Football: Chryst believes Wilcox is ‘great fit’ as new defensive coordinator

first_imgWhen asked about his new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox in a press conference Monday, University of Wisconsin head football coach Paul Chryst said the same thing time and time again to describe Wilcox.“I really do think it’s a great fit for our staff and for our players and for this program,” Chryst said.That “great fit” that Chryst described numerous times has some big shoes to fill after the highly-touted and successful defensive coordinator Dave Aranda left to take the same position at LSU.Football: Wisconsin to hire Justin Wilcox as new defensive coordinatorThe Wisconsin football team is close to finalizing a deal to hire former University of Southern California defensive coordinator Justin Read…But for Wilcox, he’s not going to let those lofty expectations affect how he approaches the job.“I think when you start adding in external things you might lose track of what’s really important and that’s just preparing the team as best you can,” Wilcox said. “There are great coaches on the staff, again, I’m just a piece of it.”Any adversity Wilcox may see in his first season as the Badgers new defensive coordinator will be nothing that he hasn’t seen before.After finding success as a defensive coordinator at Boise State, Tennessee and Washington, Wilcox hit a rough patch when holding the same position at USC for the past two seasons. Not only was his head coach Steve Sarkisian forced to step down due to substance abuse problems, but Wilcox was also fired before the team’s bowl game.Wilcox, however, is looking at the situation he’s been in optimistically. He’s embracing it as just another chapter in his life, and he is more than ready for what is to come next.“That’s life in general,” Wilcox said. “Rarely do [things] go exactly how you planned them to go, so it’s when you do have a little adversity here or there that really makes you who you are.”In terms of what Wilcox is expected to bring to the team’s defensive system, Chryst hopes he will bring in a similar strategy to that of Aranda.Not only does the new defensive coordinator plan on implementing the same 3-4 defensive scheme that Aranda had in place, but the two also have a history together, according to Wilcox.When Aranda was coaching at Hawaii and Wilcox was at Boise, they had been in constant communication for a number of years and shared thoughts regarding “football things.”“I watched a lot of tape, we had shared ideas and things like that,” Wilcox said. “There is a lot of similarity. Some of the language may differ a little bit, but they played excellent defense. There is no doubt about it.”And while the current and former defensive coordinators see eye-to-eye, Chryst believes that he and his new assistant see eye-to-eye as well.Wilcox was not on top of the head coach’s list of potential replacements once Aranda told Chryst he was leaving, but Chyrst had heard enough about Wilcox that he wanted to find out more.What he found out was that Wilcox was a “great fit” for what he and the program were looking for.“The more I talked to people, and specifically when I talked to Justin, I got more energy,” Chryst said. “I’m excited for him to be coaching our kids.”last_img

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