Badgers TEs coach leaves after seven weeks

MADISON, Wis. — Jay Boulware, we hardly knew ye.

A mere 49 days after being hired to coach Wisconsin’s tight ends and special teams units, Boulware has left to accept a position in the same capacity at Oklahoma. The move comes just eight days before the start of the Badgers’ spring practices. It leaves first-year head coach Gary Andersen with a void to fill just as he had finalized his coaching staff for the 2013 season.

Oklahoma announced Boulware’s hiring Friday via press release.

“Jay owns an impressive track record as both a coach and recruiter,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. “He possesses a wide range of coaching experience, competing in some of the nation’s toughest conferences. He also has strong ties in the state of Texas, as well as recruiting relationships across the country that will serve us well at the University of Oklahoma. We enthusiastically welcome Jay back to his roots in the Big 12.”

Boulware previously coached at Auburn from 2009-12, serving as a tight ends coach and special teams coordinator. Last season, Auburn’s punt coverage ranked second in the country, allowing four yards per return on 70 punts. The Tigers also ranked third in the nation in kickoff coverage, surrendering 16.6 yards per return.

Boulware was an offensive lineman at the University of Texas and began his coaching career with the Longhorns as a student assistant (1994-95) and a graduate assistant (1996). He also coached in the Big 12 as a special teams coordinator and running backs coach at Iowa State in 2007 and 2008. Boulware was a tight ends and special teams coach at Utah in 2004 and 2005 when Andersen was the Utes’ defensive coordinator.

Andersen finalized his coaching staff at Wisconsin just 15 days ago with the hiring of Chris Beatty as the team’s wide receivers coach. But he’ll have to re-open a search to fill Boulware’s position.

Back on Jan. 10, Boulware met with local reporters for the first — and ultimately only — time at Wisconsin.

“When Gary gave me the call, I said, ‘Hey look, I’m in all the way,” Boulware said then of his hiring. “It wasn’t hard to come back to a person that you know. I knew when I was at Utah that Gary was going to be a winner. I knew it. You can tell the way the kids rallied around him at Utah when he was a defensive coordinator. He was very passionate. He’s a big-time competitor.”

Boulware went on to say Wisconsin was a program he had admired from afar, dating to his days as a coach at Northern Illinois from 1998-2000. Now, he’ll be watching from afar once again. 

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