At Wisconsin, Chris Ash has taken over as defensive coordinator for the departed Dave Doeren, who accepted the head coaching job at Northern Illinois.
Ash spent ten years on the staff at Iowa State before joining Bret Bielema’s staff in 2010 as defensive backs coach.
In his first four games as defensive coordinator, the Badgers will face UNLV, Oregon State, at Northern Illinois, and South Dakota State. Nebraska visits Madison the following week.
Ash, who coaches the defensive backs, told ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg that being in charge for the first time is a little different.
Ash explained, “In the meeting room, the biggest change is just having the final say.Everybody's got great ideas, we all come from similar backgrounds and we see things the same, but we also see things differently. And when we see things differently, somebody's got to have the final say. And that responsibility's mine right now. To make those decisions has been different.”
Last season, Wisconsin won the Big Ten and competed in the Rose Bowl against TCU. For Ash however, the Badgers don’t need to look back.
“We're not trying to compare any individual to another individual or ourselves to any other team. We're trying to get better every day as individuals and if we do that, collectively our defense will get better. Our guys are really buying into that so far.”
“The biggest thing is, are our guys satisfied or are they hungry? I think we've got guys that are hungry.”
The Badgers got over 120 snaps in Saturday’s scrimmage. Bielema seemed really pleased.
Here's a clip of Wisky defensive line coach Charlie Partridge talking about the challenge of replacing defensive end JJ Watt, who will be selected in the first-round of the NFL draft: