MADISON - Two Wisconsin football assistant coaches have been promoted and will be handling increased responsibilities when spring practice starts for the Badgers on March 8.
Dave Doeren, who has spent his first two years at Wisconsin as co-defensive coordinator, linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator, will take over as defensive coordinator following the departure of Mike Hankwitz, who was apparently fired by Bielema and has since been named to the same position at Northwestern.
Under Hankwitz and co-defensive coordinator Dave Doeren, UW in 2006 led the nation in pass efficiency defense (84.2 rating); finished second in scoring defense (12.1 ppg) and passing yards allowed (138.3 per game); and fifth in total defense (253.1 ypg).
At the same time, the defense slipped last season under the duo and it apparently cost Hankwitz his job.
UW finished 54th nationally in pass efficiency defense (122.8 rating); 35th in scoring defense (23.2 ppg); 39th in total defense (358.6 ypg); 42nd in rushing defense (134.1 ypg); and 49th in passing yards allowed (222.5 per game).
In addition, Bob Bostad, the Badgers' tight ends coach since 2006 as well as the program's run game coordinator this past season, will become the program's offensive line coach.
Bostad was the sole coach the offensive line at New Mexico from 1999-2005. The 2005 line featured two first-team All-Mountain West Conference picks, center Ryan Cook and guard Robert Turner.
During Bostad's run at New Mexico, 14 of his linemen received all-conference honors, including seven who were first-team picks.
Bostad was given the added title of run-game coordinator after the 2006 season.
"Dave Doeren and Bob Bostad have earned these promotions through hard work and their ability to handle additional responsibilities with our program," head coach Bret Bielema said in the release. "I hired them both originally with the thought that they could both eventually move into these new positions at some point, so I'm pleased that is happening.
"I'd like to thank Mike Hankwitz for his work here the past two seasons and wish him and his family well as they move on to Northwestern," Bielema continued. "I want our program to be able to maintain continuity through the natural transition that takes place in coaching and that's what is happening here."
Doeren, who will remain the Badgers' recruiting coordinator, has proven successful as a coach and recruiter. He has coached Mark Zalewski and Jonathan Casillas to honorable mention All-Big Ten honors at Wisconsin.
Bostad, promoted to run game coordinator for 2007 (he'll keep that title), helped develop tight ends Travis Beckum (a John Mackey Award finalist and first-team All-American in 2007), Andy Crooks and Garrett Graham the past two seasons.
This season, Bostad has recruited nine players that have given their oral committment to Wisconsin, including top state players Peter Konz, Michael Taylor, Tyler Westphal and Kevin Zeitler.
Bielema will now go about the business of hiring two new position coaches.