Another Wisconsin assistant on way out
"I really, truly enjoy the process that we just went through," Bielema said after filling two of five vacancies with offensive coordinator Matt Canada and wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni. "Still not quite finished."
What Bielema knew at the time but didn't say was that another coach was on his way out.
DeMontie Cross, who joined the UW staff before last season and served as special teams coordinator and safeties coach, on Thursday was named linebackers coach at Kansas.
That pushed the number of vacancies on UW's staff to four. The other three are offensive line, tight ends and linebackers.
Reached by phone Thursday, Bielema said he had recommended Cross to Kansas coach Charlie Weis about one week ago. Anticipating Cross would take the job, Bielema pulled him from recruiting.
Cross' replacement, Bielema said, would not serve as special teams coordinator.
"We're going to go back to sharing that on the staff," he said.
Bielema reiterated the next hire probably would be an offensive line coach.
Canada acknowledged finding the right fit in an offensive line coach would be critical.
"You win up front," he said, adding UW will have several qualified candidates from whom to choose. "If you're an offensive line coach, I'm guessing this would be a pretty good place to come and work."
According to college football sources with ties to the Midwest, the name they have heard most frequently linked to the UW opening is Steve Loney.
However, Loney reportedly is among several candidates in line for the position of offensive line coach with the Chicago Bears.
Loney, 59, has a mix of college and pro experience.
His last job was as the offensive line coach for the St. Louis Rams (2008-'11). The staff was let go after head coach Steve Spagnuolo was fired.
"To me, when you have transition it is an opportunity to improve," Bielema said. "My challenge is to bring in a group of coaches that continue to move forward here at Wisconsin. It is a real exciting time."
Meanwhile, UW athletic director Barry Alvarez announced several staff changes in the wake of the resignation of associate athletic director John Chadima.
-- Senior assistant athletic director Tim Wise will serve in an interim role on the senior staff and will take on the following areas of oversight: major capital projects, facilities master plan coordination, facilities planning and maintenance liaison, University Ridge, facilities and custodial, event and parking management and food and beverage.
-- Assistant athletic director Doug Tiedt will assume sport administration responsibilities with men's and women's cross country, men's and women's track and field, and wrestling.
-- Associate athletic director Justin Doherty will serve as the sport administrator for men's basketball.
-- Deputy athletic director Sean Frazier will oversee the equipment staff, serve as liaison to Adidas and assume sport administration of football.
-- Associate athletic director Randy Marnocha will become the sport administrator for men's and women's golf.
Chadima, who resigned amid allegations of misconduct, Thursday released a statement through an attorney.
"It has been my privilege to work with so many wonderful and talented people throughout my career at UW.
"I have resigned as associate athletic director at UW-Madison so as not to bring disrepute to the University of Wisconsin.
"I deeply regret leaving under these circumstances and disappointing those people with, and for whom, I have worked and dedicated my career for the past 22 years.
"I make no excuses and accept full responsibility for my actions.
"I would like to express my heartfelt apologies to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, its athletic department and all full-time, part-time and student employees who have been affected by my recent lapse of judgment. I ask for their forgiveness.
"Although I am unsure about what my future holds, UW-Madison will always be my family, my life and my home. Thank you."