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Wisconsin to hire former USC DC Alex Grinch as safeties coach

The Badgers have filled out the last void on their coaching staff.

NCAA Football: Southern California Spring Game Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin Badgers are expected to hire former USC Trojans defensive coordinator Alex Grinch as their next safeties coach, sources have learned. The Wisconsin State Journal first reported the news early Thursday afternoon.

Grinch, who was dismissed by USC head coach Lincoln Riley with two games left in the 2023 season, will take over the void left by former co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Colin Hitschler, who has been hired by the Alabama Crimson Tide under the same role.

A former safety in college, Grinch began his coaching career in 2002 at Missouri and had been a defensive coordinator or co-defensive coordinator since 2015.

Grinch has worked with Mike Leach at Washington State, Urban Meyer at Ohio State, and Lincoln Riley at both Oklahoma and USC before joining Luke Fickell’s staff at Wisconsin.

With Grinch leading the way last year, USC’s defense allowed 34.5 points per game, which ranked 117th of 133 FBS teams, and 436 yards per contest, which ranked 113th in the nation.

While Grinch and Fickell both worked at Ohio State as defensive coordinators, they never overlapped, as the former took over for the latter, who was hired as the head coach for the Cincinnati Bearcats in 2017, as the co-defensive coordinator.