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Alex Grinch “thrilled” to join Badgers staff as new Co-DC/S coach

The Badgers quickly moved to find a replacement for former Co-DC/S coach Colin Hitschler.

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

The Wisconsin Badgers officially announced Alex Grinch as their next safeties coach, tabbing him as the replacement for Colin Hitschler, who left to join the Alabama Crimson Tide as their next co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach.

Grinch will also take the co-defensive coordinator position, which Hitschler had while at Wisconsin.

Grinch joins the Badgers after two seasons as the defensive coordinator and safeties coach with the USC Trojans, which followed three seasons in the same roles with the Oklahoma Sooners. He was dismissed in November by head coach Lincoln Riley, leaving him free to pursue other opportunities.

“I’m thankful to have the opportunity to add Alex to our staff,” head coach Luke Fickell said, via UW Communications. “Alex has phenomenal experience from across the college football landscape and I’m excited for the schematic, recruiting, and coaching talents he’ll bring to our defensive staff.”

Grinch will have a big void to fill as a recruiter, as Hitschler was arguably Wisconsin’s most valuable recruiter as an assistant coach, but the former USC defensive coordinator has been well-respected in the recruiting realm over his coaching career.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Coach Fickell’s staff at Wisconsin,” Grinch said in a statement. “I’ve admired Coach Fickell’s coaching and leadership style from afar for a while and I can’t wait to enter a new era of Big Ten football on his staff at Wisconsin.”

The Badgers have made several coaching changes this offseason, as Hitschler and wide receivers coach Mike Brown left for better opportunities, while offensive line coach Jack Bicknell was re-assigned.

Grinch will fill the void as safeties coach, which Wisconsin has done well at with Colin Hitschler and Jim Leonhard being the last two coaches at the position.

“I can’t wait to get to work at Wisconsin,” Grinch said. “I know that the tradition of Badger Football and the power of the Motion W travels throughout the country. I’m excited to represent a great fanbase and program.”