When linebacker Mike Taylor arrived at the University of Wisconsin four years ago, he fully expected to have Dave Doeren as his position coach throughout his college career.

Well, that was two position coaches ago. Taylor also played for Dave Huxtable last season and Andy Buh this season.

Doeren, meanwhile, is on his second job since. He left UW to become the head coach at Northern Illinois after the 2010 season, then recently became the head coach at North Carolina State.

"When you come in, you don't think of coaches leaving," Taylor said. "In high school, you never really experience coaches leaving to go to different schools. Especially like that, just leave.

"I've been able to experience that for the last three years. ... It's just something you get familiar with and you understand, that's what happens."

There is plenty of uneasiness swirling around the UW football program these days. The uncertainty of who the next head coach will be and which of the current assistants might stay top the list for most players.

Those players are trying to put all of their focus on the Rose Bowl game against Stanford on Jan. 1. But it's hard for the non-seniors to keep from wondering who will be coaching them next season.

"We're just trying to focus on the task at hand, which is winning the Rose Bowl," junior defensive end David Gilbert said. "A lot of things we can't control, like our coaches leaving, will get you down. That's why you wait until after the game to think about them."

Gilbert said it's hard to imagine possibly not playing for defensive line coach Charlie Partridge next season, but added, "Life comes with different challenges and eventually I was going to have a different coach."

The only assistant coach whose fate is publicly known for next season is defensive coordinator and secondary coach Chris Ash, who agreed this week to join departed coach Bret Bielema at Arkansas.

With three senior starters in the secondary, Ash's departure after the Rose Bowl could have a short-term benefit, with the group all going out together.

"It was a tough situation for him, you don't know what was going on," senior cornerback Marcus Cromartie said. "He didn't want to be left without a job. I think it's a great time for him to put it all on the line, let's go out on top."

With six new position coaches this season and three last year, the only positions not to experience coaching turnover over that time were the defensive line and secondary.

Junior linebacker Chris Borland would advise young players who are uneasy about the changes to focus on the stability at the top of the program in athletic director Barry Alvarez.

"You're at one of the best programs in the country," Borland said. "A guy who's in an elite class of knowing what they're doing football-wise in coach Alvarez.

"You're going to have a great coach, it doesn't matter who it is. You can trust he's going to bring in a great staff and that will result in a great position coach."

Both Taylor and Borland stressed change can also bring opportunities for growth.

"I've said that in the past, you learn from all three coaches and kind of mix it all together," Taylor said of the three position coaches he has played for. "You can get better because of it."

Borland liked the fact each of those three linebackers coaches brought a distinctive viewpoint from a different area of the country: Doeren from the Midwest, Huxtable from the South and Buh from the West Coast.

"As hard as it is to transition and adjust, I think it benefits you, just broadening yourself and broadening your football IQ," Borland said.

The hardest change for both Taylor and Borland was the first one — from Doeren to Huxtable.

Taylor spent three years under Doeren and a new coach meant changes in terminology, techniques and coaching style.

To make matters more complicated for Borland, he was coming off a shoulder injury that forced him to be redshirted in 2010. It also forced him to miss spring practices in 2011, his first chance to make an of-field impression on Huxtable.

"You had to prove yourself all over again, while being out," Borland said. "It was a really difficult thing to do."

Borland is not worried about the young players adapting and said he will be there during the coaching transition to provide stability and leadership.

"Right now, I think (the young players) are a little surprised by the head coaching switch," Borland said. "The practical implications of bringing in (a new coach), they're going to think about their position coaches.

"I haven't talked to them a great deal. I'll be here next year so I'll share (the experiences) with them and instill some wisdom in them."

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