Rudolph will coach the Badgers' tight ends.
"I've heard about Joe Rudolph ever since I came to Wisconsin," Bielema said. "It's great to have another former Badger player join our staff. Joe has a reputation for being a great coach on and off the field and I'm very excited he's coming back to Madison."
Rudolph most recently served as tight ends coach at Nebraska in 2007.
"I couldn't be more excited to be coming back to Wisconsin," Rudolph said. "I remember when Coach Alvarez recruited me and told me he wanted me to help build the program. It's been fun to watch that continue and flourish. The opportunity to come back and contribute and have my family share in that is very exciting."
Prior to his year at Nebraska, Rudolph was a strength and conditioning coach (2006) and graduate assistant coach (2004-05) at Ohio State. During his time at Ohio State, the Buckeyes played in the 2004 Alamo Bowl, 2006 Fiesta Bowl and 2007 BCS National Championship game.
Rudolph's time as a graduate assistant at Ohio State was spent working with the offensive line. Buckeye guard Rob Sims was a first-team All-Big Ten pick in 2005, while center Nick Mangold was a second-team all-conference choice.
Rudolph entered coaching after earning his master's degree in business administration in 2004 from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Rudolph played two seasons in the National Football League, earning a roster spot with Philadelphia in 1995 before joining San Francisco in 1997.
A standout lineman at Wisconsin, Rudolph earned three letters (1992-94) and helped the Badgers to the 1993 Big Ten title and 1994 Rose Bowl victory. Rudolph was a Wisconsin team captain in 1994, a year that ended with a victory in the Hall of Fame Bowl on New Year's Day. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Rudolph was the team's 1994 Scholastic Award winner and went on to play in the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl. He earned his bachelor's degree in zoology from Wisconsin in 1995.
Rudolph is a native of Belle Vernon, Pa. He and his wife, Dawn, have an infant son, Alex.