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Wisconsin Football Loses a Key Assistant Coach to Big Ten Program

The Badgers will need to begin searching for a new DL coach.



Wisconsin Badgers Football defensive line coach Greg Scruggs
Apr 11, 2023; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin defensive line coach Greg Scruggs is shown during practice Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

In a surprising development, the University of Michigan is hiring away Greg Scruggs, the defensive line coach for the Wisconsin Badgers football team, to fill the same role under new head coach Sherrone Moore. 

The former Wisconsin Badgers defensive line coach was reportedly courted with a significant raise. Moreover, a personal connection exists between Scruggs and Moore, stemming from their time together at the University of Louisville.

This move highlights the ongoing challenge for Wisconsin Badgers head football coach Luke Fickell, who has seen a number of his staffers targeted by programs with deeper pockets

Wisconsin Football Losing DL Coach Greg Scruggs to Michigan 

Wisconsin Badgers Football HC Luke Fickell hired Greg Scruggs to be the Badgers defensive line coach -- who is working with defensive lineman Ben Barten at practice.

Apr 11, 2023; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin defensive end Ben Barten (68) is watched by defensive line coach Greg Scruggs during practice Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Scruggs’ departure from the Wisconsin football program is a somewhat notable loss for the Badgers, at least on the recruiting front.

In his first full recruiting cycle with the Badgers, Scruggs landed two four-star defensive linemen in Ernest Willor Jr. and Dillan Johnson. For context, Wisconsin had only landed two composite four-star DLs since 2016.

Scruggs, a former defensive tackle for the Louisville Cardinals, is a fast-rising assistant who brings a diversity of experience to his new coaching role, having served as the Director of Player Development at the University of Cincinnati before being promoted to full-time DL coach. He then became an assistant DL coach for the Jets for a season before joining Wisconsin.

Nevertheless, the allure of a new opportunity at a prestigious program like Michigan, the easier recruiting sell, and the potential for career advancement and financial gain made this a no-brainer move for Scruggs. It’s important to recognize that the departed staff members aren’t necessarily “Wisconsin guys” and are simply working their way up the ladder through opportunities at more prestigious programs.

Luke Fickell will now have to begin his fourth assistant coaching search this offseason for the Wisconsin Badgers football team. Fickell has a solid track record for hiring quality assistant coaches, so I have no doubt he’ll be able to find a reliable replacement.

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