Wisconsin will hire Phil Longo as their next offensive coordinator, per Bruce Feldman of The Athletic.
Longo has spent the past four seasons as North Carolina’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under head coach Mack Brown. Prior to that, Longo served as Ole Miss’ offensive coordinator for two seasons following success in the FBS.
This news comes a day after former interim head coach and defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard announced he would leave Wisconsin following the Guaranteed Rate Bowl later this month. With Fickell’s former defensive coordinator Mike Tressel joining the Badger staff, both coordinator positions are likely decided.
Fickell decided not to retain first-year offensive coordinator Bobby Engram, whose only Wisconsin connection was Paul Chryst. This past season, the Badger offense ranked 78th in scoring and 91st in yards per game.
Longo’s work with past college stars like Sam Howell, Dyami Brown and Michael Carter should excite Badger fans. This came off as a surprising hire given Longo’s air-raid offense relative to Wisconsin’s traditional run-heavy style.
Now that Fickell has decided on a coordinator, he must continue to invest in the new-look offense. Quarterback Graham Mertz, who started for Wisconsin the previous two seasons, recently announced his intention to transfer. Freshman Myles Burkett is the only current quarterback on the roster for next year with playing experience. There’s a strong chance Fickell and co. will look to the transfer portal for a quarterback and other players to fit Longo’s offense.
Donnie Slusher is the sports editor for the Daily Cardinal. He has written multiple breaking news stories, sports columns and an in-depth examination of race in Wisconsin football. Follow Donnie on Twitter at @DonnieSlusher_