Chryst loses running backs coach, hires receivers coach

The UW backfield has been perennially elite, with Melvin Gordon and Corey Clement combining for an FBS-record 3,536 yards. 

Image By: Kaitlyn Veto

Just as one item was checked off his offseason to-do list, head coach Paul Chryst will have to pencil in another before he can begin his first season leading the Badgers.

On the same day that Chryst announced the hiring of Ted Gilmore as Wisconsin’s new wide receivers coach, he lost his running backs coach as Thomas Brown left for Georgia.

Chryst had retained just Brown and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda from Gary Andersen’s staff, with Andersen now the head coach at Oregon State.

In 2014, his only season with Wisconsin, Brown worked with Heisman Trophy finalist Melvin Gordon and Corey Clement, who combined to rush for 3,536 yards, an FBS record for teammates.

After finishing his collegiate career with Georgia in 2007 as the program’s fifth-leading career rusher, Brown began his coaching career as the strength and conditioning coach with the Bulldogs in 2011. He went on to become the running backs coach at Chattanooga in 2012 and Marshall in 2013 before joining Andersen in Madison.

Although Brown’s departure means that players will need to develop a relationship with yet another new coach, the biggest impact may come on the recruiting front.

Brown was instrumental in the recruitment of 247Sports composite four-star running back Antonio Williams, who verbally committed to Wisconsin in December. Williams, ranked as the seventh-best running back in the class of 2016, tweeted Monday that he has no comment about the situation.

While Chryst will have to work to regain recruiting stability and fill the coaching void created by Brown’s return to his alma mater, Gilmore’s hiring puts the search for a new wide receivers coach to rest.

Prior to coaching the Oakland Raiders’ wide receivers the past three seasons, Gilmore bounced around with seven collegiate teams over the course of 18 years. He most notably served as the wide receivers coach at Nebraska for six seasons and USC for one season before making the jump to the NFL.

Gilmore and newly-hired offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph were on the same offensive coaching staff at Nebraska in 2007, when Rudolph coached the tight ends while Gilmore worked with the receivers.

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