This morning, on the Mully and Hanley Show, WSCR 670, Mike Mulligan, Chicago Sun-Times columnist, reported that Bob Bostad will become the Bears' next offensive line coach. The organization has yet to make any official word regarding the position.
Reportedly, Bostad's hire is contingent on Mike Tice remaining the team's offensive coordinator. Tice will interview for the Oakland Raiders head coach position next Tuesday. According to Mulligan, once the Bears know the fate of Tice, they'll announce Bostad as the team's newest coach.
Bostad is currently the offensive line coach at University of Pittsburgh. Before joining the Panthers, he spent six seasons (2006-2011) as O-line coach and run game coordinator for the Wisconsin Badgers. He coached Gabe Carimi, Chicago's first round pick last year, during his entire collegiate career.
Bostad's first coaching job was as O-line coach at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point from 1990-1991. From there he served in the same position at California State University, Northridge before becoming a graduate assistant at University of Minnesota. He served as O-line coach and offensive coordinator at San Jose State, and then O-line coach of the New Mexico Lobos from 1999-2005, before joining the Badgers.
Under Bostad's tutelage, Wisconsin's offensive line has become one of the preeminent position groups in the country. The past six years, Wisconsin has been annually one of the top rushing teams in the country. Bostad also coached former 2007 third overall pick Joe Thomas, a five-time Pro Bowl tackle currently with the Cleveland Browns.
Bostad has a long history of developing power rushing attacks, which fits well with the scheme Mike Tice wants to employ. Tice is one of eight candidates that will interview with the Raiders. He's not considered one of Oakland's top choices. If Mulligan is correct, expect the Bears to announce the Bostad hire as soon as Tice confirms his position with Chicago.
*UPDATE: The Pittsburgh Post Gazette, citing a source with the team, stated Mulligan's report is false and Bostad will be staying with the Panthers. We'll continue to update this story as we gather more information.
**UPDATE: ESPNChicago.com is reporting the Bears are interested in "five to six" candidates for the position, including Bostad and Steve Loney, offensive line coach for the St. Louis Rams. More to come.
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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of Bear Report magazine and BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.