Joining offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph on that side of the ball will be two familiar faces. Thomas Brown returns for a second season as UW’s running backs coach while Mickey Turner, a four-year letterwinner and former UW team captain, returns to Madison.
Chris Haering, a former assistant at Pitt under Chryst, will lead UW’s special teams units.
Chryst also has tabbed another former Badger for a key position, with Ross Kolodziej taking over as the program’s head strength and conditioning coach.Thomas Brown returns to the Badgers’ staff after overseeing one of the most productive rushing seasons in college football history. Junior RB Melvin Gordon finished as the Heisman Trophy runner-up and posted the second-best season ever by a running back with 2,587 rushing yards and 32 total touchdowns. He and sophomore Corey Clement combined to run for 3,536 yards to break the single-season FBS record for rushing yards by teammates that Gordon and James White set with 3,053 yards in 2013. The Badgers posted the two most prolific rushing performances in the country in 2014 with a school-record 644 rushing yards vs. Bowling Green and 581 vs. Nebraska, and their average of 6.91 yards per rushing attempt ranks as the fourth-best mark in FBS history. Inoke Breckterfield (pronounced ee-NO-kay) joins the staff at Wisconsin after three years of coaching defensive tackles at Pittsburgh. Breckterfield’s most successful pupil, Aaron Donald, was a first-round pick of the St. Louis Rams in the 2014 NFL Draft following a senior season that saw the Consensus All-American sweep the nation’s top defensive honors by claiming the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, Outland Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award. Donald led the nation with 28.5 tackles for loss and ranked 11th in the country with 11.0 sacks as a senior. Breckterfield was a two-time All-Pac-10 defensive lineman at Oregon State and began his coaching career as a graduate assistant with the Beavers in 2007. He then served as defensive line coach at Weber State, Montana and UCLA before joining Chryst’s staff at Pittsburgh in 2012. Chris Haering joins the Badgers’ staff after spending three seasons coaching defense and special teams at Pitt. After coaching the Panthers’ linebackers in 2012 and 2013, Haering added the title of special teams coordinator and focused on outside linebackers for the 2014 season. One his pupils, senior OLB Anthony Gonzalez led the Panthers with 81 total tackles. The Panthers ranked fourth in the ACC in kickoff returns at 22.2 yards per return, while Pitt’s coverage units ranked fourth in opponent punt return average and sixth in kickoff coverage. Individually, Tyler Boyd led the ACC in kickoff returns, averaging 27.6 yards per runback, and ranked No. 2 in punt returns at 10.1 yards per return. Before joining the staff at Pitt, Haering spent 17 seasons as head coach at Mt. Lebanon (Pa.) High School. His coaching career began as a graduate assistant at West Virginia in 1991, when he first crossed paths with Chryst, who was also a GA for the Mountaineers. Ross Kolodziej (pronounced kah-LAH-gee) returns to Madison to lead the Badgers’ strength and conditioning program for football after serving in a similar capacity at Pittsburgh last season. He was promoted to head strength and conditioning coach after serving in an assistant role in 2013. Kolodziej started 45 games at defensive tackle for the Badgers from 1997 to 2000, helping Wisconsin win back-to-back Big Ten and Rose Bowl titles in 1999 and 2000 before being drafted by the New York Giants in the 2001 NFL Draft. He went on to play seven years in the NFL and also won United Football League titles with the Las Vegas Locomotives in 2009 and 2010. He spent the 2009 offseason as a strength and conditioning intern for the Badgers and returned a year later as a defensive graduate assistant. A native of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, Kolodziej earned his degree from UW in 2009. Mickey Turner returns to Madison to make his debut as an assistant coach by mentoring UW’s tight ends after spending the last three years at Pittsburgh. The 2010 UW graduate went on to earn an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis before joining Chryst’s staff in 2012 as a quality control assistant at Pittsburgh. He served as an offensive graduate assistant in 2013 and, most recently, was the Panthers’ assistant director of player development in 2014. Turner was a four-year letterwinner for the Badgers from 2006-09, serving as a captain during his senior season in 2009 and contributing to a UW team that went 10-3 and downed Miami to win the Champs Sports Bowl. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, Turner was presented with the Ivan B. Williamson Scholastic Award as the team’s top scholar-athlete as a senior.