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Badger Bits: Bielema improves his staff yet again

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Happy Friday, ya'll. Have fun braving the cold today- I think it is supposed to get a bit warmer over the weekend, but it is Wisconsin so you never know for sure.

Bret Bielema's hiring of UCF defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable is just one in a series of successful hires by Wisconsin's head football coach, according to Tom Mulhern of Huxtable leaves UCF after guiding the Knights' eighth ranked defense in 2010, and he will join a team of assistants that have found a lot of success at Wisconsin.

Mulhern writes that tight ends coach Joe Rudolph has grown into the best recruiter on the staff, leading to his current position as recruiting coordinator. Charlie Partridge was hired prior to the 2008 season as well, and has done well enough to earn a promotion to co-defensive coordinator for the 2011 season. Newly-minted co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach Chris Ash was brought in prior to the 2010 season, and certainly helped players like Antonio Fenelus and Aaron Henry improve their games, as well as the secondary as a unit.

Of course, no discussion of Wisconsin assistant coaches would be complete without mentioning offensive coordinator Paul Chryst or offensive line coach Bob Bostad. Both Chryst and Bostad have been pursued by both professional and college teams in the off-season, but it looks like both will stay in Madison for now.

Now on to more Badger Bits!

Speaking of the maddeningly brilliant Chryst, Andy Baggot of writes that UW athletic director Barry Alvarez is determined to keep him around in 2011.

Michael Bleach of The Badger Herald writes about the potential replacements for departing players like J.J. Watt and John Clay.

Chuck Schwartz of Sixty Minutes. No Alibis. No Regrets. has his series preview up for when the No. 9 Badgers take on the Minnesota State Mankato Mavericks this weekend.

Baggot also writes that the Badgers will have a few fresh faces in the lineup for this weekend's series. He also has a piece detailing the importance of defensemen Justin Schultz and Jake Gardiner.

Our pal Dave Heller of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has his Badger blog up, and he says that the Badgers might end up as a four or a five seed in the NCAA Tournament (If they make it, of course.)

Rob Schultz of details the importance of senior Tim Jarmusz to the Badgers in Big Ten play.

Finally, don't forget! The basketball game against Northwestern on Sunday has been moved up by a half hour to an 11:30 AM  CST start time, because of the NFC Championship game.

Have a great weekend, everybody!