>Fitz Lands His DC – Wisconsin’s Mike Hankwitz

> Why should the Big Ten fear the Cats in years to come? This man! Welcome Mike Hankwitz!

Wow. Kudos to Pat Fitzgerald for getting, what I consider, a “steal” in landing former Wisconsin defensive coordinator, Mike Hankwitz. Hankwitz was fired by Bret Bielema after this past season in which Hankwitz led the Badgers to a 39th ranked defense in the nation (note: NU has not sniffed the top 65 in this decade) and for that he was let go (ed note: Hankwitz was co-DC at UW with Dave Doeren). At NU, we would’ve given him a 5-year extension. Hankwitz is from the Barnett network, no doubt, as Mike was the DC at Colorado when Barnett was the OC during their national championship year in 1990. MUCH MUCH more to come. Hankwitz resume and BCS conference experience should have Wildcat Nation fired up – Hankwitz posts Wisconsin, Colorado (twice), Arizona and Texas A&M as stops where he has been DC. Get excited by reading Hankwitz bio here.

Are you kidding me?!!!! Wisconsin had the #1 pass efficiency defense in 2006 and #2 scoring defense (12.1 ppg) along with the #5 total defense. Even this year at UW, the 39th ranking (358.6) would be the best we’ve seen since the mid 1990s. At the risk of sounding Shanoff-esque, this may be the best hire we’ve made since Gary Barnett.

This is just what the doctor ordered. Congrats to Pat Fitzgerald and his colleagues for landing what I consider to be a coup.

I would also like to point out congratulations to TurkReport.com for breaking this story first. Turk has, in the past month, been out in front on the Colby firing, McGee departure and now this. Kudos. Let’s hope someone in the mainstream media actually gives him credit (I doubt it). On the same note, LTP’s credibility takes a hit with this announcement as I posted a month ago that Tim Kish from Arizona had the inside track. I have no new information to dispute that was not true, but the bottom line is that I was wrong.

Welcome to the program Mike Hankwitz! We know you’re no stranger having been a Michigan Big Ten Champion in 1969, and although we did not face you in 2006, we are thrilled to have someone who knows the conference so well. And I think the “rivalry” with Madtown just dialed up about 10 notches. How fitting that Fitz was able to pull someone from the Barnett network AND he’s from the Bo Schembechler coaching tree!

  • Hawkeye State

    >Nice hire. You’re right; that’s a steal, plus a little motivation when you are up against Bucky.

    Question, LTP: I apologize, as I haven’t had a chance to read anything on your new OC. Will NU still be running the spread next year, or is there new philosophy with the new coordinator?

  • Lake The Posts

    >Cats will be running the spread in 2008. Fitz came out and stated that before the hire, and our new OC, Mick McCall, ran it at Bowling Green.

  • Adam

    >This sounds like a great hire, I was getting worried about renewing my season tickets, but now I’m actually excited to see some defense.

    LTP – thanks for the post – I’m not sure how you get the information so fast, but I appreciate your hard work.

  • patlos17

    >I think what might be more interesting is to see if NU moves away from the 3-4 scheme that had been planned.