When head coach Paul Chryst and new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox took the stage Monday afternoon at the Kohl Center, the word “fit” was used about a dozen times in the 15-minute press conference. It was made perfectly clear that Wilcox was the best person to fill in the gap left by former defensive coordinator Dave Aranda.
“I had known about Justin for years, so I knew, should something happen, I would want to find out more about him,” Chryst said.
Wilcox, who was fired from USC in early December, has previously held defensive coordinator jobs at Washington, Tennessee and Boise State. Despite a rocky ending at his last job, he is excited to coach for the Badgers.
“My perception of the program here and what it stands for, these things were really exciting for me,” Wilcox said.
Wilcox talked about his past relationship with Aranda, saying the two would frequently discuss football and share clips with each other, which he claimed helps him know what the team has done the last few years. When asked if he is nervous to fill Aranda’s shoes, Wilcox didn’t seem fazed.
“Our job as coaches it to prepare the guys on the team, the team you have, as best you can to help them have success. That’s really my only goal,” Wilcox said. “When you start adding these external things, you might lose track of what’s really important, and that’s just preparing the team the best you can.”
Wilcox has generally run a pretty similar 3-4 scheme throughout his career, so it seems unlikely the team will have too much of a different look next year. Chryst was also quick to point out that whether there were coaching changes or not, there would be players leaving and new players coming in, which would change the way the coaching staff went about planning and implementing a scheme.
Alvarez reveals details about spring game
In other football news, athletic director Barry Alvarez announced the annual spring game has been scheduled for April 16 and tickets will go on sale this Wednesday. All proceeds for the game will support UW’s Department of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement. This is the sixth consecutive year that spring game proceeds will go toward helping one of the schools on campus.