Though reports have circulated in the past two weeks since Gary Andersen's departure, Oregon State officially announced Tuesday current Wisconsin assistant coaches T.J. Woods and Chad Kauha'aha'a will join Andersen in Corvallis. Evan Simon, the Badgers' strength and conditioning coach, will also join the Beavers' staff in the same capacity.
Along with the two soon-to-be former Badgers assistants, Andersen also announced the hire of Kalani Sitake as assistant head coach/defensive coordinator, as well as Ilaisa Tuiaki and Derrick Odum to defensive assistant coach positions.
Oregon State's release did not state if both Woods and Kauha'aha'a would retain the same positions as they did at Wisconsin. Woods would hold an "offensive coaching role" and Kauha'aha'a "will serve on the Beavers' defensive coaching staff."
The Badgers' offensive line under Woods has opened large holes for Heisman Trophy finalist Melvin Gordon, James White, and Corey Clement in the last two seasons. Wisconsin has set single-season school rushing records in both 2013 and 2014 with 3,689 and 4,082 yards, respectively. Gordon has gained 2,336 yards so far this season -- putting him amongst the best single-season rushing performances by a collegiate player.
Kau'ha'aha'a helped transition a 4-3 defensive line under Charlie Partridge and Chad Kauha'aha'a to a 3-4 under defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. Despite the philosophical change in defense, the Badgers' defense have been amongst the top-20 defenses in the nation the past two seasons in four major statistical categories -- total defense, scoring defense, passing defense and rushing defense.
The coaches' hires are contingent on approval from Oregon State University's Administration and Human Resources department. Per Oregon State's official announcement, Andersen noted the coaches "understood the vision and direction of Oregon State football" and wanted to be a part of the program. Below's an excerpt as well from the official announcment.
"One of my top priorities has been to put together a staff that helps student-athletes succeed academically, socially and athletically," Andersen said. "These coaches all put the student-athlete first and are all proven professionals in their respective areas, excelling at the highest level. They have demonstrated the ability to recruit nationally and that experience ensures that we will be able to bring in student-athletes that fit Oregon State University, our community and our program."
This leaves Wisconsin without offensive and defensive line coaches for 2015. Per a UW release and according to university hiring policies, new Badgers head coach Paul Chryst cannot make any offers to assistant coach candidates until at least Dec. 29. With that same release on Dec. 19, there was no plan to make any official announcements on hires until after the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1.