Wisconsin assistant strength and conditioning coach Brian Bott told the Badgers' players he was leaving the program two weeks ago, according to a report from Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal.
Bott told the players on June 10, at the end of the first day of summer conditioning. He was very popular with the players, especially considering the continuity he provided even after last year's head strength coach Ben Herbert followed Bret Bielema to Arkansas. When Gary Andersen was hired to replace Bielema as head coach, he brought in his own head strength coach from Utah State, Evan Simon. Bott, however, was "emphatic" that Simon had nothing to do with his departure. Instead, Bott cited unspecified family considerations as his explanation for leaving. His contract officially runs through Sunday.
"Absolutely not," Bott said. "I was 100 percent on board. They were 100 percent on board with me being there. In December, I had probably a 15-minute conversation with coach Andersen. I told him I wanted to stay. He told me he wanted me to be a part of the program."
"I would say it was one of the hardest decisions of my life," Bott said. "It was a lot of thought that went behind it. I leaned on coach Simon quite a bit. I couldn't ask for more out of a supervisor than him, or coach Andersen, as far as a leader of the whole program, as far as their support."
Bott, 39, had been with the Badgers for the past 13. He worked under Herbert the last three years, specializing in working with the quarterbacks, offensive linemen and tight ends. He now becomes the 14th assistant to leave Wisconsin over the past three years, including Jay Boulware, who lasted only two months as the Badgers' tight ends coach before jumping to Oklahoma.
Below Simon, Wisconsin currently has two assistant strength and conditioning coaches, Jamil Walker and Jeff Zuhlke. Walker is entering his fifth season with the Badgers, which comes after a playing career at UW that saw him contribute to the winningest senior class in program history (40-11, 2004-07). Zuhlke joined the program in May 2011 after a year as head strength and conditioning coach for the Toronto Blue Jays' Advanced A minor league affiliate in Dunedin, Fla. He is also the head strength coach for Wisconsin's men's and women's track and field teams, and an assistant with the the volleyball strength staff.