Moments before Luke Fickell’s introductory press conference, ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported that Wisconsin’s new head coach will retain his most trusted aide, Brady Collins, as the new strength and conditioning coach for the Badgers.
Sources: Luke Fickell will bring strength coach Brady Collins with him to Wisconsin. He’s been Fickell’s most trusted aide since he began at Cincinnati. He helped nine Bearcats develop into NFL Draft picks last season. A key hire, as Wisconsin will be a developmental program.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 28, 2022
Wisconsin had opened the position earlier Monday morning alongside other coaching spots, such as offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, and assistant strength and conditioning coach.
Fickell will look to shape up his staff soon, but also has his eyes on Wisconsin’s bowl game, where he intends to coach in some capacity.
Additionally, Fickell has spoken with interim head coach Jim Leonhard, both about the bowl game and about a coaching position.
On the bowl game, Fickell said to reporters that the two spoke yesterday, mapping out a plan, and doesn't intend to overstep his bounds with Leonhard during the process.
Fickell has interest in retaining Leonhard on his staff, but ultimately acknowledged that the decision is up to the 38-year-old coach, which could materialize as the two continue to develop a relationship over the coming weeks.
Fickell has also spent 4-5 hours with the team over the past 24 hours, addressing the current players while outlining his vision, which he’ll continue to do over the coming weeks in an attempt to retain as many players as possible.