The Wisconsin Badgers have found great success in building their football coaching staff out of coaches with Wisconsin ties. In fact, they are the only school who employ a head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator that are alumni of the school at which they coach.
So, it should come as no surprise that the vacant defensive line coach position was filled on Wednesday afternoon by a Badger alum, former UW strength and conditioning coach (2015-2020) and defensive lineman, Ross Kolodziej.
Badger → Badger in the NFL →— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) January 20, 2021
Head Badger Strength Coach
→ BADGER DEFENSIVE LINE COACH ←
Let's go Coach K!
"I'm excited for the chance to continue impacting our program & helping our guys become the best they can be" pic.twitter.com/sG6HicvBkH
He will be the sixth UW alumnus on the Badgers’ coaching staff, joining head coach Paul Chryst, defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard, associate head coach/offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph, quarterbacks coach Jon Budmayr and tight ends coach Mickey Turner.
“I’m excited for Ross and for our team that he will have the opportunity to coach our defensive line,” Chryst said. “He has played the position at the highest level and has tremendous knowledge of the position. I’m confident in his abilities as a coach and have witnessed that first-hand through all the years we have been together.”
The native of Stevens Point spent seven years in the NFL playing with the Giants, Vikings, 49ers and Cardinals. He started 14 games in 2005 with the Cardinals, his most productive season.
“More than anything I’m excited to get started,” Kolodziej said. “What I do on a day-to-day basis will be different, but it won’t be a change in terms of what we’re trying to accomplish. I’m excited for the chance to continue impacting our program and helping our guys become the best they can be.”
After being with the program for the last six seasons, and working so closely with all of the players in the weight room, the current roster is plenty excited to have Kolodziej remain in Madison.
“Our players who have worked with Ross, both present players and guys that have gone through the program, are fired up for him. I know our current guys in the D-line room are looking forward to getting to work with him even more closely now,” Chryst added.