The Badgers lost an important piece of their coaching staff on Monday. Offensive line coach Joe Rudolph is heading to Virginia Tech. There has been some debate amongst fans as to whether or not the loss is actually a bad thing. Many believe it’s not, as Rudolph called plays in 2020 and we all remember how that went. With that said, he was also the run game coordinator and an associate head coach.
What are the Badgers losing?
The Badgers are losing a key part of their coaching staff as Rudolph was their offensive line coach, run game coordinator, and associate head coach. Wisconsin has long been known for their offensive lines and Rudolph has been a big part of that. His ability to recruit is his biggest calling card, as he has brought in seven players ranked as either 4 or 5 stars over the course of the last 3 cycles.
He was also known by many as just a great human being. Having a coach that is good at his job, along with lifting up those around them is a big plus. Losing that kind of a person from a program is always tough, but if any school can fill that gap, it’ll be the Badgers.
Where is the silver lining?
Losing a coach like Rudolph is tough, but there are potentially some positives. The offensive line the last couple of seasons has been fine, but hasn’t been as dominant as we’ve seen in seasons past. With so many big time recruits coming in the last 2-3 years on the line, this is a great job if the Badgers look outside of the family.
The more likely solution is to look internally as current ILB coach Bob Bostad has experience as an OL coach. This would allow Bobby April to oversee both OLB and ILB groups so the Badgers can look externally for an OC.
As much as we all love the Badgers, a new offensive coordinator could be a godsend. A new set of eyes to potentially bring some offensive life into a program that has become very reliant on its defense would be a breath of fresh air. That pick is more important to me than who replaces Rudolph.
Overall, losing a coach like this is tough, but change isn’t always bad. The pessimists will see it as a win since the fall guy for the offensive struggles will be gone. For a program like the Badgers that has lost some big time recruiters over the last year or so, this is another blow. If you step back and look from a different angle however, this could turn out to be a good thing. The football program has gotten a bit stagnant and a new OC could do the trick.