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Wisconsin football: reports say DL coach Inoke Breckterfield leaving for Vanderbilt

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The Badgers will be in the market for a new defensive line coach for 2021.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 08 New Mexico at Wisconsin Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On Sunday afternoon, multiple reports came out saying that Wisconsin Badgers defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield will be leaving Madison to join new head coach Clark Lea’s staff at Vanderbilt.

Breckterfield has been the DL coach in Madison for the last six years and came to Wisconsin, from Pitt, with Paul Chryst. Prior to his stint at Pitt he was at UCLA where he worked with his new boss, Lea.

At Wisconsin, Breckterfield has been a mainstay on the defensive staff and recruiting trail for the Badgers. He has helped mold the defensive line into one of the top, albeit unheralded, units in the Big Ten. The Badgers have allowed an average of just 16.5 points per game since Breckterfield joined the coaching staff, ranking No. 3 nationally over those five years. UW ranks No. 3 in yards allowed during that span, as well, giving up just 292.3 total yards per contest, and stands third in both rushing defense (109.0 ypg) and pass efficiency defense (106.6) over the course of those seasons. This year the defense was just as good, only giving up 96.1 rushing yards per game.

Coach Nokes, as he’s known, also helped UW reel in 4-star Hawaii prospect, Nick Herbig, who started this year as a true freshman. He also coached Aaron Donald, a perennial All-Pro, at Pitt.

Breckterfield made $425,000 this past year at Wisconsin and while it is currently unknown what his salary will be at Vandy, one might reasonably assume that he’s getting a raise. Although, the chance to coach with an old colleague and a new challenge in a new league may also be reasons for the move.

Wisconsin lost wide receivers coach Ted Gimore after last year, who was replaced by Alvis Whitted, and it’ll be interesting to see some of the names that pop up for who Jim Leonhard and Paul Chryst are looking at to replace Breckterfield.