After long-time offensive line coach Bob Bostad left for Pittsburgh with Paul Chryst, the Badgers needed to find a replacement to coach their most high-profile position group. After a few weeks of searching, the Badgers have their man. The Wisconsin Athletic Department announced Saturday that Mike Markuson, a long-time offensive line coach under Houston Nutt, will join the Badgers' staff in the same role.
"Mike brings experience of having success at the highest levels of college football," Bielema said in a press release. "The production of his offensive line units and the offenses he has been associated with is very impressive. He has coached a number of players who have earned national honors and gone on to the NFL. Being from Minnesota, he brings the Midwest values that we're looking for and he's very excited about the opportunity to be the offensive line coach at the University of Wisconsin."
Markuson, a native of Farmington, Minn., spent the last 14 years in the SEC at both Arkansas and Ole Miss, where six of his players received All-America honors since 2003. His most high-profile student was Michael Oher, of "The Blind Side" fame, who was drafted with the 23rd pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens.
"I'm very thankful to two people, Coach Bielema and Coach Alvarez," Markuson said via release. "I go back with Coach Alvarez to 1989 when I was a graduate assistant at Notre Dame and when I was interested in the job, I had Coach (Houston) Nutt call him and that really got the ball rolling."
"Coach Bielema has taken the reigns from Coach Alvarez and really continued the tradition of success at Wisconsin and I'm just so excited to be a part of it. It's great to be able to get back home, I'm a Minnesota guy, and my family and I are thrilled to be back in the Midwest and in the Big Ten."
Markuson appears to have a strong recruiting track record as well. Over the last six seasons, Markuson has recruited over 30 players from 11 different states. His help will be appreciated, as signing day is quickly approaching and the Badgers are trying to hold on to verbal commitments from several offensive line prospects. Whether or not his hiring helps the Badgers sign Kyle Dodson and J.J. Denman isn't certain, but it can't hurt the Badgers' chances to bring in such an experienced coach.
Markuson's hiring leaves just three coaching positions open on the Badgers' staff: tight ends, safeties, and linebackers. Nevada defensive coordinator Andy Buh appears set to take the linebackers position after National Signing Day, but rumored names for the other two positions are few and far between.