New Pitt coach Paul Chryst continues his raid of Wisconsin's staff by hiring the Badgers' linebacker coach Dave Huxtable to be his defensive coordinator. This follows Chryst's hiring of Wisconsin's offensive line coach Bob Bostad, presumably for offensive coordinator.
Huxtable has been a defensive coordinator before, most recently at Central Florida for three seasons. His defenses in those years were ranked highly in many national categories, including in the 2010 season, when Central Florida nationally finished No. 15 overall in total defense, No. 8 in scoring defense, and No. 8 in rushing defense. In 2009, Central Florida finished No. 4 nationally in rushing defense and No. 6 in sacks. In 2008, Huxtable's defense was No. 3 nationally in tackles for loss.
Huxtable also was the defensive coordinator at North Carolina in 2002 and 2003, and Western Kentucky in 1989. He also coached at Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, and East Carolina.
Huxtable, who will begin his 30th year in coaching, is a 1979 graduate of Eastern Illinois.
There are also rumors that Belle Vernon native Joe Rudolph may also exit Wisconsin for Pittsburgh. Rudolph was a former star offensive guard for the Badgers, and he is currently the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator for his alma mater. However, Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema is trying to land Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator to be his new offensive coordinator, meaning Rudolph would not get the job. If that happens, there is speculation that Rudolph, who is close with both Chryst and Bostad, may prefer to come to Pitt and be the new offensive line. Rudolph is considered the best recruiter on the staff and pairing him with new linebacker coach Chris Haering could make Pitt formidable in PA recruiting.