Most head coaches take it as a compliment when their assistants move up in the profession.
Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema is among them, but he isn't sure how much more of that good feeling he can take after seeing six of his nine assistants take other jobs during the offseason.
The staff changes for the two-time defending Big Ten champion Badgers came for what are considered the right reasons. Five assistants left to take jobs above their previous level. The sixth, a lateral move, was made for a coach to return to his geographic roots.
All of that came a year after Bielema lost his defensive coordinator, who took the head coaching job at Northern Illinois.
Promotions and good feelings aside, replacing seven assistants in two seasons — including both coordinators — is a chore. And coaching coaches takes time away from the core of spring football, which is coaching players.
"We actually moved back spring ball a week and a half so I could have one more week of full preparation with our coaches," Bielema told The World-Herald.
The extra time wasn't spent simply indoctrinating newcomers into "the Wisconsin Way," despite Bielema's 60-19 record (.759) in six seasons.
"We talked about how we've done things in the past, and how we expect things to be done," he said. "But I'm not trying to make them come in and be a cookie-cutter of what we had in the past.
"Everyone has his own set of DNA. I expect them to have their own way of doing things and their own input into what is going to be done."
Bielema said the first few days of coaches meetings after recruiting ended were mostly "one-way" talks about the Badgers' belief in a power running game out of a pro-style set and a 4-3 defense that doesn't gamble much.
"I laid out things I believe in from a principles standpoint," he said. "I did that seven years ago with my first staff, as well."
After what amounted to UW orientation, Bielema opened the floor for input and debate.
"Those are the discussions I love," he said. "I hired six coaches who bring a lot of different experiences and a lot of different success stories in how things have happened.
"That has been really fun. It has energized our entire football department."
It took Bielema five years to organize his program enough to win a Big Ten championship.
"We took a lot of pride as a staff that it was the first group of kids that had come full cycle," he said. "They redshirted with us, played for us and learned it.
"To repeat in our sixth year was very special. We had to do it a different way, by winning our division and then a championship game."
Any complacency over having won back-to-back titles, Bielema said, will be overridden by the new energy on the staff and the desire of the players to win again.
"Here at Wisconsin, we've become greedy," he said. "Our kids want to get back to Indianapolis and prove themselves again and have the opportunity to play in the granddaddy of them all."
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