This Wisconsin football alum, coach will lead the Badgers’ recruiting department | College Football

After weeks of quiet activity behind the scenes, the University of Wisconsin football program announced three staff changes Tuesday, addressing both recruiting and assistant coaches’ roles.

Former tight ends coach Mickey Turner will lead the Badgers’ recruiting efforts, while new hire Bill Sheridan will take over the inside linebackers coaching spot for Bob Bostad, who will move back to the offensive line position.

UW’s release Tuesday didn’t name a replacement for Turner, but new offensive coordinator Bobby Engram did coach tight ends for the past three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. Turner’s exact title is to be determined, according to a UW official, but he’ll be leading the recruiting efforts.

Turner, a former Badgers tight end and team captain, has been the program’s tight ends coach for the past seven seasons. He’ll lead UW head coach Paul Chryst’s revamped recruiting staff, and the program posted another recruiting position on UW’s job board Tuesday afternoon.

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Turner’s hire ends a stretch of more than eight months of UW not having a staffer with a full-time recruiting title. Director of football operations Eric Johnson had been performing those duties since June, but he left the program for outside business opportunities earlier this month.

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A State Journal source close to the program said Chryst is expected to bulk up the recruiting staff by potentially double the four full-time staffers it was prior to last summer.

Chryst has had Turner on his staffs for more than a decade, hiring him as a GA in 2012 and then as assistant of player development at Pittsburgh, Chryst’s first head-coaching opportunity. Chryst brought Turner with him when he took over the UW program in 2015.

As a recruiter at UW, Turner has been the lead or secondary recruiter on stars like Jonathan Taylor and Jake Ferguson, and other highly ranked prospects such as five-star tackle Logan Brown. His work recruiting his position has it deep in talent, though those players have struggled to stay healthy over the past two seasons.

Turner’s role as the head of recruiting will be identifying players UW wants to recruit, establishing a connection with the player and the coach recruiting him and maintaining communications with UW’s prospects.

Turner spoke with the State Journal in November about UW’s approach to recruiting without a full-time recruiting staff.

“(Assistant coaches) are a big factor in what the kids see every day, along with the strength coaches and what they’re doing in school,” Turner said. “So we should be the ones that they deal with a lot in recruiting. I think everybody championed it pretty well.

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“I think once they get here, and they get in our locker room, they talk to our players. That’s one thing that’s never going to change no matter what school you go to, is when you get around those kids, parents and prospects can see through all the BS. They’ll know within a day of being around those (players), who are going to be their son’s peers, ‘Hey, do I want my kid in this environment or not? Is this somewhere he’s going to grow and be supported, or is it a little bit of fluff?’

“And there’s all shades and levels in between. We love that part of it, because we love our kids. We’re like, ‘Hey, come here. We’ll show you everything that we’re about. And then what we’re really going to do is we’re going to put you with our guys. And if you don’t like it after that, trust me, you probably wouldn’t have made it here anyway, won’t be a good fit. But chances are if you’re who we think you are in the recruiting process, you’re going to be blown away and want your son to be part of this.’ And that’s not a pat on the back for the coaches or the staff, it’s a pat on the back for the players.”

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Sheridan has been in the coaching profession for more than 40 years, with the past two spent at Air Force as the defensive line coach. He’s coached 13 seasons in the NFL and more than two decades in the college ranks, with stops at Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame, among others.

He was on staff with the New York Giants when they won Super Bowl XLII and has been a defensive coordinator in the NFL.

“Bill is a strong addition to our staff,” Chryst said. “As we went through the hiring process, I was impressed by what he brings to the table in terms of his experience, his knowledge of the game and his ability to connect with players. Inside linebacker has been a strength for us over the last few years and I’m excited to see the impact of Bill’s coaching on what is a relatively young group as we look to maintain a high level of success from our linebackers.”

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Under Bostad, UW’s inside linebackers have been the heart of the Badgers’ defense, highlighted by Leo Chenal earning All-American and Big Ten Linebacker of the Year honors in 2021.

Bostad’s return to the offensive line was reported by the State Journal four weeks ago, with Bostad taking over a group he coached for UW from 2008-11. He has nearly 30 years of experience as an offensive line coach between the college and pro levels.

Chryst said in a release that Bostad is one of the best offensive line coaches in the business and when Joe Rudolph left the program for a similar position at Virginia Tech, Bostad was a clear choice.

“It goes without saying that I’m proud to coach our offensive linemen once again,” Bostad said. “There is a standard here that is well-known. I’m proud to have contributed to that in the past, but having the opportunity to work every day on elevating that standard even further is what has me excited about the future. Our group is talented and I’m looking forward to helping them reach their potential, individually and as a unit, to help our offense be all it can be.”