Paul Chryst’s longtime assistant, Joe Rudolph has departed for Virginia Tech. This leaves the Badgers with an opening on their coaching staff. Rudolph was primarily responsible for coaching the offensive line. While the Badgers can do many things to fill the role, they already have a former offensive line coach on staff. The Badgers should move inside linebackers coach, Bob Bostad, to coach the offensive line.
Badger fans can recall that Bostad was the offensive line coach from 2008-2011 under Bret Bielema. Those seasons were the glory years of the Badgers offensive line. You could probably consider those offensive lines some of the greatest in program history. Wisconsin had a record of 39-14, finished in the top 25 three times, and won three Big Ten titles. Although they only won one bowl game, they went to the Rose Bowl three years in a row. During that time, eight offensive linemen became NFL draft picks. This includes first round selections, Gabe Carimi, Kevin Zeitler and Travis Frederick. He also coached four guys to first team All-America recognition, and 11 different players earned All-Big Ten honors.
Something else that Bostad excels at is recruiting. If the Badgers are going to fill the recruiting void that Rudolph is leaving, then Bostad is the perfect guy to do it. Bob Bostad has proven that he has a great eye for talent. In his time in Madison, he was responsible for the recruitment of stars like Travis Frederick, Leo Chenal, Jack Sandborn and more. He also played a big role in helping the Badgers recruit their highest rated class last year. Bostad’s ability to develop that talent is something that the Badgers need at the offensive line. While Joe Rudolph was a good coach, the line was never an NFL ready unit like it was when Bob Bostad coached it.
Since coming back to Madison, Bostad has done a decent job with the inside linebackers. He helped T.J. Edwards, Chris Orr, and Noah Burks have success. I believe his true calling card is coaching the offensive line. Bostad has coached that position, in some capacity, for most of his coaching career. He has also had the most success in his career coaching it. After he ended his first tenure with the Badgers, he even spent time coaching that position in the NFL with the Buccaneers and Titans.
Moving Bostad over to the offensive line would allow Bobby April to coach all the linebackers. April has had a lot of success coaching Wisconsin’s outside linebackers. I believe the program would benefit if he took over the entire position group. Given Aprils’s success, why not reward him for it by adding additional responsibility. I also believe April has earned the opportunity to have the position group all to himself.
Bob Bostad knows what it takes to have a successful offensive line. His time coaching the inside linebackers will make him an even better coach. Having coached the inside linebacker position, Bostad will be able to bring that knowledge over allowing the line to better block them.
The Badgers had a lot of success when he was coaching the line. When he was their offensive line coach, the Badgers offenses were some of the best in school history. Bostad was a big reason for that. If the Badgers want to get back to that level, then the first step is moving Bob Bostad back to the offensive line. Wisconsin has a lot of offensive line talent in the room that Bostad can easily make into a dominant force. The Badgers have a coach on staff already that has proven to coach great units and its time to take advantage of that.