UW football: Norvell is candidate for offensive coordinator

2012-01-04T15:30:00Z 2012-01-05T07:43:15Z UW football: Norvell is candidate for offensive coordinatorTOM MULHERN and ANDY BAGGOT | Wisconsin State Journal madison.com

Former University of Wisconsin football assistant coach Jay Norvell, who is the co-coordinator on offense at Oklahoma, has emerged as a candidate to become the offensive coordinator for the Badgers.

A source said Norvell, a Madison native, has talked to UW coach Bret Bielema about the vacant position.

Meanwhile, the shakeup on the UW staff appears to be even more extensive than previously reported.

UW offensive coordinator Paul Chryst was named the coach at Pittsburgh on Dec. 22 and is taking along offensive line coach Bob Bostad.

In an interview with the State Journal on Friday, three days before the Rose Bowl, linebackers coach Dave Huxtable said he was returning to the Badgers despite an offer to be the defensive coordinator under Chryst.

"I'm coming back," Huxtable said. "It's 100 percent right now." Asked if that meant it could change, Huxtable said, "It's 100 percent."

But a UW source said Huxtable is leaving to become defensive coordinator at Pitt.

The source said Huxtable may have wanted to keep the "party line" and keep things settled until after the Rose Bowl, which is why he may have given those contradictory statements.

In addition, the State Journal has confirmed UW wide receivers coach DelVaughn Alexander is going to Arizona State. An announcement by Arizona State is expected soon.

Alexander has coached UW receivers for the past five seasons. He is credited, in particular, with the development of sophomore wide receiver Jared Abbrederis, a walk-on who became a starter and led the Badgers this season with 933 receiving yards. Abbrederis caught 55 passes and averaged 17 yards per reception — which topped all receivers with more than two catches — and had eight touchdowns.

Previously, Alexander coached in the Pac-10 at Oregon State in 2003 and 2004 and as a graduate assistant at Southern Cal from 1995 to '98. He is from Los Angeles.

Alexander's move fits with the potential arrival of Norvell, who also coaches the wide receivers at Oklahoma. He has been at Oklahoma since 2008 under coach Bob Stoops.

But if Bielema bypasses tight ends coach Joe Rudolph for the UW coordinator job, there is concern Rudolph might also leave for Pitt, according to multiple sources. Rudolph is close to Chryst and Bostad.

Bielema announced last week Rudolph will replace Bostad as offensive line coach.

Norvell, who attended Madison Memorial High School, also has a background coaching quarterbacks. He was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at UCLA in 2007 and served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Nebraska from 2004 to '06.

Norvell also has NFL experience, coaching tight ends for the Oakland Raiders in 2002 and '03, reaching the Super Bowl his first year there. He also coached wide receivers for the Indianapolis Colts from 1998 to 2001.

Norvell coached at UW from 1990 to '94. He started as a volunteer coach, working with wide receivers and special teams, before becoming a full-time member of the staff in 1992.

His father, Merritt, played on the Badgers' 1963 Rose Bowl team and a brother, Aaron, was a UW linebacker from 1989 to '92.

Jay Norvell was an All-Big Ten Conference defensive back at Iowa in 1985, when he led the conference with seven interceptions. Bielema played at Iowa from 1989 to '92.

Another potential candidate for the UW staff is Chuck Long, who is looking for work and has strong Iowa connections. Long was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach the past two seasons at Kansas under Turner Gill, who was fired in November.

It is unclear if Long is a candidate to become offensive coordinator or to just coach the quarterbacks, or how strong UW's interest is in him.

Long was the coach at San Diego State for three seasons, starting in 2006, after stints as an assistant coach at Iowa (1995 to '99) and Oklahoma (1999 to 2005).

Long is a former NFL quarterback and was the Heisman Trophy runner-up after guiding the Hawkeyes to the 1985 Big Ten title and a berth in the Rose Bowl.

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