Badgers’ coach Bielema defends decision to fire assistant
Madison, WI, United States (4E Sports) – Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema has defended his decision to fire offensive line coach Mike Markuson, saying he was disappointed after the Badgers’ rushing corps covered just 35 yards on 23 attempts in their 10-7 loss to Oregon State.
“Just felt that as head coach I’ve got to make some decisions once in a while that aren’t going to be popular and from the outside world looking in may not make all the most sense,” Bielema explained.
“But I know how to win. And the decision I made was one that I’m going to stick with and go forward,” added Bielema, who designated Bart Miller as the team’s offensive line coach for the rest of the season.
Bielema’s move two games into the season has taken many by surprise, including Markuson himself.
“We had talked a few times before about certain things, (but) it was a surprise for me,” Markuson said. “In light of what has transpired I still believe what I was teaching is the right thing to do. Obviously it didn’t fit into what they wanted.”
Bielema is hoping that Miller could act as bridge between the success of the previous staff and what offensive coordinator Matt Canada is trying to run this season.
“He can be that guy because he’s been taught the techniques as a player but also witnessed him as a coach and also bridges to what we’re doing now,” Bielema said.
Miller played two seasons under former Badgers’ offensive line coach Bob Bostad at New Mexico from 2004 to 2005. He came to Wisconsin and worked under Bostad, offensive coordinator Paul Chryst and tight ends coach Joe Rudolph.
“I think he was hungry to coach. It’s very apparent. It was fun to build a relationship with him with Coach Bo (Bob Bostad) here as well as when he left, and to see him kind of come out of his shell a little bit and help during the transition,” Bielema added.