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Wisconsin football: UW hires new CB coach, Hank Poteat

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Welcome to the staff, coach Poteat!

New York Jets v Buffalo Bills Photo by Larry French/Getty Images

It’s been a busy few weeks for the Wisconsin Badgers football coaching staff and it appears the last piece of the puzzle has been put in as the Badgers announced Thursday afternon that Hank Poteat will be joining the staff as the cornerbacks coach.

Poteat has had a long career in the game of football both on the playing and coaching side. After playing college football for the Pitt Panthers, Poteat was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 2000 NFL draft. Poteat enjoyed a ten-year career in the NFL with a handful of teams in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, and the New England Patriots where he won a Super Bowl in 2005.

After his playing days, Poteat took to the coaching circuit starting out at Kentucky Christian University before taking a job as a graduate assistant with the Pitt Panthers under Paul Chryst. Poteat then took the cornerbacks coach job at Kent State before taking the same position at Toledo where he has been since 2017.

As you can see, Poteat brings in a ton of experience to the defensive coaching staff at both the NFL and collegiate level. Poteat played in the same NFL era as defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard, and while they had similar NFL paths with the Jets and Browns, they never played on the same team.

Despite that, it appears Poteat’s philosophy meshed well with head coach Paul Chryst in their short time together which likely carried over to him being named for the job. Wisconsin likes to hire from within or who they know and trust, and it seems like Poteat fits that mold with both Chryst and Leonhard.

Now Poteat will be able to shoulder some of the load Leonhard has been taking on as the defensive coordinator and leader of the secondary. Poteat will inherit a strong room of corners with a ton of experience led by the likes of Caesar Williams and Faion Hicks. This group is already one to be excited about, but their game could certainly be elevated by learning under the minds of Poteat and Leonhard.

The hire of Poteat also fills the assistant room to the brim. That means the Badgers will not be hiring a quarterbacks coach to fill the role of Jon Budmayer, who left for Colorado State this offseason. It has been rumored that Chryst will assume those duties, and this latest move seems to point to that even further.