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Wisconsin reportedly hiring UNC’s Phil Longo as new offensive coordinator

Wisconsin could be undergoing a significant change in philosophy on offense.

NCAA Football: Pittsburgh at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Head coach Luke Fickell has narrowed in on his offensive coordinator, as Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports reported that Wisconsin is hiring UNC offensive coordinator Phil Longo as their next man at the position.

Longo, who has served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach since 2019 for the Tar Heels, now takes over Bobby Engram’s role, who was a first-year coordinator and play-caller for the Badgers this year.

However, the hiring of Longo represents a significant shift in offensive philosophy, as the offensive coordinator utilizes an Air-Raid passing attack, whereas the Badgers have maintained a strong ground-and-pound attack for the past decade.

ESPN’s Mike Golic shared that UNC has utilized 11 personnel(1 running back and 1 tight end) on 790 snaps this season, ranking fourth in the FBS. Wisconsin? They’re 119th with just 265 snaps in 11 personnel, displaying the stark changes in philosophy.

Additionally, Longo has done well with quarterbacks, developing Sam Howell, who was selected by the Washington Commanders in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, as well as Drake Maye, who currently is projected as a top pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Over the past four years at UNC, Longo has consistently produced top-15 overall offenses, despite the losses of talent to the NFL Draft, which has been where Wisconsin has struggled as of late.

For now, Wisconsin has two members on their offensive staff: Longo and Cincinnati passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach Mike Brown, who is expected to follow Luke Fickell to Madison.

Another potential candidate to join the staff could be Cincinnati’s offensive coordinator Gino Guidugli, who did not earn the full-time job after Fickell’s departure.