Running backs coach Thomas Hammock has been named the recruiting coordinator for the University of Wisconsin football team, Badgers coach Bret Bielema announced on Friday.

Hammock, who interviewed for at least two jobs after last season – most recently with the St. Louis Rams – replaces departed tight ends coach Joe Rudolph, who previously was in charge of recruiting.

When UW’s staff was short-handed near the end of the recent recruiting season, Hammock assumed a bigger role.

“I was obviously with Thomas a lot in January and he impressed me,” Bielema told UWBadgers.com. “I really thought he had a good touch in recruiting and a good lay of the land.

“He knows what I like, what I expect and how we operate and do things.”

Hammock recently concluded his first season on Bielema’s staff and is one of three holdovers from last season among the full-time assistants. Also, Hammock was a graduate assistant under former UW coach Barry Alvarez in 2003 and 2004.

As for interviewing with the Rams, Hammock told UWBadgers.com he needed to go through that experience to help further his career.

“Any time you can present yourself and your program in that light, it only helps you down the line as a coach,” Hammock said. “It was the NFL and it was just an honor to be asked (to interview).

“The one thing about me is that I believe in this place and I wanted to get back here. I’m very happy to be here.”

Hammock, who is from Jersey City, N.J., will recruit New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.

Bielema also announced the recruiting areas for the new assistant coaches:

  • Linebackers coach Andy Buh will recruit St. Louis and Texas.
  • Assistant secondary coach Ben Strickland will recruit Wisconsin and Atlanta.
  • Wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni will recruit in Ohio.
  • Offensive line coach Mike Markuson will recruit in Minnesota.
  • Tight ends coach Eddie Faulkner will recruit in Indiana and Michigan, in addition to Cleveland.
  • Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Matt Canada will fill in at different areas in the Midwest, in addition to being the national recruiter for quarterbacks.

As for the other holdover coaches, defensive coordinator Chris Ash will continue to recruit in Chicago, while defensive line coach Charlie Partridge will continue to recruit in Florida, while also taking over Pittsburgh.

“I want to give everybody a chance to have two unique areas,” Bielema said.

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