titus Booker (Grayslake, Ill.) and three-star tight end David Edwards (Downers Grove, Ill.) this past recruiting cycle.
Kauaha’aha’a’s loss could have considerable effects in recruiting, especially in regards to UW’s 2015 recruiting class. Able to relate to highly-regarded Polynesian players, defensive tackles Elu Aydon (Pago Page, American Samoa) and Olive Sagapolu (Santa Ana, Calif.) both listed Kauaha’aha’a as one of the main reasons they committed to the program.